Publisert: 29. juni
I really, REALLY want this game. Or what this game should be. I have been trying to find a pseudo-simulator for grand scale battles in naval warfare, and this is it. Sadly, I can't recommend it for anyone. Too many things don't work well. It's hard to get working. It's no longer supported by the developer. And even once you get it working, little things break in gameplay that make it hard to enjoy. At some point, subs broke completely; now they go on autopilot and refuse to engage or come to the surface (yes, I'm aware of the setting that supposedly fixes this; it doesn't work for me). Missiles disappear on launch from destroyers or cruisers. Airplanes disappear on launch from carriers. It makes play kinda worthless.
Gameplay wise, you're a fleet commander and you have to tell everyone what to do. Literally you have to command a combat plane in the middle of a battle to take the mach 1.4 contact that's headed straight towards him. I'm pretty sure a combat pilot wouldn't be waiting for orders from HQ. Ditto subs: they do nothing even at close contacts. Planes avoid missiles only when they get super close, and you can set it so ships self defend (again, only when missiles close to within certain death distance). The level of micro-management necessary is far beyond what a...fleet commander would have to do.
It's also irritating that certain obvious non-moveable targets (enemy airports) are unidentified, and you have to get within range of SAMs to identify them. Enemy ships and planes can ID and shoot you from afar, but you have to close to within visual to ID them. You learn quickly to preemptively shoot at anything moving above mach 0.5. Shouldn't I be able to tell the nature of these enemies from their radar emissions? And forget about cruise missile strikes on those airports once you've figured out where they are. For some reason, SAMs have no problem seeing and killing them, even if you launch 50 at one airport none will land. Jam the SAM sites, kill all nearby planes and literally a plane will lift off, kill all your missiles and flip you the bird before you can do anything. It's just too hard to kill land targets to be realistic. You run out of ammo instead.
A lot of the scenarios are interesting, but many of them fall into the 'gotcha' category: "you're a US carrier fleet, you have no early warning or combat planes in the air, and there are unidentified enemies within 10 miles of you (really, how exactly did I get in this position?). But they apparently know who you are because suddenly there are 200 missiles headed your way! Personally, more interesting to me is the feint, maneuver, initial contact and jabs of the conflict than struggling to defend (yes, you have to tell individual ships to shoot down every one of those missiles in real time unless you want them to get too close to defend properly).
TL;DR: the seed of a great game for those interested in the subject. Lot of little bugs and issues make it tedious and irritating that will never, unfortunately, be fixed.