My impressions on booting up Pirates of Black Cover for the first time (wow, this looks really good) and my impressions on playing more of the game (why the hell am I even playing this?) are so much in contrast, it can be hard to believe they’re about the same game. When you first launch of pirates of Black Cove, you’ll see the wonderful, charming visuals, the catchy music, the good (at first) voice acting, the funny (at first) pirate jokes, and the rich character that the game in general has. And as you play on, you see that neither the voice acting, not the jokes, nor the gameplay (which could have been so rich and deep in a game like this) are good.
The game involves two aspects: naval combat and ground combat. And both of them are impeccably boring and mindless. In ground combat, you select all your characters at once and click on the enemies you want them to attack, kind of like in an RTS. That’s it. For a game that claims to be an RPG, or for a game that claims to be a game, that is incredibly dull and simplistic and boring. When you’re in your ship and battling against other ships, all you do is circle around each other and shoot canons till your opponent is down. That, too, is all there is to ship combat.
Not only is this very boring and mind numbing, it also makes the game very repetitive and it feels like its dragging on and on. If the game had good, deep RPG or RTS elements to it, it could have been a salvageable situation. But no, there’s little to no collection in-game, and the stupid experience points you gain, you spend on even stupider upgrades.
While the game could have made up for the lack of enjoyment to be found in the gameplay department by being a funny, rich game, it fails to do even that. The characters are all similar to each other and boring, with lame “Arrrr!” pirate jokes being thrown at you all the way. The jokes seem charming at first and seem to give the game character, but soon, they get on your nerves. The voice acting, too, takes the pirate act too seriously. It can get on your nerves sometimes, and you just feel like playing the game on mute.
The AI too is very stupid. The hit collision detection is pathetic, and often canons fired by me just went through entire ships without causing any harm. The glitches reign supreme in this game. Doesn’t matter if your characters are heroes or newly hired recruits, they were incur the same damage and loose the same amounts of health at all attacks. It frustrates me a lot to see a game with such dumb mechanics.
All is not bad in Pirates of Black Cove, though. As mentioned in the beginning of the review, the graphics are very good, with a very charming art style. It shows that Paradox put a lot of work into making the graphics of this game as good as possible. Similar is the sound. The music composition is great, with some great tracks that will be stuck in your mind for sure, given that you play the game long enough to recognize them (which I doubt highly). Both the graphics and the sound are really good, and it shows that Paradox put a lot of work into them. it would have been good if they had given the entire game a similar treatment.
Ultimately, Pirates of Black Cove does have a lot of potential, but sadly, never lives up to it. There are some good aspects to the game- the graphics are charming, the sound is very well composed. The gameplay, though, is just plain boring, with repetitiveness, bugs, stupid AI and dumbed down mechanics bringing down all its aspects in terms of quality and enjoyablity. Surely, you shouldn’t spend your money of the game, maybe get to try it out at your friend’s place. But then again, you should recommend your friends not to buy this game either.
This game was reviewed on the PC.
Very good, pleasing artistic style that gives the visuals a great punch; The music is pretty good; Voice work is good
Lots of glitches; Boring land combat; Ship combat is mindless and stupid; AI is dumb; Very repetitive; Pirate jokes can get on your nerves
Pirates of Black Cove gets a few things right, and definitely has a ton of potential, but sadly, it fails to deliver in most aspects, and what we get instead is a broken, glitchy, boring game.