Giant Bomb News

152 Comments

The Age of Booty is Upon Us: Hands-On Preview

Capcom brings by a nearly complete version of its upcoming downloadable pirate RTS, wackiness ensues.

Proper position of your ship when taking over assets is a key strategy.
You know, I don't think I've truly loved a console-based real-time strategy game since perhaps Herzog Zwei for the Genesis. In the years following, the genre got absolutely huge on PCs thanks to games like Dune 2, Command & Conquer, and Warcraft. They were great games... on the PC. Consoles, meanwhile, became a wasteland of great games with poor control schemes as developers struggle to find a way to cram all of those hotkeys and grouping options onto a gamepad. It's an issue that developers still struggle with today.

Maybe that's part of why Capcom's Age of Booty feels so refreshing. Though there is a PC version also in development, this one-unit strategy game feels like it was built with consoles--and their controllers--in mind. As a result, you never really feel like you're battling the controller harder than you're battling your on-screen foes.

Of course, it only loosely resembles the real-time strategy games you're used to. Age of Booty puts in at the helm of a pirate ship, and all you really have to do is use one button to navigate the seas. What happens from there is automated depending on what you're near. The game takes place on hex-based maps, so if you sail your ship to a hex that is adjacent to a target, you'll automatically open fire. Things you'll want to blow up include merchant ships, which drop power-ups, villages that give up resources when destroyed, and towns for you to overtake. You must take a set number of towns to win the battle.

There are also enemy pirates on the seas, attempting to take over enough towns to win themselves. Opening fire on other pirates works the same way as it does with everything else, and when a pirate ship is sunk, one of its team's resources is dropped. In addition to taking towns, you'll also want to collect rum, lumber, and gold from those towns and villages. Those resources can be used to upgrade your captured towns to make them more resilient against enemy attack, or you can sail back to your home base (a cove, naturally) and upgrade your ship's speed, armor, or cannons.

Player matching lets you find up to seven other players, or you can insert some AI dudes into the mix.
It's an impressively simple game that's very easy to pick up, partially due to a good tutorial at the beginning of the single-player game. But it's probably more impressive that the game offers enough multiplayer and editing options to potentially keep players excited for a good, long time.

Age of Booty allows for up to eight players, and those can be split in different ways, so you can have four teams of two, two teams of four, and so on. The game has splitscreen support for local play, and you can also take your splitscreen games online, allowing you to get with three local friends and take on the Internet.

The online player matches seems especially slick, as it's basically taking its cues from the Halo party system. It appears easy to line up a few friends over Xbox Live, form a team, and then put that team up against other groups of players.

Capcom's visit had us playing 2v2v2, 3v3, and eventually a one-on-one match to figure out who the most dominant pirate is. You'll have to watch the video for the stunning and slurred conclusion on that one, but I can say that Age of Booty made for great fun in this sort of party-like setting. It'll be interesting to see if it's as much fun when you're playing against strangers.

When asked, Sir Mix-A-Lot claimed that this game is "little in the middle" but also that it "had much back." He then made a whip sound with his mouth that was pretty impressive.
In addition to the robust online matching features, Certain Affinity has also created a simple, but powerful map editor that will let players create their own levels. You're able to skip around an empty hex grid and place anything you like. This leads into the game's different type of maps. It will contain plenty from the get-go, and it looks like the developer will be offering some downloadable maps that automatically add themselves to the game as official maps. But there are also tabs for "my maps" and "recent maps" when you go to play a game. Recent maps is a holding cell for any maps you encounter while playing other players online. If you run into a really great created map while playing online, you can save it as one of your own and create new matches with it quite easily. Slick.

Perhaps the only thing standing in the way of Age of Booty is its look. Anyone glancing at screenshots of the game is liable to see a big hex grid, assume it's some over-the-top turn-based tactical strategy game for people with big brains and lots of free time, and stay away. That, as you've probably figured out already, couldn't be further from the truth.

For more proof that any drunken idiot can understand and enjoy Age of Booty, please see the following video as the landlubbin' staff of Giant Bomb pairs off with the experienced swashbucklers of Capcom for a rum-soaked high-seas adventure...

  


Giant Bomb would like to remind you to pillage responsibly.
Jeff Gerstmann on Google+
152 Comments
  • 152 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
Posted by Jeff
Proper position of your ship when taking over assets is a key strategy.
You know, I don't think I've truly loved a console-based real-time strategy game since perhaps Herzog Zwei for the Genesis. In the years following, the genre got absolutely huge on PCs thanks to games like Dune 2, Command & Conquer, and Warcraft. They were great games... on the PC. Consoles, meanwhile, became a wasteland of great games with poor control schemes as developers struggle to find a way to cram all of those hotkeys and grouping options onto a gamepad. It's an issue that developers still struggle with today.

