Review by SaintDarkSide
"A fantastic game but requires an extreme amount of patience."
This review is spoiler free, please enjoy.
*AoP:2 = Age of Pirates 2.
To be honest, this is my first pirate game ever. I have looked into many games and spent a lot of time researching them and found this title to be very interesting. I have never played Age of Pirates 1 because *AoP:2 had just been released. If you have ever read my reviews before you will know that my reviews are based off of honest and selfless judgements on the game. I have done many reviews but the interesting thing is I only due reviews on games worth mentioning wheather good or bad. This game however has much to it than meets the eye! My reason for reviewing this game is because of all the negativity that has been surrounding it lately. It comes down to a simple divide...you will either love or hate this game. And like my title implies, it requires much patience. And of coarse all good things will come from there, the more you play the better you get, the more you learn and the more fun you will have. The first time I played this game I spent the first whole night just learning about it, the controls being the most difficult. These are the issues that will make or break you when it comes to playing this game. I originally wanted to give this game a straight 10 but...it isn't a fair score. The reason it isn't fair is simply because it does have its issues. Controls brought it down from 10 to 9. Yes the controls are really complicated and I could have docked this game 2 points but when I thought about it...they don't seem as bad when you learn and get used to them. I looked over the other issues with this game and thought long and hard what I should dock next...it came down to just one simple thing...Lack of explainations and tutorials. I will explain in much greater detail a bit later on but I want to clear a few things up as I continue on with this review. There are a few other things I could have docked from this game but once again, it wouldn't have been fair, not only that, it compensates.
Graphics and Stuff
I usually never start with graphics unless they are extremely noteworthy or extremely terrible. In this case they are neither. The reason why I started off with graphics first because next to controls, the graphics are the only other factor to turn someone off of this game. The graphics are great in this game actually, not gorgeous.....now when you hit the open seas....yes.....beautiful!
There are many modes you can switch to in this game. Regular "on-foot" mode, fighting mode, open seas mode, open seas first person and open seas third person mode. That is a lot! All that alone explains the amount of content you are about to get involved with, so think about the graphics. Everyone can have their own ideas and theories about why graphics stink or why graphics rock but it still must be viewed logically. Wait a sec?! I thought you said the graphics will make or break a person playing this game?? Oh yeah!! Sorry, let me explain that. Okay now while the open seas are absolutely gorgeous and watching the ships dance on the water and blow through storms is even more tasty...being on foot isn't so much. When you are in a town the graphics are mediocre for a 2009 PC game. The worst aspect of them are the people and their faces, it's just extremely bland. So why didn't I dock this game for that? isn't that fair? allow me to explain that... The game like I said "compensates". This is a pirate game after all and the bulk of the beauty in this game lies on the open seas you know! You should really view everything else as a plus....icing on the cake. Also consider the amount of content crammed into this bad boy, not everything can like absolutely jaw-dropping. But believe me when I say this, the graphics are by far not bad at all.
Controls.....Oh boy >.>
Here is the real killer! the terrible controls. I would be kidding you if I said the controls don't have very much of a learning curve. Certain PC games like many point and click MMORPG's with all they have and all you can do...they do it with just the mouse. Well....if you think that is what this will be like your out of luck. AoP:2 Incorporates the keyboard along with the mouse but the way it is done is so very awkward. Like I mentioned in my introduction section, there is a huge lack of explainations on well......everything. Here the game book will become your best friend and with it you should be fine. Usually games have a few stages or areas you go through where certain things are explained to you as you progress but here...you are on your own.
Arrrrrrgg. Sorry, I had to get that outta' my system, lets move on to the game play. This is the bulk right here for there is tons and tons of content you will lose yourself in.
Like the controls, use and read the book (yes it comes with a seperate map) as a hand guide for your travels through the carribean. You start off with all the expected basic stuff like choosing a character, nation (or starting point) you can tinker with your points or leave them be and choose to be either a Corsair, Adventurer or Merchant. And so it begins, and that is it lol. Okay let me explain a little better....I consider this game open ended. Or a "sand-box" game, meaning go and do as you please. Here once again you are depended upon to carve a path to fortune and glory or a slow painful one to self-destruction. Once again no explainations, this will push a lot of people away from this title due to the fact that you will get frustrated fast and just want to give up. All I can say is give it chance and just play it a lot. Don't play very seriously in the beginning and just be care-free. Don't be afraid to make more than one save and experiment with different settings and what not to see what best suits you. Don't be afraid to delete a profile and start a new one because you want that one to be your best shot (in the beginning get used to making multiple profiles so you can learn and do things the right way). This title will probably take you a good day to learn it and even than, there is more to learn. After you get passed this huge bump in the road you will truly experience this game for what it is worth and really see the greatness it has to offer......
You can do a multitude of things such as going out and jacking ships for your own or just going out and sinking them. As you build up your cash flow you will be able to hire/fire sailors and many other crew members to make your travels a ship load easier. You are the captain after all, you call the shots. You can sail to any spot in the carribean and make a name for yourself, be respected or the most feared pirate to sail the carribean seas, its all your call.
Oh wait!!....what about the sound...
Yup, I didn't forget. The sound is pretty decent, once again there is an up and down. When you are doing battle on the open seas, the sounds of the ocean and the sounds of cannonballs are super awesome. I don't know what it sounds like in real life but they sound terribly realistic. The music itself is decent, but something to be expected.
Overall/Replay value/Buy or forget
Overall I wanted to give this game a 10, but it wouldn't have been an honest review for those of you who are interested in this game. However the more you play this game it will become a 10 as it has for me. Yes its flaws brought it down a few notched but I try and give a non biased opinion and review of things. The game is pretty massive and open ended, prepare to be playing this title for a looooong time. If you seem interested in this game and want to take on and master the controls and can get over the little blandness from the graphics on land....BUY this game. If not don't even bother because it wouldn't be worth it.
Other issues and things...
I know this is just a review but I think a few things should be known, be sure to check your system requirements so you can play this game with no problems! And don't forget to game happy!
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 06/03/09
Game Release: Age of Pirates 2: City of Abandoned Ships (US, 05/26/09)
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