by Chase Slaton, Crispy Gamer

Video Games: Pirates of Black Cove | Video Games Review

Back in 1987, Sid Meier released one of the great gems of early gaming, "Sid Meier's Pirates." It was remade and it not only received amazing reviews from critics and gamers alike, but went down in gaming history as being one of the best pirate video games of all time.

Even years later, it's still difficult to find a game that can outperform "Sid Meier's Pirates."

However, the rise of a new challenger to the pirate game throne in "Pirates of Black Cove." Developed by Nitro Games and produced by Paradox Interactive. "Pirates of Black Cove" promised to provide players with the opportunity to once again roam the seas as a pirate captain.

Prior to its release, "Pirates of Black Cove" looked like a fresh and exciting spiritual successor to "Sid Meier's Pirates." The game looked fantastic, the screenshots were intriguing, and the trailer filled many with anticipation. Once played, though, the only emotion "Pirates of Black Cove" actually evoked was disappointment.

"Pirates of Black Cove" is one of those tragic cases where a game's hype was far more exciting and enjoyable the actual game. While the gameplay trailer shows fast action, intense battles and tons of piratey goodness, the actual game is slow, stupid and intensely dull.

Players are given control of one of three generic pirate captains (sword guy, rifle guy and balanced girl) and placed in charge of a ship filled with drunken pirates. For the most part, the ship is controlled from above using the mouse and ASDW keys to steer, turn and fire cannons. As the ship navigates a fantastical, alternate version of the 16th century Caribbean, it can engage other ships in combat, travel to ports where goods and quests can be found, and explore the islands.

Sadly though, the towns are dull and while new structures can be built (essentially unlocked) they do little to expand the settlements. Your pirate ship can be upgraded by finding blueprints that are traded in at shops to unlock more-advanced ships and weapons, but the blueprints are scattered randomly across the map and exploration in "Pirates of Black Cove" is a painfully dull affair.

On land, the gameplay switches over to a very simple real-time RTS with players controlling their pirate captain and crew. Units are selected and moved about using the mouse, and combat is little more than clicking on enemy unit and watching as your pirates swarm the target. It's nothing new and nothing that hasn't been done better by a hundred other games.

As I played "Pirates of Black Cove," I came to realize what it was that the game reminded me of. "Pirates of Black Cove" looks, sounds and plays like a mid-1990s educational game aimed at the 7-to-12 crowed. The music is upbeat, the setting is happy and the gameplay is utterly simplistic. All it lacks is a cartoon parrot with a funny voice trying to teach you how to spell. Although this feeling was thrown off by the occasional attempt to be edgy by including unamusing murder-related jokes, Rastafarian pirates and weed jokes that would be considered pathetic even by Cheech and Chong's standards.

Only truly dedicated fans of the pirate genre should even bother to give "Pirates of Black Cove" a second glance, and even then all they'll find is a terribly dull game. The only thing that "Pirates of Black Cove" does well is lie to potential buyers about how fantastic the game is, and even then it still fails, as a demo is available on Steam.

If you have any urge to play this game then I beg that you please try out the demo before even contemplating giving the developers of "Pirates of Black Cove" any of your money because there's no way they deserve your $20.

The only people I could possibly recommend this game to are parents looking for a good, simple game for their children and who can overlook a few murder and drug related jokes. For everyone else, Fry It.

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"Video Games: Pirates of Black Cove | Video Games Review"