Ok so I just downloaded this game and have had a chance to try it out a little. I must say I'm not terribly impressed. The graphics are maybe the best thing about the game in my opinion. I find the controls a bit lacking largely due to the point and click feature. Or should I say point and click and click. Because nine times out of ten I'm having to click twice to get anything to happen. Which can get real annoying when you're moving and suddenly have a firing solution because thus far I've only been able to fire when standing still. So if I don't double click quickly enough to stop moving I can loose that firing solution.
In terms of controls I'd prefer something akin to the 2004 remake of Sid Meier's Pirates! for PC. The controls for ship to ship combat there are comfortable and work well, and I feel they'd work well here. But the problem with that is that you may be in command of multiple ships at once and I'd have to wonder how you would control each of the ships under your command at once with that system. Though it would give a continuous flow to battle that feels lacking in this game.
For me the strange thing about that feeling is that Ironclads: American Civil War is a turn based game. I've enjoyed playing Robert E Lee: Civil War General and Civil War Generals II, both of which are turn based games. Each "general" gets to maneuver their forces in turn, launching their attacks when it's their turn. There it doesn't really bother me that the flow of the game isn't fluid and that you have to wait to maneuver in response to what the enemy "general" did during their turn. I guess I treat those games more like a game of chess or checkers or like a field commander actually reacting to a changing battlefield. I don't know which. But here it just feels like there should be a more fluid feel to the game, that rather than each "admiral" getting their individual turn both should be maneuvering at the same time. Neither land nor naval warfare featured one side stopping and allowing the other side to maneuver and attack, but at least on land one side might try digging in or forming a firing line to hopefully repel attacks. Ships would have kept maneuvering I'd think, always trying to attack while at the same time trying to prevent an attack.
Also in the aforementioned games you had attackers and defenders, which is to say the "general" waiting for their turn was on the defensive and their forces would fight back when attacked. But here there doesn't seem to be a defender, it's the attacker and the target. When it's not their turn ships just stand there and do nothing and you have to hope that the enemy "admiral," in this case only the computer, can not maneuver into a firing solution.
Some things I'd like to see in this came is the ability to change camera angles so as to better find the enemy forces and maneuver into them, the ability to hide the controls, and a menu option to alter sound level and arrange for more head to head play.
Despite my gripes about the game I'll probably keep playing it as it is a Civil War naval game. Considering the majority of Civil War games I've played are either fully or largely army based this is something that I don't find much of. As such I suppose the game would be of interest to folks who are interested in the naval element of the war.
Perhaps it's more where I got the game, I purchased it through, and downloaded it from, Amazon. Perhaps a CD-ROM copy might have different features, though probably not. I do want to say that I found it through CWi's shop which took me to the Amazon page, but I did purchase it months ago and only just now got around to downloading it.
Update on the game. I finally found the manual for the game, not really much different from the in game help feature, though it is easier to read.
That said I must take back on of my gripes from the previous post. I did find the camera controls, by accident. Neither the manual nor the in game help mentions anything about them. To control the camera you have to press and hold the right mouse button to rotate the camera. Zoom is controlled by the mouse wheel, push away from you to zoom in and towards you to zoom out. Going to have to look online for other information on controls.
Edit: I take it back about the manual, managed to find online another manual for the game that gives camera controls and finally found it in the manual that came with the download
Last edited on Sun Nov 11th, 2012 11:09 am by Hellcat