Zooming out is a little too restrictive as well, with broad views of the battlefield simply impossible to achieve. While this may be intended, it would be nice to see your entire force at once for high level tactical planning (should the need arise, which it rarely does). Double-click selection selects all armour, not just the specific type you clicked on, meaning large forces of tanks or artillery involves lots of shift-clicking. Very fiddly.
Reading the above and reaching the conclusion that it’s “no big deal” wouldn’t be an uncommon thought – the negative aspects of Phase Two barely scratch playability at all, and there aren’t that many to begin with. The original Phase One was a superb game and despite a few dents here and there, was a well oiled machine. Phase Two takes the best components of Phase One and tinkers with them a bit, essentially making a new improved product, but in doing so doesn’t quite get rid of all the faults. When you strip away the (admittedly few) new features of Phase Two, you’re left with not a great deal more than an expansion pack, which doesn’t really command the full retail price of a new game.
On the other hand, if you ignore the comparison to Phase One and focus entirely on the merits of the game stand-alone, it’s an engaging strategy game that is perhaps slightly lacking in replay ability, unless you have some online friends to practice pincer movements with. 3D strategy games have never been this good though, and you would be short sighted to see this as “just another RTS”.
The bottom line is this: you’re either going to walk out of the store with a copy or leave it standing on the shelf. Justifying the latter would be rather difficult, so given the choice I’d recommend Codename Panzers: Phase Two for anyone wanting a change from 3D shooters or the recent surge of online RPGs.
Unlike other sites, we thoroughly test every product we review. We use industry standard tests in order to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever accept money to review a product. Tell us what you think - send your emails to the Editor.