Sid Meier's Pirates! is an action adventure game that was released in 2004 for the PC. Developed by Firaxis and published by Atari, the game puts the player in the role of a pirate in the Caribbean during the 1600's and 1700's. An Xbox port was released in 2005, followed by a P.S.P. version in 2007, an iPad version in 2011 and an iPhone version in 2012. Sid Meier's Pirates! is a remake of the 1987 game of the same name.
The Xbox version is backwards compatible with the Xbox 360 and was released on the system's online storefront on April 7, 2008. On October 24, 2017, it was made backwards compatible with the Xbox One.
The game starts off with a cut-scene showing the main character as a child enjoying a feast with his family in a large, luxurious house. The meal is suddenly interrupted, however, when a man by the name of Marquis Montalban barges in and seizes the families property for failing to pay off their debt. The money was on a ship on route to Montalban, but the ship became lost at sea. Montalban enslaves the family, but the boy manages to escape. Flash forward ten years later and the boy, now an adult, yearns for revenge. The hero signs up to serve on a ship, but when their crew is treated harshly by the captain, the crew mutinies and names the main character as the captain.
From this point on, the hero's future is entirely in the player's hands in an open-ended campaign. The story itself evolves in whatever manner the player chooses, and optimally ends with the player rescuing their family, and gaining enough fame points by completing various achievements to retire into a wealthy position in the Caribbean community.
The gameplay is in many ways similar to that of the original Sid Meier's Pirates!. The player sails around the Caribbean in a ship that he/she is the captain of. It is an entirely open ended experience with numerous things a player can do to keep entertained, such as:
Visiting towns and outposts
The player can visit numerous towns and outposts looking to recruit more crewmen, buy and sell cargo, repair or upgrade his/her ship as well as speaking to the governor. The governor may provide the player with a mission, promote the player on a job well done or invite the player to dance with his daughter, earning information about bounties in the process.
The player can attack any ship in the game. When initiated, the player and the opposing ship square off, firing cannons and attempting to outmaneuver one another in a real time minigame. The player can simply outright sink the opposing ship or attempt to capture it. Attempting to capture it involves colliding with the opposing ship which triggers yet another mini game, this time a sword fight vs the opposing ships captain. The mechanics of this sword fight can be compared to D.D.R. - The player has three attacks and three dodges at his disposal. The player can do a high attack, middle attack or low attack as well as a high dodge, middle dodge and low dodge. For example, if the player attacks the opposing captain with a high attack and the opposing captain fails to do a high dodge, the opposing captain will be hit.
If this battle is lost, the player is either picked up by another one of his ships or, if he has no other ship, is sent to jail where the player can choose to wait and serve his time or attempt to escape. When attempting to escape a stealth-based minigame will begin where the player has to sneak past guards and reach his ship. If the battle is won, the player can keep the ship and spoils of pirating. The player can command up to nine other ships.
The player can buy treasure maps and go hunting for buried treasure. When the player acquires enough pieces of the treasure to decipher the location based on landmarks, the player embarks on a land-based minigame. There, the player and a handful of his crew travel on a beach in search of where the treasure is buried. once discovered, the crew will dig up the treasure and earn a significant reward.
If the player annoys a particular city enough (which can be done by repeatedly attacking ships that leave the cities ports), the option to sack said city becomes available. This triggers a turn based strategy mini game in which your pirates become pitted against the cities militia in a land battle. Winning this minigame is achieved by either defeating the militia or outmaneuvering them and reaching the city. There are essentially two types of units: melee and ranged. Terrain comes into play as units can't cross rocky terrain and thick foliage reduces damage done by ranged units. Flanking also comes into play; when a unit attacks the flank of an opponent it does increased damage. If routed, the player may be jailed, but if successful the player receives a large reward in the form of gold, the choice to convert the city to another nation, and access to all the amenities the city has to offer.
The player can track and hunt down the other nine most infamous pirates in the Caribbean. Often, these pirates have excellent ships and a lot of money. Normally, they can be spotted around their home city, but will put up a fight no matter how you choose to engage them.
Completing the main quest
The main quest involves rescuing enslaved family members and ultimately, hunting down and enacting revenge upon Montalban, the man who enslaved them. The player will have to acquire information about the location of the captors through rumors (much like finding treasure chests and bounties).
- Operating System: Windows 98,SE,ME,2000,XP
- Processor: 1 GHz or higher
- Memory: 256MB RAM
- Hard Disk: 1.4 GB free space available
- Video Card: ATI Radeon 8500 or GeForce 3 or higher
- CD rom Drive: 8x speed or faster
- Sound: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card
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