When Abandon Ship was revealed last year, it gave me a big naval oil painting vibe- which made sense, as Fireblade Software utilizes the Age of Sail - that almost 300 year period between the 16th and 19th century where big sailing ships dominated trade and warfare across the seas. After making a splash with the initial trailer, the development team has been working hard on this strategic adventure title. Now, a new trailer shows us exactly what we have to look forward to when the game releases later this year.
Fireblade Software has given the world fresh new content via a combat exhibition video on their YouTube channel. What it shows off is the promise of tactical and savage nautical combat that appears both challenging and dynamic. We're all hands on deck for challenging and rewarding.
All combat actions happen while both ships sail parallel to each other, trading volleys of gunfire back and forth not unlike the pirating bits of Assassin's Creed 3 and Black Flag. Before your cannons are fired, your crew wants to be in a position that best suits each member's class. Putting crew in the right place can provide bonuses to combat, like a Gunner manning one of your weapon arrays. Keeping the distance between ships in mind is also important, as distance determines visibility, the accuracy of your weapons, and the availability of actions like ramming or boarding ships.
Ships have many different sections, each of which can be targeted and disabled in order to gain an advantage over the enemy. Destroying the foe’s masts makes them slower and easier to maneuver against. Building strategies around destroying sections of your rival's ship - as opposed to simply lobbing cannonballs willy-nilly - is the dividing line between being a landlubber and channeling your inner Blackbeard.
When it comes to weaponry, the types available to you will be in surplus. Long range guns for targeted attacks, short range guns for big damage, and even harpoons and hull spikes for when things get particularly intimate. There will be various accoutrement available to tailor to your playstyle.
There will also be a number of conditions that will make combat on the high seas more colorful than simply dodging gunfire. Ships can take on water if their hull is cracked, meaning they will sink if crew members aren’t stationed at pumps to dry the craft out. Fires can be started and spread through the ship, which will damage your sections over time if crew members aren’t scrambled fast enough to put them out.
The weather will have a big effect on any given battle, as well. When it’s raining, your fires go out automatically, which is unfortunate if you structured your offense around lighting people on fire. Tidal waves can knock crew overboard, which will condemn them to Davy Jones’ Locker if a man isn’t put on the winch to save them. In arctic maps, icebergs can take your floating war machine from Black Pearl to Titanic in an instant without the proper upgrades.
A dynamic mix of these conditions will demand the player to think on their feet to win the day when Abandon Ship finally leaves the port sometime this year. For more information, hop aboard the Official Abandon Ship Wiki.
Jarrett shares his love of video games and geek culture through feature articles on Gamepedia. He prides himself on his deep attraction to Japanese beat-em ups and his god-like Bushido Blade talents.