I may have never been so damn frustrated with a video game. That is saying something. I’ve experienced abysmal combat controls, fought countless bad camera angles, awful voice acting and syncing, and slow storylines – but very rarely all in one game. “Sid Meier’s Pirates!” port to PC takes the gold medal on infuriating games that I keep on playing in hope.
The premise of “Pirates!” is so amazingly awesome. You are a pirate that is attempting to rise to fame by taking place in nautical battles and then boarding the ship and taking down the captain. You collect treasure, improve your fleet, and gather crew. You woo governor’s daughters, wage wars against different nations on behalf of politicians, and sail the seas. It sounds like it has the potential for everything you could want in a pirate sim.
Where does this game fall short? Oh, let me count the ways. This was originally an old school console game. The port was sloppily done, leaving the controls practically unplayable, awkward, and angering. There is no real dialogue – just sim-ish speaking, but the animation is not impressive in any way as it is entirely repetitive – just like all of the gameplay. Every ship battle is the same. Every spar is the same. Every dance with a governor’s daughter is the same. If there is one thing I know about being a pirate, it’s that every day brings something new. This game is nothing like that. It’s old, monotonous, and quite frankly boring.
What little storyline there is takes forever to access, as sailing across the world takes way too long. I’ve set my ship sailing forward (as I can’t seem to manually make it go any faster), walked away and made a sandwich, come back, and I’m STILL NOT THERE. I could see the town on my screen and was going in a straight line. How does that take five minutes?!?
I wanted this game to be so much more. I wanted it to make me feel like a real swashbuckler. I keep going back to test it again, but it’s not getting any better no matter how many hours I put into it. No matter how many battles I partake in, it’s just the same.
If they re-did this game, it could be awesome. An open ended, pirate like “Skyrim” sort of game would keep me interested for sure. Maybe such a thing already exists that I don’t know about. Anyone? Please save me! I had such high hopes for wooing ladies as a sexy seafaring captain, rich on treasure and life, and that has sadly fallen way short.
You should play this game if: you want to punch something.
Don’t play this game if: you have self-respect.
Overall GGG Score: 4/10 – only that high because the concept was good and sometimes the sea battles are fun.