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Age of Pirates Review

Developer: Playlogic Publisher: Atari
Release Date: September 12, 2006 Also On: None

Sir Henry Morgan was a sea captain who sailed the Spanish Main in search of plunder in the seventeenth century. He found plenty of it on the high seas and in various cities in Cuba, Panama, and Venezuela. Indeed, pirate Morgan was a living legend. When he was called a pirate in print, however, he sued for defamation of character. Incredibly, he won, and was awarded £200 by a London jury. It’s interesting to realize that Pirates in general aren’t really what we’d expect. In a similar fashion, Pirate games aren’t exactly what we’d expect either. Age of Pirates, developed by Playlogic, seeks to enter unsafe waters due to massive domination by other Pirate games like Sid Meier’s Pirates! How does this game stack up? Well, let’s just say you don’t need a bottle of rum to be happy with this game.

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You start off with the option of either being Blaze Shark or Beatrice (depending on what you choose). In the beginning of the game you obtain a note that contains a map. Should you listen to the note, you’ll find yourself in an adventure where you are trying to find the other half of the map left by your long dead father. You start the game with a ship and a crew, and you immediately are thrown in the captain’s seat. Like many other games, you can choose to ignore the main quest and simply do what you want. It’s nothing groundbreaking since Grand Theft Auto popularized it in 2001, but it is still rather fun. If you do follow the storyline, it’s the equivalent of a decent soap opera.

The only real problem I had with the game is with its rather clunky control system. The battle system is rather unique when it comes to ship battles (one of the game’s highlights), but when it comes to hand to hand combat, let’s just say you might want to kill yourself with that sword of yours. The game lacks a real tutorial, which adds problems later on. That’s not to say all fighting is not fun. The ship battles reminded me actually of the fun I had all the way back with Skies of Arcadia. Like in many other games, you can make a name for yourself. It’s amusing to watch some citizens and merchants just get scared when they see you. To improve your reputation, you can attack the ports to even killing your opponents in the dead of night (like what a real pirate would do).

Age of Pirates boasts visually stunning graphics. This is one of the most beautiful aquatic games out there. The water is so realistic, with charming waves, and the sunlight is so elegant. You might need a high powered computer to run this, but bravo Playlogic. As for the audio, expect something positive, but not that amazing.

When we reach the replay value, expect around 15 hours. You’re not going to replay it sadly. Overall, I was surprised with Age of Pirates. Expecting little, I ended having a swashbuckling good time. If somehow Atari releases an expansion that fixes the annoying control system can be fixed, and it steps out of the shadow in a post GTA world, then I might become a pirate.

Graphics: 9.5
Sound: 8
Gameplay: 8
Creativity: 7
Replay Value/Game Length: 7
Final: 8
Written by Simon Review Guide