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Game Over Online ~ Panzer General 3D Assault

GameOver Game Reviews - Panzer General 3D Assault (c) Mindscape, Reviewed by - Wolf

Game & Publisher Panzer General 3D Assault (c) Mindscape
System Requirements Pentium 200, 32 MB Ram, 3D Accelerator
Overall Rating 85%
Date Published Tuesday, October 19th, 1999 at 08:15 PM

Divider Left By: Wolf Divider Right

Now before you glance at the title and think "Uh oh, wargame" and turn away in disgust, don’t, because this wargame is actually quite good. Ah yes, well good or not, it’s still a war game you might think. Then I would have to tell you that this wargame is actually quite different from the usual. Which I have to tell you anyway, so you might as well read on.

Panzer General 3D Assault is a wargame (gasp!). Indeed, and I as mentioned before, it differs greatly from the old style hexagons proudly bearing their little "tank" and "tank munching" icons. Now, looking at some of the screenshots (to your right), you can see the obvious major difference in that Panzer General is now equipped with a very capable 3D engine. The terrain generated by this engine mainly consists of an awful lot of flat land, but also contains some rolling hills and mountains that are stretched over by the appropriate land textures. The textures are brightly colored to keep the good looks of the game up, because over the terrain there are the 3D modeled tanks and planes. These little models are scattered about and generally look pretty good when driving around from place to place, but the animations soon get irritating and lose their interest. Then you quickly skip them to hurry it up a bit. The animations still retain their value for attracting new gamers to the genre. That’s is basically what the graphics do, any gamer who has contemplated playing a wargame but just didn’t get there for some reason, here’s their chance now, since PG3D is looking to cater to those new to the genre.

Now I must admit that I myself have never played any real war games before, so any wargame religious factions that might be following me up to here should take note of that. Call me a fool (no don’t actually), but I was allured to this title by the pretty graphics, as I was also looking for a good game to enter the strategy game genre with. The game’s setting is on the Western Front, completely ignoring history it also sets foot on some American soil at times. It would be infinitely frustrating to complete your German campaign only to receive the message that even though you did a jolly good job of it; you’re screwed anyway because you lost. So if your German campaign goes well you’ll be invading England and the US to settle the score. There are four grand campaigns to choose from with about 18 missions each, two German, an English and a US campaign. Then there are 4 much smaller campaigns, and for all you people who wanted to play the *cough*, wonderful French in the Second World War, here’s your chance. With the revered LeClerc starring in a 7 mission campaign of getting slaughtered by the Nazi’s, though luckily with this title, you can turn the tide and do some winning on the African Front. So campaign wise you’ll be set for the next half year.

Now as with all war games, this is a turn-based affair. The game is sufficiently well detailed and has enough options to confuse some in the beginning. Luckily for the average inexperienced war gamer, a right click on most buttons with unfamiliar icons brings up a little box explaining exactly what the button means in a short paragraph. Though this is simply a pop-up help system, I must still say its brilliant. Never have I been able to find out what certain things did so simply before, and it shouldn’t be long before you are fully aware of what every little option does exactly and how to use it. The best aspect of PG3D, and what makes mainly keeps you glued to the screen to continue just one more battle, is the ranking system where all your commanders (tank commanders, anti-air, artillery, reckon, etc.) gain experience as they are promoted. The higher their rank, the more action points they have, and after a few increases in rank they will gain new abilities and orders. The other major driving point is the addition of new weapons to your deadly arsenal. As the war progresses you will still be peddling along with Panzer IIIG’s, and lousy little fighters who keep getting shot to many little bits you start to receive the new weapons of war from the arms factories back home. Then Panzer V’s and the Tiger get added to your arsenal along with the first jet engine Messerschmit, which simply blows every other fighter plane to pieces. The only disappointing thing here is that I would really like to have seen a few dozen pages of meaningless statistics and some sort of end-score to brag about as the game seems to lack any sort of summary.

Well even though the music can get mind-bogglingly repetitive at times, the marching war theme played for the nation you choose gets strangely hypnotic and atmospheric. When turning the music of the battle suddenly becomes strangely dull with the little "pows" and "booms" of your little war toys going at it. With the big proud orchestrated marching music on it gives it all a sense of power, your little toys are no longer toy tanks "pow-powing" at each other. But are instead great big lumbering war machines of death, destruction and mayhem out to slaughter those irritating ammunition munching cannon fodder (infantry).

Multiplayer is done as well as it could have been I suppose. You can play over a network or over the Internet via TCP/IP or Mplayer. A Play-By-Email mode is curiously missing, which would be well received since honestly it’s a rather boring affair over a network. Apart from the frantic bloody mayhem, which ensues after a little while of Half-Life on the network, Panzer General 3D is depressingly dull when played over a network. It only managed to keep me occupied for two games before my mind was filled with images of people running around screaming and getting their heads blown off. I decided it would be safest if I were to continue playing Half-Life instead. Though if two people are wargame fanatics I don’t doubt that they could occupy themselves for a very long time. But really this game is more created for the single player campaigns. To be fair to Pg3D though, every war game with multiplayer would be boring in the same way, it is in no way PG3D’s fault.

Well there isn’t much to winch about at this title, although it would have been really nice if there had been the tiniest hint of variation in mission objectives (instead of always capture such and such). For the rest, the commander ranking system and the progressively huge arsenal at your disposal, along with the huge gratification of annihilating hordes of enemy battalions in sweeping blitzkrieg motions whilst not taking a scratch of return fire and just generally kicking some ass, makes Panzer General 3D a wonderful war game to play when you have a lot of free time on your hands.


  • Graphics are rather nice
  • Can get wonderfully addictive
  • Perfect for anybody wishing to enter the war gaming genre


  • Mission objectives don’t vary…at all…ever.
  • Needs wads of incomprehensibly endless piles of statistics at the ending
  • Multiplayer is awfully boring (though that’s the genre’s fault really)


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