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Platform

Playstation 2

 

Genre

Action?

 

Publisher

Atari / 1C

 

Developer

Akella

 

ESRB

T (Teen)

 

Released

November 2007

 

 

- The source material gave this game potential

- Some decent action game elements

 

 

- The game tries to cram in too much; it can't decide what kind of game it wants to be

- The Similish ramblings of the characters gets old really, really fast

- Story isn't interesting enough to hold your attention past a handful of hours

 

 

Review: Pirates of the Caribbean (XB)

Review: Pirates: The Legend of Black Kat (XB)

Review: Tomb Raider Anniversary (PS2)

 

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Swashbucklers

Score: 4.0 / 10

 

swashbucklers          swashbucklers

 

Swashbucklers is one of those games that just can't make up it's mind.  First it's an action game with guns and swords, then it's an economic "economic" simulation", then it's a ship-to-ship battle, then it's a role-playing game, then it's an adventure game.  Two things are for sure: it's got pirates in it and it's a mess.

 

Set during America's Civil War period, the developers had a lot of source material to draw from.  And some of it's actually interesting.  For about three minutes.  

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Through a clunky tutorial, you're given all the basics of getting a crew together, getting a job, hitting the ocean, engaging in ship-to-ship encounters, boarding said ship, plundering it, then scuttling or selling it at auction.  And you perform those actions again and again with little in the way of motivation to keep you interested.  There's really no story here and because localization is

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so bizarre -- characters speak a drunken "Similish" with a Finnish accent with subtitles to tell you what they're actually saying -- once you've slogged through the first couple of hours you'll lose patience and stop caring about playing.

 

swashbucklers          swashbucklers

 

Games like Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl, which was a role-playing game with action elements, and even the now-ancient, Pirates: The Legend of Black Kat, which concentrated on cartoony pirating, offer better experiences simply because they focus on what they want to do.  I can't tell what Swashbucklers goal was, what kind of game it wanted to be.  Stripping out some of the random "adventure game" elements and replacing them with a stronger set of overarching goals would have gone a long way to making Swashbucklers much more playable.

 

It's priced as a budget title, but unless you're a big fan of pirates, there's not a lot here for the average gamer.

 

- D.D. Nunavut

(December 24, 2007)

 

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