AirBuccaneers (Windows)

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72
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100 point score based on reviews from various critics.
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Description

Legends speak of a Golden Age. Times when the majestic city of Atland sheltered a proud and rich culture that lured all kinds of people to its walls. The buccaneers, bearers of an unpredictable form of magic, were one such people. Arrived from the east, they quickly made a name for themselves as lowly thieves and scoundrels. At one point, they made an alliance with another tribe of thieves--the seafaring vikings. Together, they invented a vessel that could move through air with the help of magic. The vikings, however, double-crossed them and war broke out between the two factions. Violence escalated; the magic got out of hand and ended up destroying the entire city of Atland. Even with their prize long gone, the fighting continues to this day.

AirBuccaneers is a team-based multiplayer first-person shooter that brings ship-to-ship naval battles into the air. The teams are composed of buccaneers on one side, and the vikings on the other, each one of them controlled by a player or the computer. The teams must work together and defeat their opponents, either by sinking the most ships (Deathmatch mode) or by earning the most domination points (Domination mode). Most of the fighting takes place in the air on aircraft that look like a combination between a normal seafaring vessel and a hot air balloon. There are four types of ships: battleship, cog, kamikaze, and flying fortress. The kamikaze's only ability is to explode when rammed into enemy ships, dealing an immense amount of damage capable of downing most of them. The most combat-oriented ships are the four-cannon battleship and the one-cannon cog. Both can be manned by a crew of players, however a player can both steer and shoot the cannon on a cog without leaving the wheel. Finally, the flying fortress is a slow-moving ship with two long-distance cannons that shoot in a straight line, but cannot be pointed at lower angles.

While on a ship, players can assume different roles, such as a captain (the one who steers, points out enemy positions, and gives commands), a defender (blocks incoming projectiles using the musket), a cannoneer (shoots the cannon, dealing damage to enemy ships), and a guerilla (boards vessels and engages in melee combat). These roles are not set in stone and a single player can play all of them in a single match, however every one of these roles has a separate skill tree which a player can use to become specialized in them. There is a maximum of five skill slots and they are unlocked gradually, as the player advances in level. For every used perk, it's necessary to choose a flaw, although they can be from different skill trees. The perks and flaws are not permanent and can be removed or changed at any time.

While steering the wheel or handling a cannon players can use a set of boosts. The captain can speed up the movement of the ship in a direction (e.g. upward, forward etc.); the cannoneer has the option of changing the cannon ball's trajectory (e.g. in a zig-zag, curved etc.). In both cases, the boosts have a cooldown time before becoming available again. The cannon is the main weapon in the game, which unlike the historical ones is operated by a single person. The type installed on battleships and cogs has three different fire modes: normal cannon ball (flies in an arc), rockets (loaded air mines that travel in a straight line, but do less damage), and flamer (loaded gunpowder that acts as a flamethrower). When they're not operating cannons, the players can deploy air mines and throw gunpowder (as grenades) normally. Other equipment includes the support staff (used to repair the ship), the rope (for boarding), the telescope, the sword, and the musket (for blocking).

Screenshots

AirBuccaneers Windows Loading screen.
AirBuccaneers Windows Well, this is me going down. And those are the ones who threw the grenade, going down as well, I presume.
AirBuccaneers Windows The ground areas outside the base are populated by dangerous mushrooms.
AirBuccaneers Windows Roasting buccaneers with the flamer.

Promo Images

AirBuccaneers Screenshot
AirBuccaneers Screenshot
AirBuccaneers Screenshot
AirBuccaneers Screenshot

User Reviews

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Critic Reviews

PC Gamer Dec 25, 2012 80 out of 100 80
Destructoid Dec 17, 2012 7.5 out of 10 75
IGN Dec 19, 2012 7.5 out of 10 75
Calm Down Tom Jan 11, 2013 7 out of 10 70
Original Gamer Dec 28, 2012 6 out of 10 60

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Trivia

Original mod

AirBuccaneers started out as an Unreal Tournament 2003 mod, but development changed halfway and it was eventually released for Unreal Tournament 2004 in 2004. By contrast, the standalone title covered in this entry is made with the Unity 4 engine.
CalaisianMindthief (8165) added AirBuccaneers (Windows) on Apr 23, 2015