Pirates! Preview

From GamesDomain

Boarding actions play out like pirate action films, pitting you against the enemy captain in sheer contests of reflexes. The numeric keypad allows a mix of low, medium, and high attacks, and you'll occasionally have the chance to interact with bits of the local scenery. Force the enemy captain over the rails and the ship is yours -- to sell, scrap, or add to your own personal fleet (for a maximum of eight vessels). Hopefully, you haven't trashed the ship too badly in the process of procuring it.

There are at least 27 types of ships to be commanded, and the available ports of call come in four national flavors: Dutch, English, Spanish, and French, all with appropriate cues such as building styles, visible flags, and the like. Since a completely predictable world isn't much fun, there will also be environmental "wild cards" such as unaligned colonies, Indian villages, and even townships operated by piratey scoundrels such as yourself. Rumors even abound of lost cities, if you've a mind and the time for that rubbish...

The various factions, like their historical counterparts, have competition issues, and it's up to you to take advantage of them. In true swashbuckling fashion, it's not only possible but encouraged to play the factions against each other for maximum profit and entertainment value. Earning promotions to new ranks for the various provincial governments will unlock new side-quests and story objectives. Of course, eventually you'll cheese somebody off badly enough that you make the Top Ten Pirates list, which means the unwanted attentions of AI pirate hunters! Bad-boy notoriety is not always a good thing...

...except in the case of the ladies! As your name gains recognition with the various provincial governors, you may catch the eyes of their daughters. You dashing rake, you. The beautiful daughter of a wealthy official is a good catch, but you have to learn how to dance to boat that bass. This requires following her subtle visual leads in a ballroom sequence that isn't terribly distant from the scene in Disney's Beauty and the Beast. Make a good showing and you can earn special items and even a satisfying, lucrative marriage.

Am I the only one who''s a bit concerned with the shift of focus from the act of piracy (capturing ships for fun and profit)? The last thing I want is to be hung up on a ''level'' cuz some guys daughter doesn''t like the way I dance. *grimace* It''s too similar to my memories of high school.

Of course, this one has a good pedigre and Sid''s name on it and all. I have enjoyed most of the titles from Firaxis.

I hope the dancing is just the equivalent of a side-game, one that you can take or leave it as you please.

I cannot wait for this one either.

If it''s really taking the ""sandbox"" approach, then it''s gotta be a side-game.

This is probably going to be my most looked-forward to game this year. I must have bought Pirates! in every iteration available...

I''m a little torn here, because I have wonderful memories of Sea Dogs filling in for Pirates! fairly well when that was out and about. And part of me wants that, the extra realism and fun that offered, but the simpler aspects in Pirates! is a draw.

If this can give me a lot of space, a good amount of time, and good naval battles though, i''ll be happy.

EDIT: More From IGN.com

"Prederick" wrote:

I''m a little torn here, because I have wonderful memories of Sea Dogs filling in for Pirates! fairly well when that was out and about. And part of me wants that, the extra realism and fun that offered, but the simpler aspects in Pirates! is a draw.

If this can give me a lot of space, a good amount of time, and good naval battles though, i''ll be happy.

EDIT: More From IGN.com

So I''m reading the Patrick O''Brian novels. Is there any good age of sail style games out there?

Ah, the O''Brien novels. Great series!

As an aside, one of my brothers named one of his twin daughters Aubrey, after Captain Aubrey. [That might be taking it a bit far]

Regarding age of sail style games, a day or so ago a new demo came out for Port Royale 2. You might try that. Other than that, I''d wait for Pirates.

[quote=""CEJ

So I''m reading the Patrick O''Brian novels. Is there any good age of sail style games out there?[/quote]

There was a pretty active group still playing Age of Sail
MP about 6 month''s ago. They get together on GameSpy
tho''. Do a Google and I''m sure you get a hit on them.
They have ''officer''s'' and the whole bag. They seemed
like a good bunch of folks. (there are some links if I remember correctly at the Age of Sail site.)

p.s. I was a Bolitho fan for a long time.