By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor) OnRPG Journalist
Let’s be fair shall we, the longest running discussion on the Internet remains: pirates or ninjas. Well look no further than Seven Seas Saga if you fancy yourself a pirate lover. The freedom in this game is top notch and lets you live out all your pirating dreams. Want to be a pirate to roam the seven seas? Or do you more fancy being the trader that is known to have a good supply of all the rarest goods? Joyhubs dynamically pits both types of players against each other in a unique PvPvE system that keeps things quite exciting. The path you can take is simple; you just have to think whether you want to be feared, or revered.
Well I know what I wanted to be, and I’m sorry for the ninja fans, but I have always liked pirates more. And even though I am a big roleplayer and I am able to do this whole review in piratish, I will refrain from this to spare you guys the awkwardness of pirates on the sea. In the tutorial, you will get to know the game mechanics better, and one of the first things you do is sailing your ship around the sea. And my first impression was surprise that this game stacks up with its the limited competition in the genre without even requiring a download client. The game itself is actually really good looking and the user interface is clean and polished. The tutorial is quite expansive and includes acquisition of booty, trading booty, fighting pirates for booty, and of course talking with a bunch of guys about the best ways to get more booty. And while this might take up an entire Friday night for a pirate at the local bar it moves along swiftly in Seven Seas Saga through blinking sword-arrows directing you what to do next.
If you’re impatient or just familiar with piloting your ship from similar titles, you can skip straight into the gameplay. The game is played out on a recreation of the European continent and I started in London port off the coast of England. The game in the nutshell is picking up rare goods in one nation and traveling abroad to foreign countries to trade said goods at higher rates. Everything in this game gives you experience, from sailing to finding treasure; before you know it you are already twenty levels later. When I arrived in Amsterdam I was a little sad, as a real Dutchie, I wasn’t too happy with the Netherlands. Amsterdam is on the completely wrong side of my country in this game, and oddly enough there was snow while there wasn’t any in England. If feels like they rather rushed their research on recreating the game world, or perhaps just choose gameplay benefits over realism in some areas.
This game is relatively the same as any other MMORPG when it comes to questing. You either have to deliver something, or you will have to kill an x amount of ships of either pirates or a different nation. I don’t mind these kind of quests and actually rather enjoy them, but for some people these quests aren’t that enjoyable. The quests also make you interact with other regions of the world while the dialogue offers context clues of how each nation views the others. Does Spain not want you trading your English goods in their ports? Well you’re going to have to figure out a way around this cultural barrier to complete the quest. This helps set the boundary lines for players to build a compelling and believable story given the time period. You can fly the flag of various nations, or sail as a mercenary for the highest bidder. I enjoyed questing as much as possible in Amsterdam since the area felt so familiar.
Besides the questing and having a good time with the story itself, you can also do a course which will cost you some coins but will give you some extra stats when your course is completed. You can also study skills that will help you out in the battles; unfortunately these are paid with gold which can be acquired with real money. Non-cash shoppers can still acquire them through events but that will take you a while.
The captain can be equipped with various gear to improve your ships overall performance in areas like shooting, armor and hp, firing range, and a variety of other differentiating stats. Every level your captain gains allows you to allocate stat points to give him the extra boost in one of the six possible stats. The equipment for your captain can also be upgraded into something better in the Forge. You can also add sockets and fill them with gems for further bonus options. You’d think that would be plenty for a browser title but Seven Seas Saga also features enchanting and all the other bells and whistles you’d expect of an MMORPG, so grind style crafters should feel right at home. For the real traders, there is also a market place like any other auction house you can imagine in a game. It is amazing that this game is a free-to-play browser with so much hidden to discover.
For a browser game, I really feel like I was playing a game that I bought. Seven Seas Saga has so much to offer, that I can’t compare it fairly with similar pirate games on the market. The old major downside was the ease of purchasing power via the gold system, which is only a slight letdown. The combat could use a bit of tweaking as well as it felt a bit simplistic in its current form. The game has a lot of things to offer, from crafting to trading; anything you can imagine in a pirate game is there. I recommend anyone with an itch to explore the seven seas give Seven Seas Saga a go.