Panzer General III Scorched Earth
Written by Shigamoto   
Tuesday, 28 December 2004

Panzer General is one of the more notorious strategy gaming series available for the PC. The third one in the series features a brand new 3D engine and a new battlefront. Will it be enough to seduce strategy gamers?


The major difference between Panzer General III and the other games in the series is the new 3D engine. You can now see the units in a 3D isometric perspective. Perhaps the developers thought that 3D would be needed in order to improve the series and be competitive against the Real Time Strategy games invading the market.


I can’t see that the new graphics are that stunning, sure you can see some tanks in 3D and the artillery muzzle flashes but that’s about it. The Panzer General series has never been about graphics but strategy and warfare.


There are over 100 units in the game from five countries (Russia, Germany, USA, England and Poland). The units are divided into different categories, such as tanks, anti-tanks, infantry, recon, bombers, fighters, artillery and so on. Naturally the forces are modelled from real forces used during the War.


There are four campaigns in the game, all of them set in Eastern Europe involving Germany or Russia/Poland. No campaigns are available for the allied forces, however you can play the allied forces through the scenarios, and the battle generator.


Playing the campaigns is great fun but quite hard. You will call the shots during the German invasion of Poland, but also as the Russians in Caucasus, around Moscow and so on. All of the campaigns are based on real campaigns during World War II.


The difficulty level is high; it will take you many tries and a lot of thinking to win. A common mistake that I made during the first stages of the game was to advance to fast allowing the enemy to go around my forces and take the supply bases behind me.


It’s almost as the computer feels what you are up to and spots your weaknesses instantly. It seems that the AI is set to really think and not just attack. I found myself doing most of the attacking while the computer constantly made out really smart tactics. At one point the computer attacked my steady advance constantly with little small forces causing little damage. But as I reached the enemy base my forces had been weakened by the constant attacking that caused me to loose the end battle.


The environments in the game are very important for the outcome of the battles. If you place your units on a mountain they will be stronger against attacks. If they are placed below enemy units they will be weakened. There are also factors like snow that can slow down your advances and change the battles.


As I mentioned before there are certainly many units in the game but I miss sea based forces and naval warfare. Running around with tanks in Eastern Europe isn’t half as fun as naval battles. Also I feel that the World War II theme is a bit overcrowded. There are hundreds of games about World War 2 but few about future conflicts or other wars.


Panzer General III has a high level AI and requires a lot of thinking. However I don’t think that the 3D perspective is enough to renew the turn based strategy games. Overall the game is quite challenging, I definitely recommend it for history fans or desktop generals.


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Developer: SSI (Strategic Simulations)

Website for game:

Publisher: UBI Soft

O/S: Win 98/ME/XP

Cost of Full Game:  About $9




Tested on:

Pentium III Mobile 850 MHz, 384 MB RAM, Windows XP


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