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Victory at Sea - Review

Victory at Sea is simply put, a Naval RTS.

It mixes gameplay from the standard world of RTS and throws in what feel like a bit of the Nexus The Jupiter Incident.

Starting off you have three ways to play the game. The Campaign, Historical Battles, and Custom.

In Campaign you pick a theatre of war, a nation, your own Captain and then you disembark to change the course of the war. You start off with but a single destroyer, but as you complete missions, harass enemy convoys and sink subs, you slowly gain experience points.

These are then used to unlock different classes of ships, and during missions you earn vital war bonds. These are then used to acquire more vessels and expand you fleet.

The game has a brilliant selection ranging from destroyers, cruisers, patrol boats, carriers, battleships, subs, and even convoy ships.

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The campaign is fairly simple, and so are the missions, but things slowly become more difficult and your tactics become extremely important.

You have the ability to simply control your flagship and let the AI handle the rest of your fleet, but opening up tactical mode brings up a grid based top down view. Something rather essential for large fleet encounters. Issue orders, set waypoints, determine fire arcs. You do all this from there, while the game is paused.

Pressing spacebar resumes gameplay, but you can press it again to pause and issue orders, choose which ships are AI controlled or which you manually want to manoeuvre.

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The gameplay is fantastic, it’s rare to get a naval strategy game and the developers are rather ambitious. Although so far I’ve been greatly impressed.

Moving towards Historical battles, it simply is what the name suggests. Although on a smaller scale sadly. Whether this is due to engine limitations or simply because the content has not been fully implemented at the time of covering the game; it wasn’t actually too much of an issue.

There’s something epic about taking part in sinking the Bismarck.

The visuals aren’t stellar, although the ship models are well done and have good detail. The only time you’ll say otherwise is if you happen to fully zoom in right against the side of the ship. Although if you’ll have the time to bother with that during full combat is up to you.

The fact that the majority of the game world is covered in water helps, as it cuts down on lots of extra rendering, meaning it should be easier for older systems to run.

The sound effects, now those are Loud, and powerful. Having the Hood and Bismarck go at it with headphones on might be a mistake as those guns and explosions can be deafening. It certainly sounds amazing!

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Sadly I’m a terrible captain, easily failing at the campaign for forgetting that the more plusses/stars on an enemy fleet the more dangerous they are. I’ve often lost my ships against a measly german patrol for not paying attention, and forgetting you can pause the game with spacebar to issue commands. You can’t just play this like a normal RTS, you have to constantly pay attention.

Ship modules can be damaged, and although some can get repaired by you crew, severe damage means you need to return to a port for proper repairs and outfitting. A nice addition to the game, which keeps you on your toes.

I’ve not done well in the campaign, but I really enjoy Victory at Sea. It’s certainly a game I’ll go back to again, and again. It’s shaping up to be something fantastic.

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