Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales

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Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales
Game: Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales
Platform: PC
Studio: Atari
Rating: 7/10

GAME DESCRIPTION: Age of Pirates: Caribbean Tales” models all the details of a sword swinging pirate’s life and misses no part of his everyday adventures. Taking the role of reckless fortune-hunter Blaze or redheaded daredevil Beatrice – the player will navigate his sailor in the original seas of the Caribbean, trade multiple goods, plunder merchant convoys, accomplish quests, build up his fleet, capture and rule colonies and much more. Following his lucky star he lives an endless life full of naval battles, bloody fights, treasure hunt and other adventures, in a world of piracy and sea romance. In addition, the game can be played in third person perspective, allowing you to walk through your colonies or fight with your own sword, side by side with your crew, and challenge every other captain on the sea! Beat different weather conditions and fight devastating storms in day and night mode. Conquer colonies, manage them and construct different town buildings and improve their defence Join multiplayer battles with up to 16 real captains and prove to be a real sea dog in four different modes (Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Defend the Convoy or Capture the Fort) Stunning visuals in 3D, play your pirate in third person perspective and sail your ship with a flexible, zoomable camera through the Caribbean sea.

PLAY: Age of Pirates opens with a storyline—but it’s up to you to decide if you follow the given narrative or take your chances to pillage your way to riches. That alone offers great replay value as you can go through the game one way and then start over and follow the story through or vice versa.

Depending upon the pirate you chose, you start with a ship and crew that leave something to be desired. But this is a pirate tale and you will do what pirates do best—fight. Ships can launch different types of shots from cannonballs to grapeshot. You also have to know when to fight and when to run. An important factor in sea battles is the wind. You must approach a larger ship at angles that help ensure victory. Our approach was to destroy our opponent’s sails before trying to destroy their ship. A top down approach is wise if you hope to keep the ships from chasing you to the ends of the earth. This can also hurt you—if your sails start to take on damage your speed will fall quickly. The controls aren’t perfect and can often be frustrating. It’s very difficult to sail into the wind no matter the speed and that can leave you vulnerable to a ship sailing with the wind.

Another approach is to board an enemy ship—or be boarded—and fight hand-to-hand. Your weapon of choice is a sword and you have very limited combat skills—as you’d expect. You can also use a pistol, but it’s not nearly as much fun. The fighting is a little too easy for my liking. Like a lot of video games that rely on bullying, as your reputation grows so does your ability to scare people across the land. With your reputation comes power and ability to take on ports as fear often causes many to cower in your presence.

GRAPHICS: The graphics are quite nice and the waters look very good. We were impressed by the waves how well they reflected objects.

FRANKLY: Age of Pirates is not quite as good as Sid Meier’s Pirate, but it doesn’t have to be to be lots of fun. Age of Pirates has a few things right and a few things wrong. We would recommend it.

+ Richie Wright

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