originally posted by me at gog.com
A few years ago I was heavily into a modern tank simulation called Steel Beasts. It was a great game and ultra realistic but I always wished there was a WWII equivalent.
Panzer Elite is that game. You play the role of a Tank Platoon Commander (either Axis or Allies) during some of the most famous campaigns of the Second World War. Some of the tanks available include various M4 Shermans, Panzer IV’s and the famous Panther and Tiger tanks.
The game allows you to play in several different ways, either as a straight simulation taking direct control of all of the various stations and weapons of the tank directly or you can play more of the commander role, using various key commands to the AI of both your own and your platoon of tanks.
With accurately modelled ballistics and armour, gunnery sights modelled on the real thing and realistic tank performance there is plenty to keep hard core sim fans happy while the ability to scale the difficulty and let the AI take over some tasks opens the game up to a more casual fan base. There is plenty here for everyone.
The campaign system is also something worth mentioning; you take command of your platoon not only in battle but are also responsible for the platoons downtime between engagements, making sure you have enough fuel, and ammo to go around as well as requisitioning replacement tanks and crew if you loose any. This system works really well and the attention to historic detail is remarkable but as with most things in the game, if you would like the computer to deal with the logistics all you need to do is tick the correct box in the options screen.
With the gog.com download you get a wonderful .pdf detailing the history of armoured warfare and also a large bundle of user create mod files. These mainly contain new texture and sound files as well as new campaigns and playable vehicles (including British and Russian vehicles). This is a great addition but there is a lack of documentation on exactly what it all does and how to make it all work. Despite some internet research I still don’t know what half the files do.
On the topic of documentation, the main manual provided is almost useless. It only covers the bare basics of how to play the game and I would recommend checking out some of the guides for this game at simHQ.com to get to grips with the more technical aspects of the game.
The only other issue with the game are the dated 3D graphics. Even back in 1999 these graphics were substandard but they are adequate for this game.
Despite the graphical limitations and the poor documentation I would recommend this game to anyone looking for an authentic WWII tank simulation, I can’t think of any other game that has the attention to detail and realism that this game possesses.
**** 4 out of 5 Stars
Panzer Elite SE available now to download at gog.com for $5.99