It’s a hot and sunny day in the Caribbean. Normally, I would be sipping some form of alcoholic beverage with an umbrella in it, but instead I’m shovelling powder and shot into a hot cannon in eager anticipation of blowing a hole in the side of an enemy ship.
The captain is issuing orders in a shrill public-school boy accent as we come to engage the enemy ship, which is fucking massive. I get the ship in my sights and then I am catapulted 30 feet into the air and land in the water with a heavy splash. I’m dead and the beloved HMS PinkPinkUnicorn is full of holes and sinking fast.
I respawn and find that pirates have boarded our ship and I get shot in the head. The screen goes black and I’m dead — again. I’m starting to get used to this.
Blackwake is a multiplayer naval FPS where the accents are outrageous and you need work together to stay alive and, more importantly, stay afloat.
I absolutely love Blackwake, and its premise of the game is simple: sink the bad guys and try not have your head taken off by a cannonball. You have to work together otherwise you’re dead in the water.
A game like this would normally be quite complex and difficult to master. But the gameplay is extremely entertaining and easy to learn.
Your character levels up very quickly and with each action in the game you gain experience points. Loading a cannon 20XP, manning the pump 20XP, disintegrating the crew of a passing ship with grapeshot 300XP. It’s win/win, baby.
But it’s not all ship to ship battles, ala Master and Commander. There is a treasure hunt mode similar to capture the flag but with treasure and island forts. So, its miles better.
What I like about this game is, apart from the captain, there is no forced classes. Everyone can do any job from repairing ship to loading and firing the cannons. Anyone can elect themselves captain and if the crew don’t like you, they can vote to mutiny and remove you from the captaincy. Although that’s as far as it goes in regards to mutinies, none of that HMS Bounty stuff.
If you have some spare time and like being shouted at in a pirate accent then I would urge you to check out Blackwake. But be warned, it is still in Alpha so it is by no means the finished article.
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