Thursday, May 10

Port Royale 3: Pirates and Merchants PC Game Review

Port Royale 3 Opening Screen
Just finished playing Port Royale 3 yesterday. I have been playing it a lot for the past few days. Time seems to really pass as one is pondering the next step to take on the high seas of the Caribbean.

Initially, the opening screen was impressive, with the close-up of a big Frigate sailing across the screen.

Campaign mode was really short. I managed to complete it in a day of gaming in adventure mode. The game provides you with ships and money for attacking towns. You can also choose trading mode whereby you trade and profit and use your reputation and ownership of businesses and workers to takeover a town by getting the spanish viceroy to agree fora takeover. In my opinion this was a refreshing gameplay idea but I still prefer attacking a port anyday.
Port Royale 3 In Game
The game loads very quickly and in-game we have the naval chart where all the important activity is happening on the screen. This shows resources each town needs urgently and battles taking place.

**TIP** Make sure to choose 2500 instead of the recommended 1000 for town size when selecting a Free play game, this makes it easier to recruit sailors and sell larger amounts of commodities for more profit. You will also get more tasks to do to increase reputation with a country.

Port Royale 3 In Port

You can take sides during the game with one of the four super powers, in this case I was friendly with England. Unfortunately world conquest is not possible as you cannot annex(take over) a port if a country has only 2 towns left.

**TIP** To get more tasks to up reputation quickly as you need this for a letter of marque to attack a country without repercussions, just buy up all the wood and bricks in harbour, then build 2 buildings. If you get the lack of construction materials icon above the buildings, after a while the administrator or governor of town will offer you a task to get raw materials which can be done easily for a reputation boost of 5%

Port Royale 3 In Port Screen
Nice picturesque port towns, the harbour even has dolphin animations! :D This is a pic of my fleet being repaired. This is where you can get quests which do become repetitive and boring after sometime.

The only action orientated task are naval battles. The port battles seem to have been made for idiots.

HOW TO ATTACK OR TAKEOVER A TOWN / PORT : For noobs looking for how to attack a town or port you should seriously read the pdf manual that came with the game... Just joking... if you look at the bottom right part of the picture above, just tick the bottom right wood colored box beside the "castle wall icon with the crossed swords". Tick it before you sail into the town and your ships will attack the town :D

Conclusion : 
Easy to learn and play, nice graphics and simple trading but unfortunately not much improvement over Port Royale 2.

Major disappointing game mechanics include lack of captian vs. captain duels during naval battles, ports cannot be defended, port battles are lame, too much focus on trading, unable to enter all towns once you choose to focus on pirating. Older pirate games much better! Massive lack of action.

Developers should seriously try walking the plank!

On another note, another recent pirate game Risen 2 : Dark Waters wasn't any better. An RPG rip-off story of pirates of the carribbean movie with poor graphics...

This is one disappointed pirate fan here languishing in the high seas...

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