|Dev: Nitro Games|
|Pub: Paradox Interactive|
|Release: August 2, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p||Drug and Alcohol Reference, Mild Language, Mild Sexual Themes, Mild Violence|
Pirates of Black Cove has a few technical difficulties. For example, the A.I. pathing could have used some more refinement. I had one instance where I was supposed to track one of the fastest ships in the area. Once I found it, it promptly got itself hung up on a rock where I was able to mercilessly pound it with a nonstop rain of cannonballs. This type of scenario is rare while at sea, since the area you'll be traveling is so open, but it gets to be more of a problem on land where you'll have to escort a group of pirates around densely packed landscapes. In fact, I once had several troops get hung up on a signpost just yards away from our ship. Thankfully, I was able to have my hero get onboard the ship to reset my troops' locations. This problem can get even worse when your pirates have had too much grog and are staggering about.
But you won't have a lot of time to worry about it before you get back out on the open water with the itch to open fire on some more trade ships. I'm astounded at how much time I spent chasing down and sinking ships just to steal a few pieces of eight here and some good old-fashioned grog there.
Pirates of Black Cove makes a few missteps, but it excels in the most important area: the sea battles. Sure, there's a story, and sure, there are several collectibles to hunt down. But at the end of the day, this game is all about battling it out on the open sea. Pirates of Black Cove provides some of the most satisfying tactical nautical combat I've experienced in any game, and that more than makes up for anything it doesn't get one hundred percent correct.
The bottom line: If you love pirates and are craving a taste of RTS-type sea battles, Pirates of Black Cove may very well be your best option, if not your only option. And since there's a free gameplay demo available, there's really no reason to not hop onboard for at least a test drive.
CCC Editor/Contributing Writer