Blackwake is a multiplayer team-based shooter centered around naval battles for PC and Mac. Set during the Age of Sail, Blackwake focuses largely on team-based tactics and overall team cooperation. Organizing a ship broadside, assisting your captain in navigating various weather conditions, or just being part of the gun crew - there are many roles to be filled in this shooter.
This...does not justify the gameplay. Echo joined a bunch of the funniest, most enthusiastic players I've watched in some time as they piloted a British naval ship into battle against marauding pirates. After they'd gathered a bit of a rhythm with all the controls learned and the essentials locked down, the action went like this...
- Gameplay begins with with a quick loading of the cannons as the Captain locates the enemy and calls out what side she/he will approach from first.
- Boats make passes alongside each other and fire cannons and rifles attempting to kill as many of the enemy as possible.
- As you take damage, there are holes to repair, water to pump out of your sinking ship, fires to extinguish, a sail to repair, and steering to re-establish.
- If a crew mate gets shot, another crew mate can bandage them and avoid a costly death. There are only so many crew mates to go through before your ship has no one left! Respawning while you still have crew takes around 30 seconds, in which time, all may be lost.
- Weather conditions range from a clear, sunny day to snowy and murky to a stormy landscape with heavy rains falling amid raging, rolling seas.
- Weapons include a sword, rifle or grenades you can lob at the enemy ship, though no player this time around could get the hang of this, so I can't speak on their effectiveness. A quick look at the Kickstarter revealed there are an array of weapons to utilize.
- Deploy grapplers and board the enemy ship with the objective of leaving NO SOUL ALIVE!!
OK...I still feel like I'm not expressing how much fun this game is. Check this out...
Yes. The cursing is genuine. You get so into the action in Blackwake, you'll likely find yourself screaming your head off. At one point, Echo had assumed the Captain's position and her ship burst into flames. A well organized crew quickly deteriorated into people screaming and running across the deck (while on fire) until they realized they could jump in the water to extinguish themselves. I laughed so hard my face still hurts. The screaming...Oh God...the screaming. hehehehehehe. With a counter up top calling out everyone's kills, you can easily see if your shots are effective and cheer on team mates...and if you're a pirate..yelling piratey things, which can not be stopped.
Boats sunk, went up in smoke, rammed each other, beached on nearby mini islands, Captains were continually sniped and at the end of a dozen or so games, you could hear the exhaustion in everyone's voices. Echo tapped out, assuring her stream that this was a game to watch with insane amounts of fun to be had. Blackwake is not the tightest of games yet, but having watched the glitchiness of supposedly complete games on the market today, it could honestly be a lot worse! The views are beautiful, the action comes quick and relentless (depending on how well your teams steer I suppose), blood clouds spray across your field of vision as your team mates take flight from cannon fire....holy damn...what's not to love? When a team coordinates well and operates like a tight digital army squad, the gameplay is excellent. When that team loses their minds and starts swearing at players on the other team who can't hear them, it's damn hysterical.
AND IF ALL GOES WELL, THE GAME CREATORS WANT TO ADD SEA MONSTERS.
With a release date sometime in late 2016, the crew has plenty of time to make this game LEGENDARY. I've no doubt tales of chaotic Beta gameplay will quickly spread across the communities, and you know..songs written...tales told...rum drank for authenticity. Hit the Blackwake Kickstarter and support this effort and YOU TOO can be a part of their story.