Review: Naval Warfare (PC)

In the world of Naval Warfare, you are in control of the Emperean vessel captained by Captain Grey and manned by his loyal crew.  In a steampunk-style world were two supreme powers come face-to-face in an unexpected war.  Fueled by a mysterious plot, you struggle to survive against uneven odds to protect the world from the forces of evil.  Taking on pirates, sea monsters and the enemy fleet, you must rely on you upgrades, allies, special weaponry and captain’s intuition to save the day.


All right, so I have to say first and foremost, this game isn’t bad, and honestly could be enjoyable… That is if it actually worked properly at all times.  I was rather excited to play the game when I first saw the trailer, as it reminded me of Red Alert, at least by the visual appearance. It also looked to have a kind of Asteroids feel to it.  While the story was all right and the characters seemed somewhat intriguing, the gameplay controls were a bit irritating at times. I also dealt with glitches and program problems after downloading it.  So let me try and explain this experience, and maybe it will help in the developers in fixing the problems.

To start, let me give you an idea of what went on in trying to get the game to work.  After downloading it, I had a problem of it even showing up on the computer screen, which I figured was maybe a driver problem.  So, with that in mind, I made sure to update all my drivers and do restarts, uninstalling, reinstalling and all that jazz… but to no avail.  Then, I attempted to peruse the interwebz to see if I could find someone else encountering the same issues, and yet again, no luck.  Next, I went to the developer’s site and could find nothing on the game, only information on a new game that they had made.  Then, I went to Steam’s site, which told me to do everything I had already done.  So, at this point, I was rather frustrated, almost to the point of not wanting to do anything further and give up.  That’s when I stumbled upon a way to actually bring the full game up instead of a black screen with sound.  Which, to be frank, was just luck.  To finally get the game up, I found out that I had to 1. Start the game to the black screen, 2. Ctrl-Alt-Delete to get to the task manager options in Windows 7, 3. Click Cancel, which I did by mistake the first time.  This finally brought me to a visible starting menu page for Naval Warfare.

So, it was finally time to start playing the game.  After going through the tutorials and getting the feels for the controls, I came to the actual start of missions, which went well for about five minutes.  After that, the game would keep minimizing and I would have to do the task manager thing over and over again.  So, of course I had a new puzzle to figure out.  This took a bit before I really noticed what was going on.  Come to find out that, while playing the game, my mouse wasn’t actually constrained by the game screen and I could still move it to my other monitor.  Thus, while in the heat of battle, I would unintentionally click on the desktop of my other display and it would minimize.  This of course made me look into my computer settings and see if the program was opening into a full screen mode, which it was.  So this became a continued problem, to the point of rage at times, eventually dropping my interest in playing.  Yet, I did continue, mostly because I was still interested in the story and where it would go to next.

My next issue was the continual lag in gameplay.  This led me to double check system requirements just to be sure, all of which were above the standards. I have yet to figure out the exact reason for this (any ideas would be great).  I don’t believe it was because there was too much stuff going on, because it would happen when there was nothing but the ship and water.  This led to a rather irritating time with controls. It would get so bad at times that my ship looked like it was moving in stop motion, which would end up getting me shot because I couldn’t dodge shots in time.  Since this game was originally made to use a controller rather than a keyboard, I would strongly recommend one if you do buy it for PC.  I believe this because it felt like the flow of the movements didn’t live up to what I think it’s capable of with just the arrow keys.

So, now that I’ve done my ranting, let’s look at some things that I did like when playing Naval Warfare.   First of all, I really did like the graphics.  They were very vibrant and had quite a bit of detail.  As stated before, it kind of reminded me of playing Red Alert visually, which was stimulating and, when working, did make it enjoyable.  I also liked the variety of different vessels that you come up against while playing the game.  The strategies employed in the gameplay made you really put some thought into what weapons or boats you needed to use to pass a level.

Interchangeable upgrades were also a really good idea.  I find it irritating when you are limited to only upgrading a vessel once, like they just welded it and never heard of bolts to attach things.  As for the story, I found it intriguing enough to go through the hassles of bugs and glitches.  Though it isn’t a super in-depth story, it is still rather fun to go through.  The addition of the voice actors was nice, and for the most part the talent was pretty good.  But sometimes, the vocal expression may have been a little misplaced.  In addition, I did like the musical arrangement, which was better than what I was expecting before playing the game.  Throughout the game, there was never an issue with the sound.  It always seemed to be at the right pace, although at times the animations would have to catch up with the words, something that is again probably due to the programming.

Overall, I can see where this game has some good potential to be fun and entertaining.  Unfortunately, like with most things, if it’s not working properly, then most of the enjoyment gets sucked right out of it.  So, although the graphics were nice and the story seemed pretty decent, I still found myself rage-quitting most of the time because of the bugs.  As it stands right now, I would recommend buying the game on XBLA rather than Steam, at least until they fix the bugs.  Additionally, I would also reinforce getting a controller to make movement smoother.  In the end, I have to rate it the following:

Final Rating: 6/10

CBR Break Down:
Console Played On: PC (Steam)
Approximate Time to Completion: 7+ maybe, hard to say with all the program problems.
Gamer Score Earned: N/A
Price Bought at: N/A – Review copy furnished by Game Distillery s.r.o.
Current Price: $9.99 (PC Download Copy from Steam)
Recommend Purchase Price: If it all worked properly, then I would agree with the price.

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