Codename: Panzers, Phase Two E3 2005 Preshow Report

The sequel to one of the best real-time strategy games of 2004 will be at E3 2005.

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In an unfortunate turn of events, very few people played Codename: Panzers, Phase One when it was released late last year, despite the fact that it was one of the best real-time strategy games of the year. Thankfully, publisher CDV Software will still be bringing out a sequel to the game in the form of Codename: Panzers, Phase Two, later this year. The game will be at E3 2005.

Phase Two will center around three main campaigns, all of which are centered around key battles during World War II and all of which can be played from the perspective of the Anglo-American Allies, the German-Italian Axis, or the Yugoslavian resistance forces. The settings of Phase Two shift away from Western and Eastern Europe into North Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Balkans. The storylines for the campaigns have been written by experienced TV writers whose credits include the likes of Law & Order and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Peter Weller (Robocop, Robocop 2, Naked Lunch) will provide voice acting for the game.

Missions in the game will be much more sophisticated, with dynamic reinforcements and objectives. Day and night cycles will come much more into play this time around, specifically with nighttime stealth and search-and-destroy missions. Certain vehicles will be equipped with headlights and taillights that can be toggled on and off to provide better vision when driving at night--though this can also reveal your position to the enemy. All the missions in the game will be available in multiplayer both cooperatively and competitively. More than 20 new unit types will be included, as well as more diverse unit subtypes. Units have also been vastly rescaled to make them more accurate. Artificial intelligence has also been redone to allow CPU opponents to use more effective and varied tactics and to also use reinforcements more advantageously.

Though Codename: Panzers, Phase One had the benefit of including one of the nicer graphics engines ever included in an RTS, Phase Two will up the graphical quality, with more-detailed environments, smoother cutscenes, a more dynamic camera system, and hundreds of thoroughly destructible objects and buildings, and units will realistically interact with these destructible objects and terrain even more realistically than in the last game.

Codename: Panzers, Phase Two is currently due out this summer. We'll work to bring you more on the game from the E3 2005 show floor.

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