Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Pirates of the Black Cove Impressions

Pirates of Black Cove
This is a new game that was just released on steam today, August 2nd, developed by Nitro Games. It looked a lot like Sid Meier's Pirates!, but doesn't live up to the expectations that Pirates! left behind- although, Pirates! was a full retail game and this is merely $19.99. You have a ship that you control, via mouse or keys, which controls very much like an arcade pirate game would. It is all direct control, there isn't any consideration for wind or current and the ships have special weapons that are very unrealistic. I am not saying that arcade games like this are bad, but when a game is so similar to another game, all I can do is see comparisons. Another similarity is that they both have land combat. The land combat in Pirates of the Black Cove plays out like an adventure game, one in which you control many units at once. There is little strategy to land combat, mostly existing as a chaotic mash up, where all your units are flailing around in a big mass of bodies. I am a bit let down by land battles; I actually saw a bit of promise with ship combat, but with land battles I felt nothing.
Where are the enemies in this fight?

So far I haven't made this game sound all too good, but it does have some good qualities. As I previously mentioned, ship combat can be fun, but I greatly preferred the ship combat of Pirates!. Barraging an enemy and seeing it impact their ship is satisfying, but not enough to make you want to seek out more encounters. Also, in the demo, I sunk upwards of six ships and only one of them dropped any kind of reward. The graphics for this game are impressive, but it's not evenly distributed. Character models and buildings are decent at best, while the land foliage and sea both look really inviting. Sure the sea graphics aren't anything compared to a game like Shogun 2, but for a small game like this they did a good job. The world does have a large level of depth to it. There are ship upgrades, ships to unlock, buildings to build, challenges to overcome, factions to deal with, and three unique characters that all have their own skills and attributes.

Release Trailer

This game has promise, but it ultimately just made me want to go find my old copy of Sid Meier's Pirates!. I like the amount of depth it has, but the fundamental mechanics of the game are very flawed. On top of that the controls are pretty clunky for both sea and land. I want to like this game more, but I can't. Sorry Pirates of the Black Cove, think I'm gonna go find my copy of Pirates!. The game has a demo and is priced at $19.99 on steam.

Thanks for reading.
-Written By Sean Cargle


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