Over the countless years, I’ve probably encountered over a dozen or more “pirate” games for PC. From Cutthroats to Sea Dogs. From Sid Meier’s to Buccaneer to even getting The Patrician series as it had sailing ships in it.
However, I’ve played nothing that is quite like this. Bar, maybe, the sea battles of Sea Dogs. But this categorically leaves Sea Dogs in Davey Jones’s locker along with the rest of the aforementioned.
I’m not saying those games are bad. That’s not true. I played Cut throats in the 1990’s for hour upon hour. Hunting for that all but elusive Spanish treasure galleon.
I just loved the fact that you had a PC game and you could do ANYTHING you wanted to do. They are all an open book to be written as you feel fit. Though, some did have a story line that you could follow, if you so desired.
Naval Action is, in my opinion, stunning. The graphics. The ships. You can even build your own ship!! The sea battles. The game play. OK! It may not be for some. I’m sure that some will find it a little tedious to sail from place to place. But I find it tedious that a lot of PC games are just “wham, bang, thank you mam”, type of games where there very little thought, but lots of action.
The fact that in Naval Action, you CAN and WILL get lost in the middle of the Caribbean Sea is… Is… Something to be really proud of.
Most likely, you’ll get lost by your own stupid human error. Setting sail from Cuba, you’re headed south to Jamaica. All is OK for the first 10 minutes. Then 10 minutes ends up being 20 minutes and it is now that you start to look around the sea for signs. ANY signs. No Land. No Ships. Not even a flippin’ Albatross to blame. It’s getting dark. The sun’s setting and there’s a mist spreading over the becalming sea. That picture had taken your mind away from your immediate predicament. But regardless, you still watch it slowly setting.
Then it’s back to reality.
Where the heck am I?
What direction did I put myself in?
So you check. Why was I heading South East, when I just needed to head South?
Oh! Well. At least the designers of the game have given you and “emergency beacon” to use. Use it and it lets you teleport back to your capital city. Depending on which of the numerous nations you decide to choose from at the beginning of the game.
But this is almost a use once option. You use it and afterwards, you cannot use it again for another 3 hours of game play. So it is to be used at your discretion and used wisely.
So, in summing up.
If you like the tall ships of the 18th century (And frankly, who doesn’t?).
If you would like to command one (And who wouldn’t?)?
If you like the Caribbean?
If you like a thoughtful game, which has enough intense action in battles, then getting this game would be a most welcome and very wise move, on your part.
Sadly, I have to go now and sort my rat infested ship. Then off to try and sort out my flea infested, pox ridden scurvy crew by keeping their tempers blithe with a barrel or two of rum.
Oh! Well. The life of an 18th century ships commander isn’t all about treasure, rum, wooden legs, walking the plank and warm seas. It’s not about loosing off a broadside of cannons against some foe and, well, finding the curvaceous talents of the even looser women found in some stinking drinking hole in a place they deem fit to call a port.
“So. Arr! Vaass, mateys. I ‘ope to see ye in Port Royal one day. Now… Where’d me flippin’ parrot get to?”.