Maybe that's part of why Capcom's Age of Booty feels so refreshing. Though there is a PC version also in development, this one-unit strategy game feels like it was built with consoles--and their controllers--in mind. As a result, you never really feel like you're battling the controller harder than you're battling your on-screen foes.

Of course, it only loosely resembles the real-time strategy games you're used to. Age of Booty puts in at the helm of a pirate ship, and all you really have to do is use one button to navigate the seas. What happens from there is automated depending on what you're near. The game takes place on hex-based maps, so if you sail your ship to a hex that is adjacent to a target, you'll automatically open fire. Things you'll want to blow up include merchant ships, which drop power-ups, villages that give up resources when destroyed, and towns for you to overtake. You must take a set number of towns to win the battle.

There are also enemy pirates on the seas, attempting to take over enough towns to win themselves. Opening fire on other pirates works the same way as it does with everything else, and when a pirate ship is sunk, one of its team's resources is dropped. In addition to taking towns, you'll also want to collect rum, lumber, and gold from those towns and villages. Those resources can be used to upgrade your captured towns to make them more resilient against enemy attack, or you can sail back to your home base (a cove, naturally) and upgrade your ship's speed, armor, or cannons.

Player matching lets you find up to seven other players, or you can insert some AI dudes into the mix.
It's an impressively simple game that's very easy to pick up, partially due to a good tutorial at the beginning of the single-player game. But it's probably more impressive that the game offers enough multiplayer and editing options to potentially keep players excited for a good, long time.

Age of Booty allows for up to eight players, and those can be split in different ways, so you can have four teams of two, two teams of four, and so on. The game has splitscreen support for local play, and you can also take your splitscreen games online, allowing you to get with three local friends and take on the Internet.

The online player matches seems especially slick, as it's basically taking its cues from the Halo party system. It appears easy to line up a few friends over Xbox Live, form a team, and then put that team up against other groups of players.

Capcom's visit had us playing 2v2v2, 3v3, and eventually a one-on-one match to figure out who the most dominant pirate is. You'll have to watch the video for the stunning and slurred conclusion on that one, but I can say that Age of Booty made for great fun in this sort of party-like setting. It'll be interesting to see if it's as much fun when you're playing against strangers.

When asked, Sir Mix-A-Lot claimed that this game is "little in the middle" but also that it "had much back." He then made a whip sound with his mouth that was pretty impressive.
In addition to the robust online matching features, Certain Affinity has also created a simple, but powerful map editor that will let players create their own levels. You're able to skip around an empty hex grid and place anything you like. This leads into the game's different type of maps. It will contain plenty from the get-go, and it looks like the developer will be offering some downloadable maps that automatically add themselves to the game as official maps. But there are also tabs for "my maps" and "recent maps" when you go to play a game. Recent maps is a holding cell for any maps you encounter while playing other players online. If you run into a really great created map while playing online, you can save it as one of your own and create new matches with it quite easily. Slick.

Perhaps the only thing standing in the way of Age of Booty is its look. Anyone glancing at screenshots of the game is liable to see a big hex grid, assume it's some over-the-top turn-based tactical strategy game for people with big brains and lots of free time, and stay away. That, as you've probably figured out already, couldn't be further from the truth.

For more proof that any drunken idiot can understand and enjoy Age of Booty, please see the following video as the landlubbin' staff of Giant Bomb pairs off with the experienced swashbucklers of Capcom for a rum-soaked high-seas adventure...

  


Giant Bomb would like to remind you to pillage responsibly.
Staff
Posted by CarolynP

I like big boats and I cannot lie.

Posted by Ironhide

Wow Brad gets dead.

Posted by stillmotion

Oh, you guys are the best.

Posted by thatguy

Sir Mix-A-Lot approves this.

Posted by CleverLoginName

You guys get paid to do this?

Posted by Broman6015

i need to get into this industry....

Posted by Milkman

Best preview ever.

Posted by UrFaceIzDum

Epic winsauce

Posted by keyhunter

I like pirates.

Posted by logson

I've got a terrible case of the envies.

Posted by Jimbo_N

Captain Morgans spiced gold is sooooo good. and that video might be the funniest most awesome thing Ive seen on this internet thing in a year. Heres to Captain Morgan! Cheers!
Now thats how you make a preview!

