E3 2011: Raven’s Cry preview – Oh, Sid Meier’s Pirates, where have you been?

If you’re anything like us, you absolutely adore Sid Meier’s Pirates. Back in 2004, the game was an absolute masterpiece, and it has managed to age well in the ensuing seven years (even mangled Wii port was still vaguely awesome.) That’s why we’re so pumped for Topware’s Raven’s Cry, a grittier and more realistic look at the often overly-childish pirate genre.

Sid Meier’s influence is easy to see even in just the small amount of content we’ve seen from Raven’s Cry. The game contains a similar form of hybrid gameplay to his Pirates!. There’s your expected amount of sailing the seven seas and blasting fools with your giant cannons, and there’s also quite a bit of on-foot swashbuckling to be found as well. The sailing sections look great, and the ships themselves are huge and beautiful. During the ship-to-ship battles you’ll be moving around on the ship deck supervising the action. The battles aren’t limited to ship-to-ship either: we also saw the ability to bombard a port on the shore.

Rather than the turn-based battles found in Pirates! or that game’s 1-v-1 sword battles, Raven’s Cry is taking things a step further by implementing shooting and slashing sections that play similarly in function to a 3D brawler. When not fighting, there is very little restriction on what you must do. There’s a big open world to explore, and it’s up to you to venture out and make your fortune. There is a central narrative, and it seems fairly fleshed out too, but you won’t be constantly bound to it. There will be a morality system ala Mass Effect though it’s not quite as deep. And there will be multiple endings based on your choices.

We’re still waiting on a lot of details about Raven’s Cry, as this was just our first taste of the game. But what we’ve seen thus far is very promising. We’re hoping Topware and developer Nitro give the production the resources and development time it needs to ensure that it reaches its Pirates! level of potential, because seven years is far too long a time to wait for another dose of 17th century high-seas sailing. We’ll be keeping an eye on Raven’s Cry and we’ll be looking forward to its release in Q2.

Jun 17, 2011



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  • ExplodingBeavers - June 19, 2011 11:31 p.m.

    I will be so happy if this is for PS3
  • BishopofHippo93 - June 19, 2011 3:10 p.m.

    I really hope this is not a PC only title. There aren't nearly enough good pirate games out there, especially on consoles.
  • jmcgrotty - June 18, 2011 10:37 a.m.

    Now you're just trying to piss me off! The Pirates game in 2004 was really good, but didn't hold a candle to 1987's original Pirates! THAT was a freaking masterpiece. I can still play it often.
  • Fro4show - June 17, 2011 10:51 p.m.

    Need an Oblivian/Fallout3 style Pirates game. Now THAT would be awesome. Ill look out for this though, Pirates! was an awesome game.
  • ZigzMagoo - June 17, 2011 10:14 p.m.

    holy shit this looks good. Sid Meiers Pirates was an awesome game
  • qurao - June 17, 2011 9:55 p.m.

    It's not even a month ago that I thought to myself "man, I wish they'd do a sequel to Sid Meier's Pirates!" Hopefully this'll turn out well.
  • FlyinHawaiian13 - June 17, 2011 9:28 p.m.

    I think there needs to be more games like this and Red Dead Redemption. Games set in the past are always so concrete and have you bound to the story. They need to give you the freedom to live the life the way you want to.

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