But it’s got gameplay to back it up, right? Right? Err, no. Remember Sid Meier’s Pirates!
(or Pirates! Gold
, if you came after my time)? Yeah, well, that’s a better game than Cutthroats
. Sure, Cutthroats
is considerably more realistic. But a pirate adventure/strategy/simulation should be fun. Cutthroats
, quite simply, is not. It gets bogged down in micromanagement and just sheer boredom. I really don’t want to deal with food and loyalty and rum constantly, and although the almost Elite
-esque trading mini-game is pretty interesting for a time, it makes for a dull pirate sim. I’d rather go play Elite
When you’re in a town, you can do such things as visit the shipwright’s, recruit new pirates, and talk to the governor. This last brought up some of the most boggling continuity problems I’ve ever seen. The governor of a small town (the Cayman Islands) greeted me. I chose “Friendly” (one of a few choices as to your method of talking), and he started ranting about having nothing for me to take. Oookay... so I left. And he says, “Thank you for visiting us! Please come again soon.” Did I miss something here? Or is there no logical connection between the two responses? Hmmm.
The battles should be interesting, though, right? Right? Err, no. They generally consist of a lot of confused right-mouse-button clicking, trying to decipher the tiny icons that pop up, and then watching your ships get the crap beat out of them. Whee. Luckily there’s a speed-up button that you can press to zoom your way out of battle, but that just takes you to the graphically ugly crow’s nest view where you watch little icon boats cruise around next to other little icon boats.
Really, folks, this is not what a pirate game should be like. Sure, the trading bit is somewhat fun, but there have been better games that treated the same subject with a lot more (interesting) depth. The combat is just plain boring, not to mention confusing as hell when you have more than one ship in your fleet. It’s as if Hothouse took all the cool ideas from Pirates! and suggestions to improve them, and... overdid it. The game went from being a lighthearted sim to being a really dull point-and-click wasteland.