Exploring The Best Pirate Games
The life of a pirate naturally lends itself to an exciting video game. Exploring diverse environments, negotiating important trade deals and conquering the seas are activities rife with dangers and opportunities. Conquering the seas is not something that should be attempted in real life, which is why becoming immersed in a pirate game is an attractive means of escapism. From strategy-based games to more light-hearted affairs, there are many games that will convince players that it’s a pirate’s life for them.
The pioneering game to thank for inspiring future pirate adventures is Sid Meier’s Pirates! The exclamation mark is part of the game’s title, but its exploration of uncharted gaming territory would still be cause for such exuberance. The open-world game grants players the chance to plot their own course, forming (and breaking) alliances to increase trade or becoming a rogue pirate attacking ports at will. Sid Meier is renowned for creating legendary games like Civilization and Railroad Tycoon, but Pirates was first to bear his name and the first great instalment in the genre of pirate video games.
Yet Sid Meier was working with relatively limited technology when that game was released in 1987. Today, pirate games can draw on the themes of Meier’s creation while introducing more vibrant graphics and complex features. This is evident in Pirates: Tides of Fortune, which marries the feel of a classic computer game with rich visuals. The reliance on strategy means that Pirates: Tides of Fortune is one of the most realistic pirate games, with players expected to balance diplomatic and military needs while striving to dominate the seas. The massively multiplayer real-time strategy title allows players to form brotherhoods to climb the leaderboard, proving that life at sea doesn’t have to be lonely.
Pirates: Tides of Fortune faithfully recreates the life of a pirate, but Lego Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game offers a different dynamic. Lego have become an unexpected powerhouse in the world of gaming, with their brand of humour crucial in making each new Lego video game an enjoyable, albeit low-stakes, adventure. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean is no different. While this makes its gameplay formulaic for those used to Lego games, its charming Lego recreation of classic characters from the film franchise make it a jolly gaming experience.
Lego are not the only gaming heavyweight to have thrown themselves into the world of pirates. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag deploys the series’ classic technique of merging fictional and historical events to create a gripping adventure. Players become the pirate Edward Kenway, who finds himself embroiled in conflict between Assassins and Templars. Black Flag’s focus on the seas makes it a unique instalment in the series, with naval exploration and combat among the game’s strongest assets.
Today, the best way to get your timbers shivered is through a pirate video game. It feels like a genre that still has room for exploration, but that serves to make the existing games feel distinctive and exciting. Whether adopting a pirate’s identity or managing an entire crew, there is a raft of games to cater for players keen to explore the seas.
Occasional writer and fan of video games and scifi TV shows!