Nov 26, 2007
When you read the back of the box and inevitably find the word "history" somewhere in the synopsis of the game, just go ahead an ignore that. This Civil War era western-themed pirate game is actually a terrible depiction of what the Civil War was like. On the other hand, it's not a bad mix-up of ideas and gameplay elements topped off with some bad language and a delightful amount of limb removal.
You play the grumpy captain Abraham Gray, a pirate with nothing in particular to do, so he sails around completing quests and delivery runs for people all over the place. It's fun for a while, and the story missions help out the why-do-I-care? factor, but at the core of a pirates life are only three simple types of gameplay. You can fight ships, fight boatloads of sailors single-handedly, duel other ship captains or box people you meet in bars (the last two play the same way). There are some RPG elements to building your character. You pick perks and chose which of three stats to invest in when you level up, but however you choose to build Abraham, he's going to be really, really strong.
The three types of gameplay are fun, but once you master the controls, the game gets a bit too simple to hold interest. We had fun for awhile - it helps if you like pirates, cowboys or pirate-cowboys. Most of the settings and characters know they're silly historically pretend people, and they make fun of themselves accordingly. The leopard skin bikini clad cowboy groupies found in the bars give you a good indication of the tone of the game. We liked the setting, liked the gameplay but ultimately there wasn't enough to keep it in our console for a very long time.