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SummaryA pirate I was meant to be...
The GoodFor all of you who don't know it yet: this is the fifth game in the Sea Dogs series (originally named "Корсары"). The previous games are titled as follows:
Sea Dogs 1: "Sea Dogs: An Epic Adventure At Sea" (2000)
Sea Dogs 2: "Pirates of the Caribbean" (2003)
Sea Dogs 3: "Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales" (2005)
Sea Dogs 4: "Age of Pirates: City of Abandoned Ships" (2009)
Back in the day, "Pirates of the Caribbean" (which got the license of the Disney film) was my favourite pirate game of all time. I had played the classics "Pirates!", "Sea Legends", "Big Sea", "1869: History Experience" and many many more before that, but "Pirates of the Caribbean" was the one to keep me entertained for... well... years, actually. It just had everything: sailing, naval battle, exploration of many different areas of the isles on foot, trading, raiding forts and much more. The soundtrack was absolutely enchanting and while the game had a bit of a console feel to it (and a few bugs), it was just amazing. The two "Age of Pirates" games were great as well, but they had no real main story (at least not to the extent of the predecessor) - instead you could create your own character and just be free in the caribbean. Sounded nice on paper, but playing the game felt a bit redundant. (My REAL problem with those games was the atrocious StarForce copy protection on the disks. I just don't like rootkits on my PC, so I installed them both exactly once and when I grew tired of them, I uninstalled them, never to turn back to them again. "Better go back to Sea Dogs 2", I thought for many years.)
It's been SEVEN YEARS since the last instalment in the series and now there's finally a brand-new game! And thankfully, it offers everything the great "Sea Dogs 2/Pirates of the Caribbean" offered. Here, we FINALLY have the good old feeling of being back in the caribbean. There's only one character to choose, just as in Sea Dogs 2, and it's great because it comes with a strong story hook (no pun intended).
The BadWell, the game's engine feels exactly like the one from 2003, the voice acting is borderline silly and apart from SOME(!) high-res textures, the graphics seem like they are from 2006 or something. Instead of video sequences that tell the story, you get most of the exposition by dialog boxes (almost like in those anime visual novels). But don't let these minor shortcomings distract you, becaaaause:
The Bottom LineThis really *IS* what the perfect pirate game should feel like. It's a bit wonky, yes, but it's worth every second of your time, without a doubt. Here's why:
Want to sail your ship from island to island with the possibility of switching to real-time every second? You can! Want to buy and sell ships, freight, loot and other items, equipping the best weapons and armor to improve your stats? Then do that! Want to explore all the different islands on foot and discover exciting areas? This game has that, and it's gorgeous! Want to engage in exciting naval battles with the option of boarding enemy ships, attacking the enemy sailors with swords and guns, advancing to the captain's quarters in order to finish him and take over the ship? That's what this game is best at!! :) Want to raid cities/forts the same way - by attacking them with your fleet and then finishing them off with swords and guns? Heeeell yeah, go for it!
If you've ever thought "A pirate I was meant to be, trim the sails and roam the sea...", THIS is the perfect game for you!