Panzer General II is a very graphically pleasing game. The battlefield maps are not only beautifully rendered but are also true to the actual battle fields that they represent. The units are also well done (SSI calls them photo realistic) and are easily distinguishable on the terrain and from each other. However, you will have to deal with a large number of units and learning all about the units available in the game and how best to capitalize on their strengths and weaknesses is a daunting task. The 125 page manual helps in this respect giving good descriptions of the units. Units are also summarized by country at the back of the manual in the unit class and equipment tables.
This is a true strategists game being very unforgiving for errors in judgment when planning your strategy. The casual gamer will become quickly frustrated with Panzer General II as will many real-time strategy enthusiasts as Panzer General II does not lend itself to strategies based on the idea, 'build up your forces and crush your enemy'. From the outset of a battle you must press the attack as each battle allows only a certain number of turns to achieve victory.
The game interface is quite involved but has an intuitive design. With the help of the available tutorial scenario any moderately experienced war gamer should not find the interface difficult to handle. Missions themselves are designed well with clearly defined objectives. Unlike in some games you must accomplish the objectives set before you and this will require passing up some obvious and tempting targets to effect your move, on the strategic areas required for victory, before time (the allotted number of turns) runs out.
Features of note in the game include:
-the ability to upgrade units,
-the ability to cancel a single move,
-and support (defensive) fire for artillery units within range of an enemy unit attacking one of your units.
The graphics in Panzer General II are clean and efficient. A good blend of form and function, the graphics are pleasing without being over done and getting in the way of game play. The video scenes do not fair so well and are of a lower quality standards of the day (1997). The audio is also adequate but not overly impressive.
Unit movement in Panzer General II is sleek and follows the click the unit click where you want it to go (within its available range). The air mode however can be a bit confusing (when an air and ground unit occupies the same hex) and sometimes even though the air mode button was depressed the ground unit moved when the hex was selected. This is only a minor annoyance as you simply cancel the move and re-select air mode.
Panzer General II supports network and play via the Internet for up to 4 players. One CD is required for every 2 players in a multi-player game. Play by e-mail is also supported.
Graphics: An excellent blend of form and function.
Sound: Sound is adequate but not outstanding.
Enjoyment: An immensely enjoyable play experience.
Replay Value: Excellent replay value due to multiplayer capability, solid single player battles and the scenario builder.
Will you fight as a Wehrmacht Officer, or perhaps lead your comrades in the Soviet Army? You may want to hit the beaches at Salerno and Normandy as an American or British General. No matter what path you choose, you will need all your skills to triumph. The successful "Panzer General" devises sound strategic plans, and carries them out with unswerving commitment. Generals who are indecisive inevitably fail. Can you forge a battle-winning command and conquer your foes? Isn't it time to find out?
Billed as "the sequel of the century!," Panzer General II did live up to that claim-- the game boast a stronger AI, more varied scenarios, and gameplay enhancements that improve upon Panzer General, the venerable predecessor that succeeded in bringing wargames to the masses (including yours truly, who can proudly claim to *never* having finished any wargame until PG came along ;)). The game covers World War II action in the European Theater, with a cool "what-if" scenario of invasion in the United States. As The Wargamer describes, "...changes have been made to the game engine in order to bring the floating unit scale and hex scale down to earth. This in turn has allowed some units to fire at a distance. Unit size is battalion/regiment and each hex depicts 2 Km of terrain. The game comes with a campaign game, individual scenarios, Internet play, and a scenario editor. The graphics have been improved over the original, but at a hefty price. The scenario editor doesn't include a map editor." Although the game was shipped with quite a few bugs, most of them were hammered out by the version 1.01 patch (which is the download file here). There is really nothing wrong with the game I can think of, except perhaps the fact that missions playing as the US side are less interesting and varied than playing as the Germans. If you like Panzer General, you will love this underrated sequel. And if you haven't played any game in the 5-star series, or are looking for a wargame that is accessible to newcomers, look no further than Panzer General 2.
People who downloaded Panzer General 2 have also downloaded:
Panzer General, Panzer General 3: Scorched Earth, Pacific General, Allied General, Panzer General 3D Assault, People's General (a.k.a. Dynasty General), Civil War Generals 2, Panzer General for Windows 95
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