Here be dark waters boy. You’re a long way from old Blighty now. And don’t let the crystal blue water and the lush tropical islands fool you. This is a dark place for a Kidd like you. So grow yourself a Blackbeard and prepare to battle the ruthless pirates that led you into this godforsaken place…
Didn’t depress you enough to stop reading? Oh good, because Raven’s Cry is looking to be quite a bit of fun when it launches later this year. TopWare Interactive, the games developers, say that unlike most Pirate stories this one is much darker, focusing on the ruthlessness of the men and women who plundered the Caribbean during the 17th century. The storyline itself is interwoven with historical and fictional elements, with historically accurate architecture, naval battles, duels, and several modified weapons of the era.
You play as a young Scotsman who witnesses the destruction of his ship-and entire family-at the hands of a nasty pirate chap, who leaves you with a missing hand and a lot of anguish. After replacing your missing hand with a handy Hook (good thing you aren’t a captain or you’d be the bad guy!) you set out to seek revenge on the man who led the attack, and the crew he ordered about. Along the way you’ll hack, slash and shoot your way through a variety of areas. From quaint little tropical towns, the cess pool of filth that is the Pirate Capital, Port Royal, the old Cuban city of Havana, all the way to ancient and mysterious Aztec ruins. You are accompanied on your journey by a pet Raven, which you can use to scout for enemies, although expect to scheme and deal with many other scoundrels and drunken louts along the way if you’re to succeed in your little vendetta.
The game also features role playing elements, such as a morality system, magic items which can increase your skills, and several side quests to keep you occupied. You can also accumulate ‘Fear’ and ‘Notoriety’ depending on your actions, and these have an effect on how the world around you reacts to your actions. Accumulate enough fear and you can use this to send your enemies fleeing in terror; increase your notoriety enough and wanted posters will start popping up, which you can then remove ala Assassins Creed style. Make your enemies bleed and suffer instead of a quick death, and your morality also changes, thereby affecting the world around you. Pirate Charms that you collect can be used to boost your attacks, summon flocks of savage Ravens (Hitchcock would be honoured) and even cast magic to help you in battle.
Naval battles can be fought, and certain enemies can be challenged to duels. Modified weapons are also at your disposal, such as the pistol sword (self-explanatory) and the ‘Axe Rifle’, which looks like a 17th century version of the Gears of War Lancer weapon. No doubt they will come in handy and you chase your foes across this luscious, sun baked hell.
Ravens Cry will be sailing in on May 7 for Windows, Xbox 360 and Playstation 3.