Panzer Elite Action: Fields of Glory (sometimes just Panzer Elite Action) is a video game, developed by ZootFly and published by JoWooD Productions. It was released in Europe in 2006, yet has not yet been given a North American release date. This game is distinguishable from the original Panzer Elite, a 1999 realistic WW2 tank simulator, which has a separate modding community devoted to it and was first published by Psygnosis.
Panzer Elite was developed by Wings Simulation and first published by Wing's parent company Psygnosis in 1999. This first version was v.1.05 and was considered very buggy, especially in multiplayer. A subsequent v.1.1 patch made it tolerable. During 2000, Pygnosis moved away from PC gaming and sold Wings and Panzer Elite to Jowood Productions. In 2001, Jowood authorised the release of Panzer Elite Special Edition ("PESE"). This was Panzer Elite with an additional CD containing exclusive content developed by community members with names like the Lennort Brothers and Aldo. During 2002, patch 1.2 was released by the Lennort Brothers which brought first real multiplayer stability to Panzer Elite. PESE continues to be extremely well supported by a very active modding community called the Panzer Elite Development Group. This ongoing version of Panzer Elite is widely considered the leading and benchhmark WW2 Tank Simulator. A full review of Panzer Elite can be found here: http://www.simhq.com/_land/armor_archive/Panzer_Elite_Review.zip
PESE is not public domain software and the Panzer Elite Development Group is permitted to continue modding only under a non-competitive special agreement with Jowood allowing them to do so.
Panzer Elite Action was released by Jowood in 2006 and uses the same visuals as Panzer Elite but moves to an arcade instead of simulation interface. The remainder of this article describes Panzer Elite Action.
Panzer Elite Action: Fields of Glory is a World War II tank action game, in which the player can command a platoon of either German (4 tanks) or American (5 tanks) forces in three scenarios: the Tunisian campaign (1943), the Italian campaign (1943-44) and the Battle of Normandy (1944), each one featuring a series of battles. Later on, fans developed new scenarios in North Africa (1940–41) and the Soviet Union (1941).
The player can roster the crew for each tank in his platoon, based on their skills, which increase over time. New members become available over time, for replacement of dead and wounded. They may also be awarded historical medals.
Each battle station on the player's tank may be occupied, and the gun sighting may be set to be very realistic. Better tanks become available during the course of time (Tiger I for Germans, later models of Sherman for Americans), close to the real availability of these models during WWII. Every few kilometres there are repair and ammo stations for when the tank is damaged by enemy fire. There is also a multiplayer mode for up to 32 players in each server, and the player gets to choose which tank they may use.
There are 18 missions, for German, Russian and allied campaigns. The first few missions are fairly beginner-friendly and easy, and they gradually get tougher and tougher as the player progresses. The game is very detailed and quite realistic, with most of the major tanks of World War II included in the various missions. There are night missions, where the player goes under cover in a captured enemy tank.
There is also an American version of the game, First Battalion.
Single Player Mode
The game is divided into three campaigns, German, Russian and Allied as mentioned before. The first is the German. The player takes part in the invasions of Poland and France, then helps Operation Barbarossa succeed. The last German mission is Stalingrad, where the player takes part in the taking of Stalingrad. The next campaign is the Russian. The player's first mission in this campaign is to complete the encirclement of Stalingrad, then to halt Operation Winter Storm by destroying an armoured supply train and drive the Germans out of the city. Then the player has to stop a German advance and destroy some long range artillery. Then the player goes under cover in a captured Panther tank and free some Soviet POW's, and finally to win the Battle of Kursk. The next campaign is allied where the player takes part in the successful landings at Normandy in June 1944. Then, the player destroys some V2 rockets and finally make it out of the dreaded Bocage. The next is probably the hardest mission in the game, where the player is up against nothing but Tigers and Panthers and has to get the tank ace Michael Wittmann. Then the player has to stop the German counter-attack at the Battle of The Bulge and go under cover again in a captured King Tiger to stop the Germans blowing up a dam and flooding the Roer Valley, and the final mission is the final drive to the Rhine.
The player has the opportunity to use both the primary (cannon) and secondary (machine gun) armaments while in combat. The game itself is the story of three tank commanders, one for each campaign. While playing, the crews often "talk" to each other, when the quotes show up on the screen. The player often receives praise when they knock out an enemy tank or shoot an enemy soldier, e.g. "Good Shot", and "Score one for the good guys" and complaints in instances of friendly fire.
The player has a slight advantage over enemy tanks, as it would take about twenty direct hits to konck them out, whereas in some instances the player can knock ut an enemy tank in just two or three direct hits.
The game contains most major tanks used in the European theatre of World War II as mentioned before, and the availability time is quite close too.
The first German tank was the Panzer II, used for the first two missions. Next is the Panzer III followed by the Panzer IV, and finally the famous Tiger I. In the multiplayer mode, the Panzer III, Panther and King Tiger tanks are available for combat.
The first Russian tank is the T-34/76/42 in the encirclement of Stalingrad, followed by the KV-1-S, T-34/85 and IS-2. Next is the captured Panther and then the IS-2 armed with the powerful 122mm gun. The T-34/76/42, KV-1-S and IS-2 tanks are available in the multiplayer mode.
The M4 Sherman is the first Allied tank, followed by the M24 Chaffee, Sherman Firefly and M26 Pershing. Then is the captured King Tiger and the M26 Pershing. The Chaffee, Sherman and Pershing tanks can be played in the multiplayer mode.
The multiplayer mode is an outstanding feature of the game. It can be accessed by the main menu. Players often create Video Game Clans when playing. The game features seven multiplayer maps, Mairy-Sur-Marne, Kursk, Bocage, Shestakov, Stalingrad, Bingen-Am-Rhine and Huertgen. Players can connect to servers of up 32 players. The multiplayer mode also has a talk mode, where players can have a chat by pressing T or Y on their keyboards.
The player has the opportunity in the multiplayer mode to use either the cannon or alternate weapon (airstrikes for light tanks, mines for medium tanks and supply drops for heavy tanks) in the multiplayer mode, as opposed to single-player where the alternate weapon is always the co-axial machine gun.
Percentage of friendly fire, score limit and time connection limit can all be set when hosting a server, and sometimes players set player limit too.
In 2007 JoWood Released an add-on, Panzer Elite Action: Dunes of War to the game. It features the "African Chapter" of the war, and contains two new campaigns including German and Allied, and ten all-new multiplayer maps. There is an unlimited multiplayer-only version available for free download.
- Panzer Elite Action: Fields of Glory official website
- Forums at SimHQ which continue to discuss Panzer Elite