Tortuga – A Pirate’s Tale – Test / Review (PC).
Tortuga – A Pirate’s Tale by developer Gaming Minds Studios and publisher Kalypso Media was published almost three weeks ago. Already at the gamescom we got our first impressions last year and had had the title on our radar since that event. I’ve been eagerly awaiting a release. You can find out whether the strategy game is worthwhile in our test report.
The Outlaws of the Seas
I’ve always been fascinated by the time when the seas were ravaged by nefarious pirates. For as long as I can remember, I’ve been devouring video games. Which also started my pirate career with Sid Meier’s Pirates! heralded. But also films since I came into contact with the work of “Thunder over the Indian Ocean” as a little boy. Of course, more masterpieces have been added in recent decades. Let’s take “The Goonies” or “Pirates of the Caribbean” from the movies section. But also other video games in different genres, let’s name some other interesting games with “Sea of Thieves”, a “Cloud Pirates”, “The Curse of Monkey Island” or just “King of Seas”.
Now join me too Tortuga – A Pirate’s Tale another title of this illustrious round added. Our adventure begins, how can it be otherwise for a new character, still green behind the ears. The appearance of your own pirate flag and that of your character have been fixed. Let’s go. Luckily, a small introduction at the beginning makes it easier for us to start our adventure, which we gratefully accepted. Once you’ve mastered the basics, there’s nothing stopping you from hiring devious rabble and chasing fame and glory. After all, you want to become the outlawed pirate of the Caribbean and your own flag should teach your opponents to fear just by looking at it and send a shiver down your spine.
Pirate life is diverse
we are at Tortuga – A Pirate’s Tale among other things busy playing a campaign which revolves around the Spanish treasure fleet. Let’s also see this as a small common thread that can lead us through the game. We can also receive new orders from the governor or in the tavern in every port or settlement, which we can then track in a quest log. Hats off! Because despite the fact that the tasks increased with the increasing playing time, also thanks to my assumption, I was always able to keep an overview. We often conclude privateering contracts with our own ship crew. Depending on what and how much we can conclude, we are, among other things, just busy fulfilling this towards our (mostly) loyal team. After fulfilling this, we complete it again and again via the tavern as the playing time increases, by dividing the loot with our own crew. A new one will follow promptly afterwards. At Tortuga – A Pirate’s Tale this is also kept very simple by dividing it up using a slider. The ship’s mate also provides assistance, which makes things a little easier for us. And of course the ulterior motive with that is also what we better consider from his point of view as an advocate for the crew.
Basically, we should always keep an eye on the morale of the ship’s crew. If absolutely necessary, then grant them additional access to various goods in order to be able to maintain the good mood for the raids.
By completing various activities, we also level things up. This includes, for example, our reputation with the four factions Spain, England, France and the Netherlands or our pirate captains with increasing playing time. With the nations, as you already know from other titles, we get such a rank, insofar as you are attached to it and don’t constantly cause ships and other damage to it. They don’t like it that much and sometimes refuse us entry into the port.
Our pirate captains as well as we are also subject to a level system. As the game progresses, we gain access to new active or passive abilities, which we can then use and deploy in combat or when boarding. The abilities themselves are also upgraded again over several steps. You can see you’re busy.
There is also one or the other pirate shelter, which we can upgrade and improve after taking it. In addition to a quick port function to these, we then have access to a free repair option or a treasure hiding place, for example.
We can also expand our ship fleet and upgrade our up to eight ships with different things. Here, too, you can go very deep and, depending on the type of ship, is also more than busy putting together your own personal playable base adapted to your own playing style.
Unexpected but interesting mix
But before we can take care of our competition on the seven seas, we first have to spot them on the open sea with our ship. At the beginning of our careers, we are mainly occupied with spending our adventure on the high seas and using our ship to discover the game world. So we explore the map with our wooden pedestal and our intrepid crew, discover new ports or cities, complete our campaign or other orders, which we can receive and accumulate in abundance over time.
At the same time, we also make fat booty, which a lot of other ships invite us to if they should cross our wake. At the beginning of a naval battle, we have the opportunity or chance to gain access to loot without bloodshed through intimidation. Or, if the attempt fails or if we hadn’t chosen to do so from the outset, we carry out a confrontation of fleet of ships against fleet of ships in good old fashion. That’s why we’re at sea as pirates with salt water in our blood. Because we can’t, or rather would like to, avoid a fight forever.
If you thought there was a fight ala Pirates taking place, let me tell you: No, that’s not the case! If this starts, transforms Tortuga – A Pirate’s Tale into a turn-based tactics game. I admit, at the beginning I was skeptical whether I would like it, but once again I was taught better.
Thus, right at the beginning of a confrontation with the enemy, we begin to strategically place our fleet of ships on the hex field. Because, of course, we want to gain the advantage of being able to heat up the enemy properly with our cannon salvos. Depending on how we position our own ships in relation to the enemy, we can also maximize our own damage in naval battles. Or plug it in if you’re not careful. Of course, special abilities, ours or those of the other pirate captains in the fleet, are also used in the battles as required. But, depending on the armor or your own ship upgrades or what type of ship we are bringing into battle, you should exercise appropriate caution and not underestimate your opponent. I would like to point out here that sometimes Fortuna strikes unexpectedly rather than the opponent.
A damage model also gives us information about the condition of our own or the enemy fleet. Or where there are weak points in order to be able to strike out for the final push, i.e. sinking or boarding the opponent. However, much before and during naval combat is subject to randomness, which includes the type or size of the gen we encounter. But also subject to the damage system, it sometimes seems like more coincidence than logic. Because you sunk opponents with a broadside. Another time there were really extensive and protracted battles. But here, of course, the type of ship that enters the battle, along with all the additional stuff that has already been listed above, sometimes plays a major role.
Overall, I think you can be happy with the combat system and what’s been made of it. Even if it sometimes seems a bit strange. But the fun factor far outweighs that for me, even if a certain amount of playing time can result in a kind of monotony. As time goes by, more ships are brought into battle, and the character has more skills that can be used. All things that you have worked out depending on the progress of the game, but that you also have to take into account.
Nothing is safe from us
If we decide to attack a city or even while boarding a ship, then we’re on board Tortuga – A Pirate’s Tale confronted with an enormous amount of text modules. During the boarding process, these give us a choice of tactics on how we would like to proceed against the opponent until he or his team surrenders. Or we can, quite occasionally, successfully knock ourselves off the ship and thus flee. With another ship, for example, you can also support the boarding process by shooting at your competition with the appropriate ammunition and thus decimating their crew, insofar as the prerequisites have been created. Our own upgrades and skills can help here, as long as you have them and use them. Otherwise, coincidence also plays a very important role, sometimes incomprehensibly.
When looting a city, you have a certain amount of time before you have to stop the attack or retreat. Again, text selection is the order of the day here. Depending on the option of your own approach, you are blessed with good luck or bad luck and in the end also whether you return with richer or no booty. Here I would have wished for something more than just having to click through texts. But it will suit the slightly different playstyle of Tortuga – A Pirate’s Tale thus again doing justice to what sets it apart from the competition and makes it different.