SummaryArrrrrrr! Good game Ahoy!
The GoodThis game has a very interesting premise in my opinion. Playing as a pirate is very satisfying. The graphics, while hardly amazing, are pretty good and are a joy to behold. They just exude the atmosphere of piracy on the high seas, along with the sounds which just stop short of making you burst out into a sea shanty as your family watches in horror. There is plenty for you to do in this game also. You can raid ships, plunder cities (even overthrow the governor and install a new one to your liking), search for buried treasure, find an ancient Indian treasure, hold other pirates for ransom, raid the treasure fleet, and impress regional governors to attain ranks (which attract the ladies) and gain land (which increase your score).
The BadThe combat system is where the game goes from great to just good. First, in ground battles, you command your own character who attacks the enemy's leader. How well you do in this battle effects the morale of your's and his troops, which determines how many casualties each side takes. this is in effect, pretty lame. Those hoping for a strategic battle between pirates and the town's militia will be disappointed, as the majority of ground combat is senseless button mashing. Just keep your character stabbing constantly and you will most likely win. The sea combat is ok. It involves steering around your ship (if you have more than one, you can still only have one fighting per battle) and pressing the attack button which fires a salvo of cannons. You can also, ram a ship to board it. Again, not all that terrible, but certainly it could be better. A variety of annoying bugs may plague you occasionally such as the cannons on your ship not appearing in a battle, your ship not being armed with cannons despite the fact you have cannons in your inventory, and the gold that you have accumulated on your ship disappearing after a battle. Some of the cargo feels a bit rushed also. A total of three items for any time period (Always food, occasionally there is tobacco instead of furs, yipee! ) The lack of interesting cargo inventory makes the game seem a bit less realistic.
The Bottom LineHardly a great game, but certainly worth a look. They are coming out with a newer version sometime this year, so we might be seeing more pirates soon;)