by Howie Howard
previewed on PC
Full speed ahead
Akella is well known in the computer gaming world as the developer of seafaring strategy and simulation games. They always produce games that incorporate cutting edge graphics with the latest advancements in game play and computer AI. With their new game PT Boats: Knights of the Sea you can expect to see more of the same. This one has been in the oven for quite sometime now but it is almost ready for consumption. Expect it to hit store shelves sometime around the end of this year. Publisher 1C Company is in charge of getting this one to market. So hoist your anchor and lets go full speed ahead as we find out more about this fantastic looking WW2 simulation!
When I first encountered this World War 2 based simulation I immediately thought of former US president John F Kennedy and his exploits as a commander of a PT Boat during the 2nd World War. This game attempts to provide the gamer with an experience much like what Lieutenant Kennedy experienced. Only this one takes place in the Atlantic theater and not the Pacific like Kennedy's PT-109 did. As with most games of this genre the game player will start out as commander of a single PT boat. He/she will be able to choose which allied force they want to fight with. It could be the Americans and her allies, the Russians and even the German side. Many may not be aware of the fact that the Germans, who were famous for their Wolf Pack force of submarines, also had a very capable anti-sub force of patrol boats.
PT boat missions
The player will have the opportunity to man each and every one of the stations on the PT boat. When the game starts off you will be a green Lieutenant in command of a single boat. You will be tasked with accomplishing various missions from sub hunting to air interdiction and of course torpedo missions. Being that the PT boat was a fast and stealthy vessel you can even expect to go on missions where you must insert commandos behind enemy lines or other non-combative missions such as playing as a decoy. As the commander, the player can either chose to navigate the boat as the helmsman in the default position or he can decide to play as one of the gunners and try to shoot attacking enemy fighters out of the sky with a 50 caliber machine gun. Don't expect to have any fancy gun sites or optics because iron sites were the order in this war. This game patterns itself after historic situations and playing as the torpedo sailor has to be one of the most exciting positions on the boat, as the results of your work can be very satisfying. When your torpedo slams into a merchant vessel with a resounding thump and resulting massive explosion you feel like you have done your part for the war effort.
Rising in the ranks
As you progress through the various missions as a career PT boat officer you will gain promotions and decorations. This part of the game is always my favorite. As you advance up the ranks you will be expected to carry more responsibility. This new responsibility will consist of you commanding a full squad of PT boats. As group commander you will be expected to come up with a winning attack strategy. Yes you will still be able to man the aft gun and shoot down an attacking Messerschmitt but you will have to keep an eye on the ever changing and on going battle. When you take your turn as the gunner or torpedo man you can rest assured that the computer AI will handle things just right at the positions you are not controlling. The game AI in this one is very advanced and it won't let you down, much like other AI's in games of this ilk did in the past. If you really do not feel like playing a historically correct campaign then you can chose to play a single mission or even man the guns and torpedoes in arcade mode.