So, I heard of this game from my friend, saying it was just like "Pirate M&B". So, I look it up, and I have to say, I'm not dissapointed! If you loved M&B F&S Campaign, you'll love this 100x more. At first, I didn't really like the look of it, due to it being an early alpha, I figured, "eh, ♥♥♥♥ it" and got it.
*NOTE* I know this is an early alpha, so don't give me crap about it*
Before I start I have to say the bugs are VERY annoying. If you change your res in-game it crashes, and certain res's I guess make the water not appear, making the game look ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥. But, I learned to deal with it and continued on playing.
The actual game is ♥♥♥♥ing AWESOME, and you know it is when I say ♥♥♥♥ in it. There isn't much to do, but what there is, makes up for it. The game takes place in the early 1700's, during the wars of the Spanish, French, and British, in the Carribean/Southern Americas, (I.e Florida/texas down to south america). The ammount of detail already put in is astounding. Matter of fact, ground-breaking. The game uses the Mount and Blade: Fire&Sword engine/layout. It's pretty much the same exact game. But in a diffrent setting with LOADS of new stuff, I'll put them in sections.
Land Battles/Seiges: The land battles have SO much options. Rather then the old fashion "CHAAAAAAAAAAAARGE" you can use some strategy, you can purchase ♥♥♥♥ING CANNONS AND HAVE THEM BE USED!!! There is a way to use them manualy, I think, I don't know how though. There is tons of units, such as Skirmishers, Line Infantry, Marines, Cannon crews, Ship crews (Which I will get on to next section), Heavily armed Ship crew, Pikemen, Melee Infantrysmen, cavalry, even some I don't even know. But one problem is, you never really need to use them. The armies never go out of their forts, you're usually fighting via sea, or bandits, rather then other armies. The artillery is awesome. You can watch your men load/fire the cannons, the animations are even better then the Mount and Blade: Warband, Napoleonic Wars animations. The firing is a bit slow, the ammount of time they take to aim/fire is way too long, a battle could be over by the time they begin firing, ecspecially with the tiny ammount of men you engage with . There is some sort of pannel for formatons, I can't get it to work, and I'll touch up on bugs, as-well. But for seiges, they're pretty basic ladder-charging. They're adding WAY more to them though :D.
Naval Combat: Due to the bug where you can't see the water, these can get kinda boring, but if you get it to work, they're cool, but kinda boring. You just float around, hailing thousands of cannon-balls at eachother, there are other shots, such as grape, and chain, but it dosen't really do anything diffrent, if you hit, smoke appears on the vessel, but that's about it. You can board, but they're really lame, just simple charges on a board. The ship detail is ♥♥♥♥ING AMAZING. With only two ship types, (I think), you can look around these for a short time, it is just plain awesome. If they put more scenes/activities where you roam freely on your ship, interacting with crew, or maybe even sailing in a third-person view, that would make it 50403504503450340530x better, but, for now, they kinda suck. You can upgrade your cannons, and crew, but meh. It still kinda blows.
Bugs: The games bugs are ♥♥♥♥ing frustrating as hell. Sometimes you can't even see the ocean in campaign, but a weird dirt texture, and in battles, it's just clear. Other then that, they're not really that bad, If you change resolution in game, it crashes, if you have too much units clumped up, it can lag a bit. Not really a bug, but in-convineant. Other then that, that's about it for bugs.
Now, your question is, "Is it worth buying now for $15 in it's current state?" Now, that depends. If you like just roaming around, doing boring seiges, but AWESOME land battles, with arty and tons new weapons/armor/units, but never really using them, sure. It can still be fun. But it needs some work.
Final verdict, is a 6/10. It's fun, but needs alot of work.
Well, I re-read my review a few times, asked friends, and it had to me, I left out alot of problems.
Problems Pt 2: Even though this game is fun, it has numerous problems. I'm gonna start with the Land-combat. Like I said before, you'll never need to use half of the units they include in this. I mean, You barley need musket men For the sake of humanity, it;s in 1650! Muskets were needed! But despite that, I still can't explain ALL of the problems with land battles, cause that'd be going into M&B. But, despite all of the "Change" that is going to happen, the current state now, the Land Battles are copy-paste battles from M&B. If you're lucky enough to encounter an army outside of a fort, you're a lucky ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥. but. they're just too easy. No matter how much men I have, I always win. They just blindly charge into cannon-fire, and musket fire. No strategy or tactics. Hell, on F&S, at least they tried to counter with cav. And they don't even have cav units! WTF?
Let's move on to the Naval Battles. I discovered you can destroy an enemy vessel with one of three ways.
1: You can Round-shoot the ♥♥♥♥ out of them, sinking them.
2: You can use the "Chain-shot" to tear their masts apart.
3: My favorite, you can use Grape-Shot you obliterate the enemy crew, then board/sink them.
This is AWESOME, but it needs alot of work. Like, the game is supposed to be based with navy. Your 6th sense on this game is ♥♥♥♥ing water. And the fact that the naval engagements are, Laggy/Choppy, clunky, and boring. And just plain ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥. The boarding is fun, if you plan it strategicly, but. You can't ram them, nor can you blast them point blank, because if you're just tad bit too close they can board you. Even at ridiculous ranges. (I'll post SS's later) If you're gonna base a game on naval battles. Then please, god make them playable. Sure, you can get by. But it just sucks. Also, the chance of clashing with fellow large fleets it really low. Also, whilst boarding another ship, alot of times an enemy or two get stuck off of the ship, or under, forcing yourself to retreat. You'll find yourself, sceaming "FIIIIIIIIIIAAAAAAAH DA CANNUUUUUNS" at a trade ship (lol).
Difficulty: The difficulty on this game, in my opinion is way too easy. It dosen't take much to devistate navy's/armies. Even with all of the difficulty opitions, it still feels way too easy. Meh. AI Needs an improvement, imo :/
Seiges/towns: Oh please don't get me started on these. These are awful. Just awful. You have no option, but charge up the ladders. Can't bomb walls, can't build seige equipment, and hell. You can't even disguise into towns. If you're ever at war with everyone, and you have a damaged ship. You're in trouble.
Faction likings/joining nations: No matter what you do, you CANNOT join any nation. I've done quests for the french guy, helped the French with the spainards, just refused to help me, but rather thought of me as an enemy, for destroying spanish fleets. GG. G ♥♥♥♥ing G.
Anyway, my final verdict now for finding about/mentioning most of these problems in a 5/10. Also, I forgot to mention. The game has really bad optomisation. Like, any smoke will drop your frames. Anyway, I'll update my review next update.