Platforms: PS4, Switch, Xbox One, Pc
Reviewed On: PS4 Pro
Release Date: 25/05/2021
Reviewed By: Keith Lavelle
Review Rush was kindly supplied with a review code.
King of Seas is an open world nautical adventure to find the truth. Oh, and PIRATES!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love me a good Pirate game.
You play as one of two children, of the King of the Seas. Who was killed while you take charge of your first ship and make an overnight delivery. Upon returning home you a framed for killing the King, and you are sentenced to death. However, you survive and are picked up by a group of Pirates Arrgghh!! Who takes you back to their port ad suggests you join them in order to find out the truth. In order to do this you must ad-hear to the Pirate code and work your way up to find the information you need and prove yourself innocent.
The basic story arc is a simple one, but makes for a better story overall with everything that happens. The story is told in text boxes next to some great-looking character art that is slightly off beat and cooky, but lends itself fantastically to the game.
When starting King of Seas as a pirate you will need to earn your money and get improved ships and new jobs. We find the jobs in the taverns at the ports, and serve the purpose of getting EXP, better loot and gold and goods to trade. While they serve the purpose of getting the aforementioned items, they brake down to doing the same tasks over and over. Delivering X amount of an item, deliveries and destroying a marked ship. After a few hours of gameplay you will have done all variety of the side quests, we need these quest to progress and lucky enough the battles are fun so they negate a lot of the boredom.
For trades, there is an economy in play that on the surface seems good but in practice does not work out so well. Each port will have items that will sell for more and items you can buy for less. So making money should be easy, well it is if you have a mobile phone and take a picture of the shop that shows the economy, or you have perfect recollection as the game has no sign or no way of showing you what the economy is like at what port, out with of going to the shop at the port.
After picking up a mission, the only way to see where the mission is located is by pressing the Right stick in to make the map pop up. Is is easy enough to do. However, there is a compass on the h.u.d that I feel could be a better why to show where to go, instead of having to stop gameplay to make sure you are on the right course. The map will at the start of the game be empty, so it is up to the player to fill it with the island they visit, the only way to do this is to visit a cartographer and get them to add the island near the, to the map, as I appreciate the idea it was an annoyance that get annoying quick not to mention it became pricy.
At its core King of Seas is an RPG, where you will gain EXP for completing missions and destroying ships and looting items. Your ships have different equipment slots that will allow a fairly sizeable amount of equipment to be equipped. from crew, hull and guns along with special voodoo skills that can turn the tide of battle. As with all RPGs having the best equipment is the key to winning battles, more so in a game where the enemies will level up with the player, somewhat negating the level up system. I noticed one thing when playing, when buying equipment from the shipyard the more expensive higher leveled gear more often than not had worse stats than the gear I had found, not sure why.
However, for leveling up from level 10 onwards, you will gain one skill point per level. They broke the Talents (skill tree) in to three main categories navigation, combat and voodoo. Each affecting the ship in typical but different ways;
Navigation – will affect the ship’s performance while sailing e.g. increasing travel speed and turning speed.
Combat – Improving survivability and damage from cannons.Voodoo – This affect abilities of the magic (voodoo) that can be used.
Combat in King of Seas is outstanding once you get used to it.
The combat is circling the enemy and shooting off the cannons that are facing the opposing ship until you destroy it. It is far more difficult than it seems to start with. There are three ammo types, one for sails, hull and crew. With each having their own life bar, destroying the hull is the only way to take out an enemy, but crippling ships sails will make them easier to deal with, or if they use voodoo, taking out the crew is a better idea as voodoo is linked to the crew. This give a little more depth to combat. It will take some time to get used to, but it’s good when it works.
Sailing is fun. It is most of the time simple, relaxing and straight forward. Two factors control speed. How many sails you have opened from 0 to 3 more sails more speed and the wind direction. The wind’s direction is indicated by this the compass in the top right of the screen is facing. So sailing in to the wind is slower than having the wind behind you.
For the most part this works fine but sometimes the fixed camera is the players worst enemy. I found it was a problem in battles, where depending on the direction the ship was facing would change the direction of the attack. For example, if traveling north Left and Right is normal however, travel south they are opposite. I know it is a minor issue, but it is really annoying at the start when I was shooting and hitting nothing as I forgot the press to opposite attack.
Overall, King of Seas is an open world pirate adventure, that hits most of the right notes but with one or two minor annoyances. Hopefully, the few issues that are in the game can be worked out in patches. The game is really fun to play, with combat is by far the best part of the game.
Even with the problems If you want a high seas adventure, this could be the one for you.