Welcome aboard, Captain. What are your orders?
Doling out the rum stands out as the strategy to go, and add a dram for your self. You’re going to wish it. On this sport, you are actually the captain of a ship within the service of her majesty. Issues get a bit fuzzy right here, as a result of the interval the sport portrays seems to be just like the mid to late 1700s within the days of tall ships, rum rations, and floggings. There have been additionally battles with the Spanish navy and a cautious relationship with the Dutch (a bit like in Pirates of the Caribbean and the East India Co.,). Sadly, there was no queen on the throne in England at the moment, so accuracy is evidently not vital.
Now that we’ve got taken care of the very English propensity for historical past classes, let’s actually get into the sport. Once I obtained the task and heard the outline of the sport, I used to be very hopeful. These hopes had been dashed in opposition to the rocks of an unfriendly shore of design in the midst of a squall of dangerous consumer interface.
The fundamental premise of the sport ought to make for a good gaming expertise. You’re the captain of a Ship of the Line, and your aspiration is to grow to be an Admiral. To realize this aim, you should take a so-so ship and make it an environment friendly, efficient instrument for the crown. How, precisely, do you grow to be a instrument? Apart from the apparent strategies, you should comply with the orders of the crown, ensure you hold England’s enemies of their place, and forestall warfare with the Dutch to maintain the vey worthwhile commerce agreements in place. You’ll need to journey to a number of ports to develop the affect of the crown. In every port, you’ll be able to top off provides and recruit new sailors on your ship. You may even make shore on an unclaimed island and top off on bananas (if there are palm bushes there). Alongside the best way is a plethora of stations you should utilize to care for all the things from feeding the crew to creating repairs to the ship to furling sails and a dozen different duties.
Right here is the place issues take a flip for the more severe. The sport reveals itself to be solely a useful resource supervisor and activity scheduler. Certainly, the extent of consideration required turns into a quite tedious train in micromanagement. I went by way of the tutorial to get the introduction to the controls, however that is additionally missing. It acquaints the participant with a lot of the ship features and the right way to use them (scroll to focus on the perform you need, then press the A button) and the statistics bar on the prime of the display screen. There are slots for vessel health/injury, accessible assets, and crew morale. On this sport, crew morale is vital; if the morale will get to zero, the crew will mutiny and you’re executed for. There are a number of methods to maintain the morale up: sleep at night time as a lot as doable, hold the crew nicely fed, and supply further rum (see, I instructed you it will turn out to be useful).
These duties are a bit cumbersome. The sport will fly flags down the wire for you. Every flag has a novel set of colours and patterns, and every flag has a distinct that means. You could have from the second the flag seems on the prime of the wire till it will get to the underside of the wire to get your activity executed. You’ll have a number of days to finish the duty in sport time, however in actual time you solely have a few minutes. If a crewman fails to finish a activity shortly sufficient, you’ll be able to have them chained and flogged as punishment. This can be a bit ugly, however it was customary observe within the 1700s (together with a number of different, much more barbaric, practices). The true drawback is attempting to recollect what every flag means. The textual content description of your activity is hidden, and the time it takes to scroll by way of controls to seek out the one factor you want might trigger an excessive amount of sport time to go to really get the duty executed. This simply turns into irritating, resulting in, “Time to start out over…once more.”
Not solely is the sport interface overly advanced, however the controls weren’t expertly ported to a sport controller setup. A keyboard/mouse setup can be a sooner and higher association for the variety of controls wanted for this sport. You do get a radial menu with the ZR button, however there will not be many choices to do issues right here. To change between ship view (the place you see your ship in a aspect cutaway view) and world view, use the ZL button. In ship view, you handle all of the duties. In world view, you set your subsequent vacation spot and get a take a look at the place different ships and ports are so you’ll be able to plan the place to go and the place to keep away from.
One different inconvenient facet is that there’s nothing you are able to do with the contact display screen; all the things should be executed with the controllers. This isn’t the worst factor on the planet, however there are some issues which may very well be made simpler to do with the contact display screen possibility when taking part in in handheld mode.
What began as a hopeful voyage of discovery, journey, and life at sea was a shipwreck of micromanagement and frustration.