Posted by Rowr

ahhaha thats was awesome. I vote for more drunken shenanagins.

Posted by Tarsier

I WISH I WAS GIANT BOMB :(

Posted by TheIneffableBob

There's a beta going on right now.

I installed it but haven't gotten around to playing it.

Posted by Smashlampjaw

GIANTBOMB.VAGINA  it didnt works!?!1

Posted by Milkman

And I still totally NEED that song that starts playing during the Bonus Round.

Posted by PhilSebben

whats with all the captain morgans, no silver rum?

Posted by Kontrapunkt

Only at GiantBomb so totally awesome :D

Posted by joslop500

well, looks kind of interesting

Posted by TheWesman

That was intense.

Posted by HatKing

BOOZE.  YUM.

Posted by DavidSnakes

WAY BETTER than the Legendary Preview.  The GameCock guys annoyed the shit out of me.

Posted by Claude
Posted by Aether

This is one of the examples that really makes Giantbomb stand out from the rest. Actual adults doing stuff together and not washed down for the kiddies.

Posted by Smurfy911

How game previews should ALWAYS go :P

Posted by Vaxadrin

<3

Posted by deaux

Great video -- I was pretty excited when this hit after yesterday's Bombcast.

Posted by Weltal

Giant Bomb, home of the best previews ever.

Posted by ep_driver

Thank you sooooooooooooo much for not being lame and censoring your site. I LOVED seeing Cap-Mo all over your video. Also, the pirate music playing throughout was phenomenal. Hurray for drunken GiantBomb and Capcom employees on video.

p.s.-Mix Captain Morgan Tattoo with Mountain Dew to make a TatDew. It's magically delicious!

Posted by ep_driver

Holy shit, I just finished watching the video. F'ING AMAZING. Please make more videos like this. And have Adam from Capcom back so he can make more comparisons to Michael Phelps, that guy's funny as hell. Lastly, take Brad to the E.R. to have his stomach pumped.

Posted by joslop500

GIANTBOMB.Vagina, hahaha. You guys kill me,... and Brad.

Posted by Trindle

This was actually pretty hilarious.  Well done.

Posted by SpikeDelight

This site rules because it's raw as shit. They pull no punches and that's why I love GiantBomb!

Posted by BiffMcBlumpkin

This is the greatest video game preview review video ever fucking made.

OF NOTE DICKHEADS:

Brad you motherfucker, you gave the "Pleave leave me alone and I'm still there enough to acknowledge that you're there" thumbs up. You knew the noise was there, but you just wanted it away from your sphere so you could try to focus in on the booze running through your shit and try to work it through. If they kept doing it you'd go into the the "Uhhh, fuck man. Come on!"'s. You had the spins man. Then you'd leave, you would leave and find your quiet place.

You deserved the spins for such nonsense.

I'd drink all of you motherfuckers right under whatever table was on hand.

Posted by Terrell

In case some of you haven't noticed: Herzog Zwei = AWESOME

If you haven't played this GREAT RTS game for the Genesis...well, I actually understand, since it was kind of rare, but still!!  FIND IT, PLAY IT, LOVE IT!!!

Posted by Dandy

awesome, yet informative.

Posted by TheFrostedGamer

great preview, very entertaining

Posted by Lingxor

This is the best game coverage website on the internet.

Posted by Stealthoneill

That game looks pretty cool. the whole 2 v. 2 v. 2 concept could be some serious fun!

Posted by MisoRonery

You guys make me so jealous.  Keep on living the dream, and sharing with the rest of us poor shlubs.

Posted by DemonSpeeding

Awesome and hilarious video like always. I crave more videos! More reviews, previews, general goofing off, more more more!

Posted by Barrier

This clearly just made my night!!! funny as hell, and you need to preview EVERY GAME like this! love this freaking site!

Posted by Seizure_Man

Awesome filming and editing by Vinni. The question is, was he drinking too? A drunk cameraman sounds like something to expect from you guys.
Anyways, awesome preview. Keep up the good/drunk work.

Posted by ZenaxPure

What a great video, had me laughing the whole way through. Have to admit the game looks pretty fun now.

Posted by Valestis

We need more previews like this.

Posted by Trilogy

This is why i love this site..

Posted by MitchyD

I think you just made the 1up crew look like sissies!

Posted by Retro

Giantbomb.Vagina *giggle

Posted by Magnum

The best thing about GB is that yous guys are alcoholics just like me.

  • 152 results
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4