Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Ship Simulator Extremes - 6/20 hours

It's hard to know what to say about this game. . .

It, um, lets me catch up with my reading.

Okay, that sounds pretty snarky, but I didn't mean it as insult, exactly. It's just that when it comes to steering a ship, especially a modern ship that doesn't rely on the wind, there's not a lot you actually have to do. The main challenge is making sure you're going in a straight line, and once you got that down you only have to make the occasional course correction.

I think its an inherent limitation of the subject matter. There aren't many obstacles in the ocean, and even when you're playing as a bold and reckless band of Greenpeace direct-action protesters, most of your time is going to be spent in the middle of nowhere. Thus, two-thirds of the campaign is spent going into and out of port.

The most interesting part of the game is the reward videos you get after completing missions. Those Greenpeace people are super nuts. It kind of makes me wonder what it would be like to play an exciting game based around their adventures. I think it would be pretty hard to do, seeing as how they're pacifists and all, but maybe a more arcade-y sailing sim (something like the Assassin's Creed sailing missions) with more punishing difficulty, and third-person stealth and and platforming elements.

Then again, maybe I'm being overly whimsical. While it feels like I have this game figured out, I have yet to encounter a ship which did not have at least one lever or switch whose function I don't understand. Perhaps if I learned to use these controls, my missions would be more efficient and I'd spend more time chasing whalers and less time parking my boat.

I doubt it, though. I suspect these types of games are aimed at people who are intensely interested in the minute details, and for whom things like weather conditions are a bigger draw than the ideological conflict. After all, the Greenpeace campaign is only the first of five, so they're probably saving the real "wow" stuff for the cruise ship or or core campaign.

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