Age of Pirates 2: City of Abandoned Ships Game Review (Playlogic) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Age of Pirates 2: City of Abandoned Ships Game Review (Playlogic)

Age of Pirates 2: City of Abandoned Ships Game ReviewMy gaming background is probably relevant to this review so let me start there. Over the last few years, I’ve been predominately playing shooter and puzzle games so I can’t compare Age of Pirates 2: City of Abandoned Ships to any of its RPG contemporaries.

The game starts with an interesting premise as you have an open-ended story line (rather than getting forced down a single-threaded story line like RPG games I’ve played in the past). You can choose between one of three characters, merchant, corsair, or adventurer, and each of these characters has a different storyline. Once you select your character, you can customize his abilities (using the new PIRATES role playing system – more on this later) and choose to fly under a country’s flag or simply roam the seas as a pirate.

Age of Pirates 2: City of Abandoned Ships Game ReviewTwo of the three story lines start with you awakening on a ship in state of amnesia. The third character starts as a physician who provides support to the rebels. Here is where the open-ended story line comes into play -- every choice that you make affects the story’s outcome. These choices range from interacting with the colonial powers (which include governors, bankers and townspeople) and the missions that you complete (or fail to complete) and your interactions with your own officers and crew.

The choices you make in configuring your character’s abilities also influence the short and long-term outcomes in the game. The PIRATES role-playing system allow you to set your character’s Power, Impression, Reaction, Authority, Talent, Endurance and Success. While you gain in abilities with each quest and task that you successfully complete, it is advisable that you start the game with configuration that will support you in initial battles. In my first play-through, I died fairly quickly battling four of the undead in a jungle cave. While I liked playing as a corsair, you can chose to focus on trading and play as a merchant, which avoids a lot of the hand-to-hand and sea battles.

Age of Pirates 2 is an extremely detailed game and the number of quests (40+) should keep a gamer busy for weeks and months. The game comes with a map of the Caribbean and this new ‘game board’ is supposed to be 3 times the size of the previous Pirates’ “Caribbean Tales” title. Once you get through these quests, the game comes with a quest generator so this isn’t a game that you are going to play once and put down.

Taking a look at the ‘mechanics’ of the game, both graphics and sound are solid. The graphics aren’t pushing any boundaries (the game reminds me of the Ultima games that I played a few years back) but I have no complaints and sound fits well into the background of the game. My only complaint was the game controls, as you need to move and fight using a combination of the mouse and keyboard. I don’t know if this is standard in other RPG games but the game movements took me a while to get used to. I found myself getting overwhelmed in battle quickly until I got used to these dual-handed movements.

Overall, Age of Pirates 2 is good stuff and will likely appeal to fans of Civilization and Risk.