Brass Tacks: The game plays alot like an MMO version of Sid Meier’s Pirates! would. Graphics and sounds are very nice however the melee combat portion of the game is somewhat clunky.
Full Preview: Pirates of the Burning sea is an MMO developed by Flying Lab Software (Rails Across America) that transports you back to the age of buccaneers and swashbucklers.
You start off by creating your character. The character creation system is fairly generic for an MMO, giving you a set number of types of each avatar object (hair, face, tattoo, etc) but does it’s job. You select which Country/Affiliation you want to ally with and your profession in that affiliation. If you ally yourself with Britain you can sail as a Naval Officer or Privateer, for instance.
After that you go through a standard tutorial mission where you learn the basics of ship to ship and melee combat. The ship to ship combat plays almost exactly like Sid Meier’s Pirates! and that is not a bad thing. In fact, they have taken that gameplay and expanded it by offering ship upgrades, various types of repair kits, as well as player skills that are learned by training. The melee combat in PotBS is not nearly as fun or polished as of yet, with movement and fighting feeling very clunky.
From the tutorial mission you arrive at your first town, where you can accept missions, buy/sell, etc. Missions are given by NPCs and undertaken by visiting an NPC on the town dock. Upon selecting him/her you will be presented with a list of missions you have accepted and once selected be magically transported to the mission area. I was hoping for more open-missions with travel time and whatnot but the system does work. Once a mission is completed you return to town and collect your reward.
Experience is gained by ship to ship as well as melee combat and a player can level them independently of one another. There are various skills for each branch of combat and they all seem useful.
The graphics are very good, with excellent ship detailing as well as water reflections/refractions. Sounds is good too, with plenty of ‘Yars!’ and other ship sounds. Combat details are good with correct ship pieces buckling, exploding, and falling off depending on the type of damage done to them.
The game seems relatively stable at this point in the beta and, with few exceptions, will be ready later this year.
Overall Anticipation Factor: 8.0 out of 10