previews\ Oct 25, 2007 at 8:00 pm

Panzer Tactics DS - NDS - Preview

Before there were video games, anyone wanting to simulate controlling an entire army through the use of incredibly detailed rules probably did so in board game form. Classic board games like Risk, Axis and Allies, and Rise of the Third Reich, along with countless others, allowed for in-depth, complex, realistic simulations of historic conflicts. Just as with modern day first-person shooters, no war has been the subject of more of these games than World War II. Today’s tactical/strategy games owe a large debt to these games, as many of the features commonly seen today debuted in these wargames. Soon, fans of the genre will be able to wage the European war on the go, in Panzer Tactics DS.

You begin by taking control of the German Wehrmacht in the early stages of the war; in fact, the first real mission is Germany’s invasion of Poland, officially kick-starting the war proper. Next, take command of the Russian army, defending the Motherland and stopping the German invasion dead in its tracks. For the final stretch, players command the American forces’ march through Europe, into the heart of the German war machine.

The game is more complex than something like Advance Wars, but still accessible.

Players will wage war in every conceivable way: ground troops, war vehicles, aircraft, and naval units are all at your disposal. Nearly every significant make and model used during the actual war is available here, with over 150 total unit types included. Battles unfold on a hex-based map, allowing for more tactical opportunities than square-based maps (for instance, surrounding units is very important). While the game is considerably deeper than titles like Advance Wars (and potentially more overwhelming), an extensive tutorial ensures that no player is at a loss as to what should be done.

Fans of tactical action will have plenty to keep them busy when Panzer Tactics releases next month. Players who are able to complete secondary objectives will unlock tougher bonus missions, putting even the best armchair generals’ tactical abilities to the test. Multiplayer modes offer even more play opportunites; up to four tacticians can go head-to-head over WiFi, and the game even supports a two-player hotseat mode, allowing for play by handing one Nintendo DS back and forth.

Never underestimate the strategic implications of the Russian winter.

Anyone who has conquered Advance Wars and is looking for a new challenge, look no further. Panzer Tactics DS will bring bring portable wargames to a new level of realism and challenge. Stay tuned for a full review when the game releases.

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