Gamescom 2012: Kartuga – A Pirate’s Tale
By Shannon Doyle (Leliah), OnRPG Journalist
Eight Journalists walk into a room...ok, it sounds like the start of a really poor joke, but it is actually how my first peek at Kartuga started. After all the best way to play a game that is all about PvP is to have people to play against. And who better than your media competition, or in the case of our writer Ardua, your wife.
Our journey on the high seas began with the opportunity to see the open world. We were sheltered from the open water in a port town which is marked as a combat free zone. There we were able to get a handle on the controls and even pick up a quest or two. That is where you queue yourself up for either 4v4 or 2v2 PvP. You wait a couple of minutes while you’re paired up with other players then after a brief loading screen the fight is on. And that is where all seriousness is left behind.
That’s not to say that Kartuga isn’t a serious game, or that it’s cartoony in any way. But it is so much fun to play. It wasn’t long before the journalists were going after each other. Everyone was laughing and heckling each other. Not me though. Sure, I was laughing. But I also learned early on that Ardua was on the opposing team. And he made the mistake of announcing who he was. So the fight was on. Three times I defeated him before he finally thought to ask me who I was playing. He swore his revenge, which he still hasn’t taken yet so I need to be on my toes today.
There is more to it though than just sailing around to find the enemy team. There are flags which, when captured, act as spawn points, and cannon towers which add extra fire power to your team. Capturing a flag takes a little bit of time. You have to stay within a certain distance from the flag until the counter is done. Which can get complicated when you’re spotted by the enemy team. It is well worth the effort to have the flag captured though. You get more points and more places to spawn from which means getting back to it faster. Scattered through the map are several cannon towers. These towers are conquered by destroying them and allowing them to rebuild. When they rebuild they will fly your colors. Why is this important? Well, if enemy ships get close to them they will start attacking. The cannon attacks plus your own ship firing will take down any ship quickly.
In between matches you can stay in the open world. Even there you can pvp. Though on the open seas it is a free for all and you have to be on the lookout for NPC pirates who attack when you get in range.
Even if pvping isn’t your thing I would highly recommend you give Kartuga a try. It is a ton of fun. And this is coming from me, someone who really doesn’t like pvp, in part because of the hardcore attitude some people can get. Kartuga doesn’t have any of the stress and pressure that many pvp games have. But at the same time it manages not to have a childlike or simplistic feel. The balance between the two has produced a wonderful game that will keep me entertained for a long time to come.
If what I’ve said isn’t enough to get you to give it a try maybe I should mention that this game is completely browser based. Welcome to the new generation of Unity Engine browser titles. The glory days are truly here for those that prefer casual titles without downloads and Kartuga is leading the pack.