Panzer Paladin puts the world’s safety in the hands of Flame and his Paladin. Our protagonist will need to suit up in order to protect humanity from the evil Ravenous and his army of savage demons. Flame and his reliable power armor needs to travel around the world to take down every Weapon Keepers on his way to take down Ravenous.

Panzer Paladin is a 2D action platformer where players have to survive the game’s levels to reach the boss of each and beat the big baddie. The level selection is akin to Mega Man where players can choose which level to tackle in the order they so desire. None of the bosses have any weaknesses so it doesn’t impact gameplay. It’s mostly trial and error.

One of the game’s strong point is definitely its weaponry. While your power armor starts with a punch attack by default, certain enemies will drop weapons once you’ve killed them. These include kunais, hockey stick, spears, katanas; just to name a few. You can use them as melee weapon or even throw them. Weapons will break once their health bar has depleted. The Paladin also has a shield that can be block projectiles either when standing up or crouching.

Each weapon has a spell linked to it. You can either temporarily increase your attack power, deflect (which doesn’t deflect anything; just unleashes fireball like things) or Durability Up for example. In order to use it, you need to break the weapon by pressing LT and RT simultaneously. The game also allows players to attack while jumping and dodging by doing a step back with the B button.

In between levels, you can jump in the laboratory for upgrades. By sacrificing collected weapons during the previous level, you’ll be able to upgrade your power armor’s level. The way it works is that you need to “improve” each weapon until you reach the XP required and then you’ll gain a bit of extra health.

Levels are also uniquely designed in the sense that you’ll sometime have to leave your power armor to proceed through the level (think Blaster Master). While it’ll sometimes it’ll be to refill your power armor with what can be called Health tanks, some levels will put obstacles only Flame can go through. You have a whip-like attack that can only attack in the direction your facing and can be used to swing on specifically colored hooks. Once you’ve traversed the area, you can summon your power armor and keep going.

When your power armor’s health bar is empty, you’ll play as Flame, with a much smaller health bar and weaker attacks. If you make it through the game, you can unlock additional game modes such as Speedrun, Boss rush and Remix mode. If you’re looking for a bit of additional fun, Blacksmith mode allows players to create their own weapons with their unique features and upload them online.

The game looks great in all of its pixelated glory. Each level has its unique theme based on where in the world they are located such as Canada, Egypt, United States, Scotland, etc… Each level allows for a different type of challenge where some are more linear while other require platforming your way up or falling down. There are some little nuisance at times where it’s not clear where you can or cannot go. The soundtrack is fine for what it is; whether it be the normal version or 8-bit chiptune one, there’s nothing special here. Once you stop playing, you won’t remember it.

The game isn’t without its faults. The first is the slow sluggish movement when riding the mech/robot; feels like wearing cement boots. While I understand the why, it makes platforming and dodging enemy attacks incredibly frustrating. The other is the checkpoint system. While levels do have specific checkpoints, you need a weapon to enable it. If you don’t or remove the weapon, too bad for you but no checkpoints and your ass is back at the start of the level.

Additionally, the game’s upgrade mechanic is completely unnecessary as it’ll increase your health by small increments, not enough to make a difference as some bosses pack a really mean punch. It’s also absolutely ridiculous that you can only dodge by doing a step back; it’s pretty much as useless as the upgrade system.

Oh my. What a waste of potential. Panzer Paladin could’ve been something special. While I’m a fan of the genre and visuals, the gameplay falls flat due to too many annoyances. The sluggish movement, clunky checkpoint system, useless upgrades, ineffective dodging mechanic, levels that feel way too long (especially if you can’t use the checkpoints); it’s just more frustration than anything else. If I can say good things about this game is bosses are challenging and fun and the overall presentation felt like playing a true old school game. The rest? It can get in the bin. Unless you want to torture yourself, this is a pass.

  • 50%
    CX Score - 50%



  • Weapon variety
  • Challenging boss battles


  • Crap checkpoint system
  • Slow/sluggish movement
  • Breakable weapons
  • Useless upgrades
  • Useless dodging

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