I have a confession to make: Nowadays I find it heard to retain interest in a massively multplayer online game for more than an hour or so. They just bore the crap out of me. They're all so transparent, so same, the sameness, I think is what really kills the experience for me.
So the only reason I started checking out Pirates of the Burning Sea was because I'm reviewing it for Variety. What I've found so far is a game, that while still suffering under the yoke of World of Warcraft, manages to introduce at least a few unique elements to the thread-worn mechanic found in nearly all MMOs. I speak of the ship-to-ship warfare which I find very reminiscent of the Ancient Art of War at Sea a game I simply loved.
Ship-to-Ship combat isn't the entire game, for most people at least, but cutting through the water, minding the wind direction and cannon reload times, all in real time mind you, is a pure joy and makes me want to play through the rest of the game, no matter how familiar it might be, just to upgrade the ship to something improbable and monstrous. I'm told, I shit you not, that you can have battles between entire flotillas of these amazing Tall Ships too, up to 25 a side. I haven't experience that yet, but I may actually stick around long enough to try.
I'm not 100 percent sure, yet, if I'd pay the full $US 15 a month to play the game, but you can figure that out yourself now that it has gone live, effective today.
[Thanks to Luke for the bit of photoshoppery on that image, arrr]
YO HO HO! PIRATES OF THE BURNING SEA SETS SAIL TODAY
SAN DIEGO, CA - Jan. 22, 2008 - Grab your parrot, raise the gang plank and ready the cannons with Pirates of the Burning Sea™ (PotBS), the hotly anticipated online PC game where players can clash on land and sea. This new title from Sony Online Entertainment LLC's (SOE) Platform Publishing label, and Flying Lab Software LLC (FLS), is available today at participating retail outlets worldwide and as a digital download through www.station.com and www.direct2drive.com for a suggested retail price of US$49.99, with a monthly subscription fee of US$14.99 plus applicable taxes.
"After years of hard work by our top-notch crew, we are thrilled to announce players can now conquer the virtual Caribbean, circa 1720, in Pirates of the Burning Sea," said Russell Williams, CEO of Flying Lab Software in Seattle. "Working together with SOE's Platform Publishing, we are able to launch this game simultaneously in the U.S. and Europe and release localized versions in English, French, Spanish and German, allowing players from all over to captain a ship in this world full of swashbuckling and high-seas adventure."
Players start by joining the French, Spanish, English or Pirate nations as a naval officer, freetrader, privateer or pirate. At sea, players can blow enemy ships out of the water. On land, players can engage in a world of action and peril rife with sword fights. A unique economy lets players become captains of industry, running mines, lumber mills, shipyards and other large-scale operations. Players produce all the various goods needed to supply others with the raw materials to conquer the Caribbean, one port at a time. A player-generated content system lets gamers create their own sail and flag designs and even model their own ships.
Set in the New World circa 1720, PotBS recreates a dramatic time of conflict and riches with action for every play style, from epic ship combat to building an empire. With more than one thousand missions per nation, dozens of ports to explore, and the entire Caribbean as their domain, players will find an online experience like no other.
Pirates of the Burning Sea game features:
• Join one of four nations (Pirate, English, French, or Spanish)
• Every player is the captain of their very own ship in massive naval battles
• Duel other players to control more than 80 conquerable ports in the Caribbean
• Explore the world and make a name for yourself with more than 1,000 missions per nation
• Economy driven by players, who manufacture and sell all ships and equipment found in the game
• Take command of more than 50 historical ships
• Design your own flags and sails
• Build your very own or customize any of the ships in-game to your liking
• Choose from three different combat styles - deadly and formal Fencing, flashy, dual-wielding Florentine or rowdy and treacherous Dirty Fighting
• Participate in epic PvP sea battles with up to 25 players per side
For more information on Pirates of the Burning Sea, log onto www.piratesoftheburningsea.com or the community site at www.burningsea.com