I'm on a Boat Sim

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The coolest part of E3 is seeing games just outside the normal spectrum. With a show floor packed with first-person shooters, fitness games and other ďme tooĒ properties, itís always fun to see something different.

Ship Simulator Extremes fits the mold. Before visiting Paradox at E3, I had no clue the game even existed, but Ship Simulator Extremes is actually the third in a series that has sold nearly 450K copies and has cultivated a hardcore following. Not bad for such a niche title.

The concept behind Ship Simulator Extremes isnít much different than a flight sim, only in the water rather than the air. Gameplay takes place from either a third-person view of your ship or from the bridge of your meticulously modeled ship. In fact, nearly everything in the game is simulated, including stars and planets in the sky. Although your ship is outfitted with the latest in guidance technology, itís possible to navigate via the stars if you desire.

As unexciting as piloting a big, lumbering ship may sound, Ship Simulator Extremes should provide plenty of excitement for ship enthusiasts or anyone curious enough to give it a try.

The stories featured in the three campaign missions are culled from real-life stories, some from the gameís community. In one, you play the captain of a cruise ship sailing from Marseilles to Bora Bora. Your first goal is to make sure the ship doesnít sink or become stranded on Hydra Island, though youíll also have to worry about keeping passengers happy. Another mission puts you in charge of a Greenpeace vessel in the Antarctic. Here, your mission is to track down and disrupt illegal whaling operations. You wonít be able to attack whaling ships head on, though you can use water cannons to interrupt whalers trying to shoot harpoons.

After completing a mission, youíll unlock video interviews with the captains who lived your virtual adventure. Youíll also uncover pictures and newspaper clips proclaiming your victories.

In addition to single player, Ship Simulator Extremes includes online multiplayer. Although there will be a few co-op missions, a big part of multiplayer will come from whatever fun players can devise. The game also ships with a mission editor players can use to create their own missions and upload for others to play.

Ship Simulator Extremes was one of the most interesting games I saw at E3, hands-down. It may not appeal to everyoneís tastes, but itís something Iím looking forward to when it hits in August 2010.

STAT BOX
Product
Ship Simulator Extremes
Company
Paradox
Date
06/20/2010