by Rook, reviewed on
Time to buckle a swash!
Flying Labs Software brings us a new high seas adventure with their newest MMO, Pirates of the Burning Seas in which the player takes an active part in the war raging between the major European powers of 1720 and the Pirate nation led by William Kidd himself. Needless to say, itís not historically accurate but simply set in an actual historical period.
One of the most impressive aspects of Pirates of the Burning Seas in general is its colorful soundtrack and musical score. Traveling on the open sea or zoning into either a town or battle instance will always be accompanied by theme and event appropriate music. Itís easy to miss the subtle sounds of the ambient background noise such as seagulls and waves breaking on the shore. Even walking around town, the player will overhear idle chatter of town inhabitants. The voice acting provided for the various NPCs is at the least, functional and entertaining.
Pirates of the Burning Seas is a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to graphics. The ships, obviously being the core of the title itself, look wonderful. Only 50 ships are actually advertised, but in truth, Flying Labs has taken the bold move at allowing player made content, after review, to be added to the game. From the smallest yacht to the largest Ships of the Line, there are over 150 playable ships, all of which are historically accurate and modeled off of the actual blueprints of the existing ship.
The ocean environment regardless of sailing around the open ocean or in the middle of combat is outstanding. The avatars running around however, are just not nearly as impressive. Even on the highest settings, characters still seem blocky and expressionless. Character animations are also something left to be desired. Running and simply walking just doesnít seem natural to the playersí avatar. Aside from that, the title over all is pretty graphic intensive. Those playing with just the required system specifications may experience some problems with options that arenít turned down or are off entirely.
Gameplay as a whole is surprisingly smooth. The handling of each ship has its own unique feel and weight as it cuts through this virtual sea. Avatar combat on the other hand, still needs some work. Thankfully, the interface does not work against the already cumbersome Avatar combat com system. The interface, ship combat and open seas sailing are streamlined and simple to navigate.
Ok, now that the particulars are out of the way, let address the real story here, what is it about? As stated earlier, Pirates of the Burning Seas takes place in the Caribbean of 1720. England, France and Spain are at each other throats in efforts to keep their foot hold already set in the Caribbean and milk it for all its worth. The player takes an active part in this on going conflict between the European powers and the Brethren, the Pirate nation forged and led by the notorious captain William Kidd.
The initial step of character creation will ask the player to choose nation. This will lock that player into that national allegiance for all characters made on that server. Once you make an Englishmen, all of the characters made on that server will follow suit. There are three different classes to be played, Naval Officer, Free trader and Privateers. Naval Officers are the pride of the royal crown and have full authority to wield the might and power offered by the nationís navy. Free traders are the businessmen of the Caribbean, and are designed to take full advantage of the free flowing, player made economy of the Caribbean. The Privateers are the hired guns of the sea. Signing on with one Nation, they have been granted to take part in legal piracy in order to harass and intercept enemy shipping and trade. Each class has its own specific class abilities that will set them apart from the other. As the fourth playing option, Pirates act as both nation and class when chosen by the player. Pirate, as a class, has its own specific skill sets to help them along a career of stealing, pillaging and tax evasion.
After the character creation process Ė wherein you can give your character the desired look of proper English Businessmen, ragtag swabby etc Ė is complete, the player is immediately thrust into the first tutorial of the game, which acts as a brief overview of some of the games basic mechanics. It will provide the playerís first taste in ship and avatar combat. After the tutorial is complete, the player is released into the starting town of their chosen nation to do what they please against the growing forces of the other three nations.
No Pros and Cons at this time