Codename Panzers: Cold War

Codename Panzers: Cold War

Codename Panzers: Cold War

Now with 100 per cent less Panzers!

Tom, is it too late for me to turn down this review? Now the disc is in my hands I realise there's been a bit of a misunderstanding. Because of a typo in your original email, I was expecting a startlingly original wargame all about the seventies fishing disputes between Iceland and the UK, not a bog-standard RTS about a fictional fifties conflict between NATO and the Warsaw Pact.

If I'd known how painfully familiar and disgracefully trawler-free Cold War was going to be, I'd probably have avoided it. Hungarian studio Stormregion (now transmuted into Innoglow) has been peddling versions of its likeable WW2 debut for the best part of five years now, and the formula is beginning to fester. Codename Panzers: Phase 1, Codename Panzers: Phase 2, Rush To Berlin, and Rush For The Bomb... They've all been basically the same game - a handsome, tank-heavy tactical romp with a few interesting quirks like unit carry-over and sound-spotting.

Cold War adds some minor embellishments, but come to it as I have, in the grip of Men of War and Empire: Total War infatuation, and it all seems achingly ordinary. Ditching WW2 in favour of a make-believe Soviet-Chinese assault on Western Europe has promise on paper. Play through a couple of missions, however, and you quickly realise all it really means is that the tanks are a slightly different shape, and aerial ops are carried out by swooping jets and gawky (Gorki?) helicopters rather than Stukas and Fieseler Storks.

Read more

Codename Panzers MP demo available

Hold me closer shiny Panzer.

Atari's Codename Panzers: Cold War now has a multiplayer demo of its very own available on the official website, in addition to the already available single-player try-out.

Peculiar bedfellows, perhaps? There was always going to be a clash somewhere in this year's Coming Attractions as we sorted our way through 12 categories, but you could argue there's more that unites fighting and strategy than divides them. Both are about trying to take maximum of advantage of your opposition's weaknesses, both reward patience, concentration and consideration, and as of Red Alert 3 both have a thing for impractical women's clothing.