Panzer Corps Review
Panzer Corps Box Art
System: PC
Dev: The Lordz Game Studio
Pub: Slitherine
Release: July 11, 2011
Players: 1-2 (hotseat)
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p

Especially interesting is the almost RPG-like progression of your units through time. Whether you win or lose, your soldiers—the ones who survive, at least—get better. Later in the game, highly evolved units are a very valuable thing, and you have to go to great lengths to protect them. You can always buy new units by spending your prestige points, but there's really no substitute for units that have improved their skills over the course of many battles.

The basic gameplay is almost perfectly polished. However, strategy games have moved on in a number of ways since the Panzer General series was at its peak, and Panzer Corps doesn't make much of an effort to incorporate these new developments. The graphics are the most strikingly deficient aspect, with bland terrain and little in the way of detail. It's a shame, because modernized visuals would have helped with the sense of immersion. Oddly, there's a fire effect that's somewhat realistic, which clashes with the background whenever you hammer an enemy unit, as if you held a lit match in front of a crayon drawing. Other aspects of the presentation aren't so much dated as they are blasé: The music and sound effects are fine, but not outstanding, and the occasional voice acting leaves much to be desired.

Panzer Corps Screenshot

Another bizarre throwback is the online multiplayer, which is play-by-e-mail, as if the last decade never happened. PBEM certainly has its advantages—you don't have to be online at the same time as your opponent, for example. But it's bizarre that you don't even have the option to play a standard multiplayer game online, in real time, with each move taking place right after the previous one. The one saving grace is that if you have another strategy fan in the house, you can play local hotseat multiplayer.

Of course, the bottom-line question is, "Is it worth it?" At a price point of $20 or less, I would say go for it. It's a lot more enjoyable than most of the games in that price range, and it's a nice trip down memory lane. However, the download is priced at twice that, and the boxed version is $50, the same as big-budget strategy games like Total War: Shogun 2. I realize that the developer and publisher are small-time operations and don't have the economies of scale that huge companies have, but $40–50 is definitely too much. Unless you're a huge Panzer General fan who can't wait to try out its spiritual successor, I'd wait until the price comes down.

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That said, Panzer Corps manages to resurrect an old, nearly forgotten series, and it will give you hours of entertainment before it gets old. It is a testament to the original game that more than 15 years after its debut, the Panzer General formula is still a recipe for magic.

By Robert VerBruggen
CCC Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
2.1
Graphics
The visuals here look dated.
4.5
Control
This is a high point; Panzer Corps is easier to control than many strategy games, without being dumbed-down.
3.0
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
They're fine, but nothing too impressive.
4.0
Play Value
This is an incredibly fun game, but it's mostly stolen from an earlier series, and it's too expensive.
3.5
Overall Rating - Good
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • 400 unit types, divided into 19 unit classes, with 17 terrain types affecting gameplay in various way.
  • All 26 scenarios are combined into a large campaign tree with several entry points at various stages of the war. Depending on the outcome of each battle, the player will be faced with different challenges and progress along different parts of the campaign tree.
  • All major and many minor nations are represented: Germany, Italy, Poland, France, Great Britain, USA, USSR, Norway, Belgium, Netherlands, Albania, Romania, Greece, and more.
  • Core units travel with you throughout the campaign, gain experience, and can be upgraded as new weapon technologies become available. Units gain awards and heroes as they distinguish themselves.
  • Play-by-e-mail multiplayer.

  • Screenshots / Images
    Panzer Corps Screenshot - click to enlarge Panzer Corps Screenshot - click to enlarge Panzer Corps Screenshot - click to enlarge Panzer Corps Screenshot - click to enlarge Panzer Corps Screenshot - click to enlarge

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