Become the most infamous pirate in the Caribbean in this addictive action strategy game
- Well paced, strategic gameplay
- Intuitive user interface and controls for ships
- Hub area lets you manage all aspects of gameplay
- Over 50 missions to complete
- Time management rewards the player
- Upgrade and repair ships at the Dockyard
- Purchase new ships at the Shipwright
- Poor soundtrack
- Sound effects could be more realistic at times
- Weak multiplayer
Buccaneer: The Pursuit of Infamy is a free action and strategy game for PC in which you captain a pirate ship across the Caribbean ocean in search of infamy, fortune and power. The game is available here as a demo version.
Core Gameplay and Features
If you've ever had a longing for the life of a pirate then this game might be just what you're looking for. Not only will you get to fulfil a promise to yourself, but you'll have a fine crew to look after, many different ships to command and upgrade, all in the relentless pursuit of infamy and untold wealth.
Core gameplay is divided into missions, over 50 in all, meaning there's definitely plenty to do. All missions can be accessed from Cutlass Bay, the central hub area of the game and home of your leader, the High Lord of the Golden Buccaneers. From here you can also upgrade and repair ships, purchase new ships and save your progress (more on this below). The main objectives of the game are to use these missions to expand your topographical knowledge, earn gold, and most importantly to increase your infamy across the Caribbean. When you start off, your topographical knowledge will be limited and the Chart Room, displaying your missions, will not reveal much. As you progress, new areas will be added.
Clicking on a mission will reveal its objectives (sinking ships, ramming ships, plundering cargo, etc.), a synopsis, the rewards for completing the mission (Infamy points, Gold Coins) and the Difficulty Rating. The more general goal of each mission is to complete it as quickly as possible and with as few errors as possible. Doing so will increase your infamy level as well as your crew's morale. Morale determines how quickly your infamy level drops. If your infamy drops too low, and crew morale similarly dips, you might have a mutiny on your hands, so be careful!
Controls for the game can be accessed from the in-game Settings menu. Maneuvering your ship is done using directional keys. Cannons are fired using the mouse buttons. An anchor is launched with spacebar. The user interface displays your objectives, morale, infamy, gold, ship condition/ ammunition and a map. In addition to smaller boats, the game will also include dynamic elements such as other pirate ships during missions. These pack quite a punch, so tread cautiously. The game offers no way of knowing how powerful a ship will be until you have taken fire. When you sink a ship, it's quite a satisfying feeling, prompting a cheer from your crew, and the unfortunate cries of the other crew. Completing a mission can be done by sailing out of the chart when you have completed all objectives.
Graphics, Visuals and Sound
Sailing through the vast Caribbean ocean seems very peaceful most of the time. The water effects are great, the camera angle is just perfect for your ship, and while the graphics are not that impressive up close, the colors and textures are perfectly suited to this kind of third person view. Cannon fire could definitely pack a bit more of a punch, as the sound effects in the game were not all that noticeable. The game also has no soundtrack to speak of, although it would be a little cliche to hear Pirates of the Caribbean in the background.
Upgrades and Repairs
A most welcome feature in the game is the ability to customize (upgrade and repair) your ship, adding a layer of micromanagement to already solid gameplay. The Dockyard facilitates this, accessible from the hub, offering options for Speed (Sail Quality), Firepower (Cannon Size), Durability (Hull Armor), Morale (Rum Rations, Share Plunder), Health (Hull Repair) and Ammunition (Rearmament) of your ship. Upgrades can be purchased using gold, and can be 'Improved', 'Good', or 'Excellent' in quality.
In addition to repairing your ships, the Shipwright lets you purchase new ships if you have the gold. Ships come in many increasingly strong classes such as Swift, Hawk and Condor
In addition to repairing your ships, the Shipwright lets you purchase new ships if you have the gold. Ships come in many increasingly strong classes such as Swift, Hawk and Condor. To make these available, you will have to complete missions. A stronger ship ensures better speed, firepower and durability, which in the long run will make missions easier.
As if the mayhem of battling enemy AI wasn't enough, the game also has a highly enjoyable multiplayer mode where you'll be able to test your skills against other players' ships. The mode supports up to 18 players who can battle it out or participate in co-op missions to sink other ships.
Whether you have any pirate blood in your or not, this is game worthy of anyone's attention. Become the captain of a pirate ship, complete over 50 unique missions, look after your crew's morale, increase infamy and prevent mutiny. Core gameplay is easy to master, with intuitive controls and a simple user interface. It's the extras, however, that impressed me the most, most notably the detailed upgrade system for your ships. Realistic graphics and sound effects made the objectives all the more satisfying to complete. Sink ships, ram ships, plunder ships, all in the name of your leader. The hub area of Cutlass Bay was also a nice feature, allowing me to micromanage every element of my play from one location. The music, unfortunately, was not that impressive, and the multiplayer gameplay could use some work. All in all, it passes as a thrilling, challenging and immersive action strategy game. Give the demo a download for free now!