Posted: May 2
Early Access Review
Quite disappointed, I must say.
As a long time modder and player of Mount & Blade since its first betas many years ago, I'd have expected a full dev team to add a whole lot more "piratey" and overall new features in this "standalone game", but unfortunately, currently it mainly feels like With Fire And Sword in the Carribean. The gear is practically the same (even some M&B pirate mods offered a greater variety of dress, including pirates with hooks and wooden legs and parrots on their shoulders) and you even get "steppe horses" in the Caribbean. C'mon guys, at least rename them...
Ship combat is clunky, the camera control in ship combat is frustratingly useless, getting the view from one side of the ship to the other takes ages and game controls settings offer no settings for ship combat. It tries to function like Sid Meier's Pirates! sea battles did, you know, tiny ships circling, exchanging cannon fire, but delivers terribly. Personally it also bothered me that there's no option to have non-flagship fully manned own fleet ships board enemy ships, and you also can't transfer men from fully manned ships to your depleted flagshipship during a battle, so if you lost a lot of men in the first boarding, you're pretty screwed for subsequent ones, while a couple fully loaded allied ships circle around. Cannon range is also terribly silly. Most of the sea-battle time you're out of range, but as soon as you're in range, particularly for manpower-destroying grapeshot, you get boarded (at a distance of twice the length of your ship???).
Fights on shipdeck are ok, but there is a lot of pathfiding issues, guys getitng stuck, so you have to deliver a mercy shot to some unfortunate stuck enemy, to end the battle, if you can find him. And going overboard means drowning even if you're lightly dressed. The only thing that works fine are the land battles, which are your basic, unchanged Mount & Blade fights.
The pirate game I compare this to and which I most enjoyed so far, was the New Horizons mod for Pirates Of The Carribean game. http://www.moddb.com/mods/new-horizons
In spite of its age, it offers excellent first and third person sea battles, cannon aiming, different types of cannons, decent shipdeck swordfights (M&B engine seems better for these, to be honest), good storylines and a much more convincing Carribean look and atmosphere than this game here. And it's completely free (if you can find the original POTC game anywhere still).
Unless the 30% this game claims is still unfinished in its Early Access stage dramatically improves the atmosphere, sea battles, fights, adds some unique new features that we haven't played to death in Mount & Blade already, and generally makes it more "Arrrrr! Ye scurvy dogs!", I honesly cannot recommend it, even though I would love to, as pirate games are generally a fun thing.
It's definitely NOT worth the €14.99 I could have spent on a few satisfying pints of ale instead.
If you want this sort of gameplay, buy Mount & Blade: Warband instead and try out dozens of excellent FREE mods for it. Much better value.
Several people complained about game crashes. I have to say that I haven't experienced a single one in all my playtime so far. Either I have been very lucky or missed some crashing bugs, or it could be that their systems are causing the crashing as M&B games tend to be very RAM heavy.