The bloated WWII genre is getting another one, this time from JoWooD Productions and Zootfly. So far their tank combat game stacks up pretty well, but it requires some definite polish.
I’ll give the good news first. The visuals are genuinely impressive, even in this day and age of bump-mapping and intricate particle engines. It’s the little details that make Panzers: Elite Action stand out from the crowd, like the way a tree topples when you ram into it, or the dents and scratches on your vehicle. Weapon effects, explosions and lighting are all done exceptionally well, and so far the game has a real grungy, lived-in feel to it. I was also pleased to see decent draw distance; there’s not a lot of popup here, so you can peer off into the distance as you scout for the enemy.
The aural experience is also surprisingly high quality, with voice-over briefings and in-game radio chatter. Explosions are suitably visceral, but the machine guns sound a little under-powered. Maybe that’s because your vehicle is already a roving wave of destruction. The music track isn’t anything spectacular, but it sufficiently sets a military mood and keeps in pace with the action.
Now for the not so good points. I know this is a beta, but there was no way to customize or view the control layout, in or out of game. The default setup is effective enough for basic movement and cannon fire, but I had to hunt across my keyboard to call an air strike. Also, I hope the developers put in an option for mouse adjustment, because swinging the tank turret was far too sensitive for so sluggish a vehicle.
The only other minor gripes were some clipping issues; I passed right through a wire fence instead of squashing it flat, but this will probably be remedied.
There was no multiplayer in the beta and only a couple of single player missions, but I liked the small taste I got of Panzers: Elite Action. It’s shaping up to be a competent tank-sim, and it’ll more than likely add some flavor to the monotonous collection of WWII games.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company for review.
Sean Colleli has been gaming off and on since he was about two, although there have been considerable gaps in the time since. He cut his gaming teeth on the “one stick, one button” pad of the Atari 800, taking it to the pirates in Star Raiders before space shooter games were cool. Sean’s Doom addiction came around the same time as fourth grade, but scared him too much to become a serious player until at least sixth grade. It was then that GoldenEye 007 and the N64 swept him off his feet, and he’s been hardcore ever since.
Currently Sean enjoys a good shooter, but is far more interested in solid adventure titles like The Legend of Zelda or the beautiful Prince of Persia trilogy, and he holds the Metroid series as a personal favorite. Sean prefers deep, profound characters like Deus Ex’s JC Denton, or ones that break clichés like Samus Aran, over one dimensional heroes such as the vacuous Master Chief. Sean will game on any platform but he has a fondness for Nintendo, Sega and their franchises. He has also become a portable buff in recent years. Sean’s other hobbies include classic science fiction such as Asimov and P.K. Dick, and Sean regularly writes down his own fiction and aimless ramblings. He practices Aikido and has a BA in English from the Ohio State University. He is in his mid twenties. View Profile