Mar 2, 2009

Buccaneer: The Pursuit of Infamy: The Review

Buccaneer: The Pursuit of InfamySid Meier's Pirates! was a game that deeply impressed my little underage self, as it was one of those preciously few digital offerings that actually made me daydream and fantasize about being a pirate drinking milk and eating hamburgers somewhere in the Caribbean of yore. As for them serving wenches, well, I couldn't care less really. I was only 9. Besides, I even thought that fiddling with the map was far more exciting than courting a governor's daughter. Pah, kids.

Anyway, what I particularly and truly liked about Pirates! -even more so about its excellent 2004 remake- were them glorious ship to ship battles, and happily that's what indie developers Stickman Studios have evolved into a full, action-packed game. Joy!

BuccaneerSaid game is none other than Buccaneer: The Pursuit of Infamy (official website, Steam page), a game impressively developed by a team of only two, apparently extremely talented and hardworking, individuals. Now, besides being a feat of sheer will and dedication itself, Buccaneer also happens to be the game that even momentarily allowed me to once again live the digital thrills of bloody sea battle and, well, imagine things of a heroic nature. What's more it is easily the best pirate game I've come across since 2004. Despite, as already mentioned, being a pure action game. A pure combat focused action game to be precise, that besides battling, only spices things up by letting the player select missions, buy new ships, upgrade older ones and rudimentary manage his/her crew's morale.

What truly matters though is the simple fact that the basic combat mechanic is absolutely brilliant, simple, fun and makes for a fluid and addictive gameplay experience. Oh, and if you have to know, the player gets to commandeer his/her ship using the WASD keys while moving the camera with the mouse and using the left and right mouse buttons to shoot the cannons on the respective side of the ship.

Buccaneer Pirate ShipOn the other hand, not everything is perfect. Land bombardment for example is quite frustrating, as aiming at particular buildings is nigh on impossible, while sometimes the battle area is a bit too small for proper maneuvering. Then again, when you got those fantastic graphics, the tons of available -and surprisingly varied- missions, some excellent and highly amusing multiplayer options, a fine selection of Steam achievements, an amazing sounding ocean (!) and a convincing atmosphere, you just can't complain. Buccaneer is quite fantastic.

Verdict: Three parrots, five cannonballs, one monkey and half a bottle of rum, meaning you should definitely give this excellent indie pirate game a try. I'd suggest you bought one or two copies of the thing too.

Related @ Gnome's Lair:

21 comments:

  1. I somehow never got this pirate fetish myself (guess I'm more on the ninja side of the fence), but this game looks really interesting.

    Also, the sapphire ocean and lush green island remind me of Commanche 3 and these are good memories.

    If only I didn't have so many things to play (Battlefield Heroes Beta, Quake Live, others)...

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  2. Well, I wouldn't really call myself a pirate fetishists really. A Pirates! one perhaps ;)

    And you really, really, have to tear yourself away from Quake Live a bit and give this one a try...

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  3. Will probably buy. That game looks amazing for having only two developers. Much like Mount & Blade. I have my pirates, and now I want some ninjas. Too few ninja games, in my opinion.

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  4. Guess I'll finally have to give Mount and Blade a try myself dear Ithmeer. And conjure a ninja loving developer to actually make a few games for you too. After, that is, you play Buccaneer.

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  5. The graphics look amazing! What size of graphics card do you run for this game..?

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  6. Oh, pretty much anything will do dear Deitrix. I'm using an old AGP card after all...

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  7. Now this is definitely something I'm going to look into! The original Pirates! was one of my all-time favourite games back on the Atari ST, and I loved the remake as well (yes, even the dancing bits were good!). This looks fantastic!

    Thanks for the heads up on this,

    Dave

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  8. Think you'll enjoy it Captain. After all your gaming taste is not totally dissimilar to mine ;)

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  9. what an awesome review.. will forward it on to Harv and Nev, they'll be really chuffed with it...

    and as for Ithmeer's desire for new Ninja games, might I humbly suggest our awesome new game... Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao?

    http://kotaku.com/5149424/a-quick-look-at-invincible-tiger-the-legend-of-han-tao

    cheers Gnome, great reading as ever :D

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  10. Cheers for the comment Mike! Glad you enjoyed the review and -I'm pretty sure- this refreshing game. As for Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao, that sounds incredibly intriguing...

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  11. Hope you liked the song gnome. ;)

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  12. Would love to give it a try f only they had a non Steam-powered demo :(

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  13. Hmmm, yes, I see what you mean, thoguh Steam really isn't that bad. It's not great of course, but it's quite bareable..

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  14. I wonder why there's not more pirate games out there. Pirates! and Buccaneer are the best ones that come to mind in recent memory.

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  15. Had some bad experiences with Steam long long ago but I've heard better things recently although I'm not particularly interested to install Steam for the sake of a game.

    Guess I'll probably give that lovely blue seas a miss (sob! sob!) for the time being (or at least until I bother to install Steam :) )

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  16. So do I ross, so do I.

    Hopefully a non-Steam version will at some point become available dear Roys. I'll let you know.

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  17. No worries, I've bookmarked the official site. Your time should be better spent on scouring more of these goodies for us readers :)

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  18. Cunning strategy. As for me, well, I better finish off that bloody dissertation first...

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  19. I second the request for a non steam demo

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  20. Right. I 'll prepare the pickets.

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