Alexander Shargin and his team revived one of the most popular strategy series of the nineties almost ten years ago and with remarkable success. Panzer Corps (here is our Test) was basically a modernized version of SSI's Panzer General series, but due to various DLCs it was a lot more popular in terms of scope – for example, we were able to clear the way to Egypt for the Wehrmacht in the Africa Corps expansion. Even if the playful differences from the original were hardly noticeable, many genre fans ended up spending several hundred hours with their intellectual successor.

The developers of Panzer Corps 2 are hoping for something similar, because here too, the game seems so familiar to every Panzer General veteran, i.e. the gameplay innovations are rather marginal, but the proven game mechanics still look well thought out and already is almost addictive – only one more round, we heard ourselves saying far too often late at night. But what immediately stands out: Part 2 has taken a giant step forward graphically. The more than 1,000 units of the game are all animated, the hex maps look incredibly detailed and you can also enjoy the whole thing in a 4K resolution – Panzer Corps 2 is definitely one of the most beautiful genre representatives at the moment.

Panzer Corps 2: Announcement trailer for the strategy sequel

Field free for newcomers

While strategy heavyweights such as Strategic Command WWII: World at Was not recommended for genre beginners due to its sheer size and complexity, the Panzer Corps series is not a bad choice even for newcomers. Panzer Corps 2 not only uses a simple rock-paper-scissor principle, but it is easy to use and, above all, the visualization is so appealing that even as a layperson, you can struggle through the detailed tutorials and thus the basics who can master hex battles within an hour. For example, we learn that in part 2 you can crack well-fortified units by surrounding them and that under certain conditions tanks can overrun enemies and attack several times in a round. The handling of the Air Force is also new in Panzer Corps 2. In contrast to the predecessor, our planes return to the airport after each round and accordingly have a limited range. Otherwise, in turn-based battles we have to watch out for familiar things, such as how good the initiative and weapon range of our units are and how good their attack and defense values ​​are against tanks, infantry and air forces.

Air units return to their airfields after each round.

Air units return to their airfields after each round.

Source: PC games

In total, Panzer Corps 2 contains five campaigns right from the start, which lead us as a general of the Wehrmacht over all known battlefields of the Second World War in Europe and Africa. We can also achieve fictional scenarios if we complete certain bonus goals in the missions. With around 20 battles, three of the campaigns are very long, while the Italy and Kursk campaigns only have eight scenarios. Nevertheless, the campaigns are well and happily spent more than 60 hours, as the level of difficulty is quite high despite the setting options. For example, we had to start the first campaign that took us from Poland to the end of the Second World War several times, because in Panzer Corps 2 – as with the previous model – you take your core units from one battle to the next. In France and later in Russia, we unfortunately noticed that the prestige points earned from the battles were no longer sufficient to compensate for the losses – let alone buy new troops. However, we do not want to criticize the high level of difficulty, because all in all the balancing and the mission design are completely in order. Some missions have to play several times, as row veterans are used to, because some ambushes cannot be predicted. However, we found it positive that you can revoke all movement and attack commands. Only when you complete a round can nothing be taken back.

In addition to the campaign, there are also four single player scenarios. Pictured here is a fictional operation in the Norwegian fjords.

In addition to the campaign, there are also four single player scenarios. Pictured here is a fictional operation in the Norwegian fjords.

Source: PC games

In addition to the long campaigns and four individual scenarios, Panzer Corps 2 also has a multiplayer mode. Only here can we fight on the side of the Allies, the right campaigns can only be carried out with the troops of the Wehrmacht. We have to admit that we did not deal extensively with the multiplayer mode and only tried whether everything was technically clean. In our experience, it seems to be the case. We found it a shame that we can only take control of the Allies in multiplayer matches. Apart from the few crashes and the missing German manual, this is the only real shortcoming of Panzer Corps 2. Otherwise we have to say that the team around Alexander Shargin again did a very good job and an accessible, delivered an incredibly nice strategy game, which offers a suitable learning curve and, over time, also sufficient complexity.

My opinion

Panzer Corps 2 even exceeded my high expectations!

I spent countless hours with the Panzer General series as well as with the direct predecessor of Panzer Corps 2 and was therefore delighted with the announcement of the successor. The second part did not disappoint me a bit, although at first glance the level of difficulty of a whole campaign seemed a bit too high. Since you no longer have to fight for a major victory in Panzer Corps 2 and therefore have to hurry up in missions, you should be more careful with your troops than in Part 1. When I understood that – and discovered the command revocation function for me – everything didn't seem so difficult anymore. So I was able to enjoy the graphic splendor as well as the unbelievable amount of historically quite accurate troop types and I have to say: Panzer Corps 2 even exceeded my high expectations and thus loosely congratulated my predecessor!

Very large scope
Over 1,000 different units
Graphically one of the most beautiful strategy games
Fair but demanding level of difficulty
Rare crashes
If you get lost in the campaign, you may have to repeat many missions
No German voice output and no German manual
Allied troops can only be played in multiplayer mode

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Panzer Corps 2: Announcement trailer for the strategy sequel

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