Captain Blood Preview
Xbox 360 | PC
Captain Blood box art
System: X360, PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: Sea Wolf 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: 1C Company 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Q2 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Pending 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
Are We There Yet?
by Leon Hendrix III

December 10, 2009 - You've been more patient than anyone could've asked if you've been following Captain Blood. This one has been on and off the hook more times than I can count. Rarely does a game bridge the gap between two generations of console technology without at least releasing a playable demo or beta. There is definitely something different about the Captain, and if you've stuck with him this far, maybe you deserve some booty… by which, of course, I mean treasure. Developer Sea Wolf is aiming to pay you back for all your loyalty, but, like a loan to a friend, it may take a bit longer than you thought.

Captain Blood screenshot

Sea Wolf and Russian publisher 1C have been tooling around with this property since the days of the original Xbox (easily 3 or 4 years). Fans of this game, those poor, selfless, and understandably pissed individuals, are probably going to be further disappointed by the recent re-renaming of Captain Blood's release date. But it could be a blessing in disguise; after postponing the original Xbox release date, the team went back to the drawing board and returned a few years later with what looked like and, to a lucky few, played like a versatile and exciting pirate adventure with a style all its own. With a few extra months of polish and the experience of developing on the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise (for all the good that does) Sea Wolf could have all it needs to finally put the finishing touches on this action adventure title.

Captain Blood, for all you landlubbers out there, is the titular character in a series of novels by Rafael Sabatini based on a 17th century Irish rogue. The stories, written in the first half of the 20th century, detail the seafaring, swashbuckling, wench-wrangling adventures of a doctor named Peter Blood. Arrested for aiding rebels and sentenced to exile and slavery in the Caribbean, Blood escapes with a shipmate and friend, Jeremy Pitt, and assumes the much more awe-inspiring moniker of Captain Blood.

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It's a good career move. I'm not sure what kind of sea-cred Dr. Blood MD gets you and Peter Blood will need all the advantage he can get. The Spanish Main is a dangerous place. During your time on the high seas, you'll lead the good Captain from ship to shore, you'll hunt for treasure, you'll amass the meanest fleet this side of the British Isles, and you will earn your name with the blood of hundreds of pirates and rouges.

Captain Blood screenshot

It's a good career move. I'm not sure what kind of sea-cred Dr. Blood MD gets you and Peter Blood will need all the advantage he can get. The Spanish Main is a dangerous place. During your time on the high seas, you'll lead the good Captain from ship to shore, you'll hunt for treasure, you'll amass the meanest fleet this side of the British Isles, and you will earn your name with the blood of hundreds of pirates and rouges.

Set in the Caribbean, the game's action (so far) is divided mostly into two play styles: on land and onboard your ship, the Arabella. On land, players will control Captain Blood from a traditional third-person action perspective as he battles the scurvy hordes. Captain Blood attacks with swords and muskets primarily. When you've weakened foes, one-button fatalities showcase some of the more extreme moves at your disposal. In one trailer, the Captain leaps then slams his opponent to the ground and pummels him with his fists before burying a very jagged and likely unsanitary blade into his throat as the proverbial 'final nail'. Other moves result in decapitations and impalements, as blood spurts all over the screen. It's gory stuff, but the game's visual presentation handles it lightly enough. The overall cartoony-Final Fantasy VII/Kingdom Hearts-look may take gamers aback when the blades start flying. Incidentally, the very over-the-top third-person action is punctuated by the boss battles fueled mainly by quick-time cinematic fights. If you're into that sort of thing, I guess it's cool.

Captain Blood screenshot

The other main part of the action takes place fittingly onboard your ship. Battles on the sea are actually pretty thrilling. Ships, which can be upgraded by earning gold in fights, can be equipped with cannons, battering rams, and flame throwers. As you battle it out, you can switch from the aerial view, like in Sim City or Sid Meier's Pirates, to a third-person perspective where you actually man cannon and take aim at your enemies. When you board an enemy ship (or if yours is boarded), you attack and defend with the support of your crew. Winning a ship battle adds the vessel to your fleet.

Sadly, there's not much media out there for 'Blood'. A couple of trailers have been available online since the playable demos debuted at Gamescon earlier this year. Assuming we do see this title in its current release cycle, the time-out could hurt 1C's new game. Moreover, there's nothing exactly innovative on the checklist in Captain Blood; a few of the gameplay features are starting to become old hat, for instance, quick-time boss fights. It may not be a terrible idea, but Sea Wolf definitely has the work cut out for them when it comes to presenting that particular concept in a way that doesn't make gamers want to jump ship, so to speak. It remains to be seen if Sea Wolf and 1C can manage to keep gamers and fans excited enough to reach their new release date.

By Leon Hendrix III
CCC Freelance Writer


Game Features:

  • Battle to claim a deadly fleet and rule the seas.
  • Use bloody fatalities and combos to dispatch your foes.
  • On land, blades, fists, guns and bombs take the fight to your enemies.


  • Screenshots / Images
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