Screenshot of the Week #72: Black Sails!

by on February 21, 2016

                Swayed by the
Black Sails TV series I sunk more time into Naval Action. I’ve been warned by
the developers that the Early Access state of the game can be hard to deal with
and they weren’t wrong. In its current state Naval Action is a base platform
for what is to come.
                Naval Action
gameplay has the players joining some of the strongest naval forces of the 18th
century and dive into a seemingly open (water) world together with thousands of
other players. As a MMO Naval action works much like Elite: Dangerous with a lot
of simulator mechanics and an instanced combat system, the only difference
being that players meet quite often in this game.
                The Naval
Action map represents stunningly looking historic replica scaled in such a way that it makes
navigation a realistic pain. The sim-like navigation mechanics don’t allow a GPS
or any unrealistic tools leaving everything to the player which makes exploration
rather complicated but also funnily intriguing.
The combat is as difficult as it gets with a steep learning curve
and no tutorial to guide the players. Engaging in ship battles and emerging
victorious requires a certain amount skill, knowledge of the ships and taking
multiple factors into account and these don’t come easily. Perseverance and a
trial and error process will get you there, but you will have to lose a few (free)
ships before holding a grasp on how the combat really works. But understanding
the combat opens up a satisfying experience sustained by a progressive gameplay
which has you unlocking, buying and upgrading new ships that behave and play
differently.
                Aside of
exploration and combat, there are a lot of things to do in Naval Action but at
the same time too few. The game is held back by its current Alpha state and many
of its features are implemented into a rudimentary form or are not present at
all. The trading system, the missions, the UI and many other
features serve more as an introduction for what is to come and that is both
good and bad at the same time. Knowing the game will have these features fully
implemented later on it’s reassuring but their current state serves as a tease
that many players might not like. Taking into consideration that the game is
developed by a team of less than 10 people getting to the point where these
features will be complete could take a while. But I’m not here to take your
hopes down in fact I would like to be optimistic in this matter because for the
first time in so many years I’ve discovered a game that might provide an
experience similar to the 2003 Pirates of the Caribbean.
40 minutes later I was victorious!
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Nodrim