Review: King of Seas
King of Seas is an action role playing game putting you in the shoes of either Luky or his sister Marylou, either of which will be framed for their Fathers death…who just happens to be the King of the procedurally generated world of that particular play through.
It is up to you to regain what has been lost as you now sail the seas as a pirate, relying on exploration, trading, and a good dollop of high seas battling to build up your reputation, amass gold, and try to prove your innocence.
The core narrative of King of Seas is played out through static images and text with no voice narration, and although it is minimal in presentation, it has kept me interested so far (I’m currently level 39) and does a great job of slowly opening up the playable world to you.
The art style of the role playing world is very colourful as you sail around completing main missions and side quests, accompanied by a rousing score that ebbs and flows like the seas you are sailing on. Spot sound effects also immerse you too, as storms come in, volcanoes erupt, ships begin chase, or a submerged sea monster rises from the deep to try and swat you with a giant tentacle.
Starting with a small and slow ship (a ‘sloop’), the controls are intuitive and easy to pick up for raising and lowering your sails, turning and firing your cannons. You’ll also acquire voodoo powers (all explained in the story as it unfolds) which can make all the difference between failing or completing a mission/side quest. These powers can also be upgraded, as can everything on your ship, including the ship itself until you reach the giddy heights of a slower but more powerful Galleon.
Damage during battle is dealt to 3 separate areas: sail damage, hull damage and crew damage, with each particular area having its own effect. Sail damage will slow you down, hull damage can sink you, while crew damage will hit you on everything they take part in…those cannons might not fire as well as they did. You can repair yourself though, but you’ll need to get out of combat and also have enough repair kits onboard too.
As well as carrying repair kits your hull will be filled with all sorts of goods to trade between ports at their markets, or put into your bank to stock up on, or even carry around for the various people who will give you side missions when you visit the taverns at the ports scattered across the map.
You can even stop for a bit of fishing en route too should you have the requisite fishing gear with you, or delve for some sunken treasure from the hulls of broken ships that you pass while going from port to port.
The side missions can become a little repetitive due to their fetch/carry, kill or trade basics, but it is the journey taken, not the destination reached which truly keeps you wanting to set sail just one more time before you save the game.
King of Seas is a game which gives a LOT of playing time for its asking price, especially when factoring in that every new save will give you a different world to explore, plus a variety of difficulty levels where you can still keep all your inventory should you be sunk by an enemy, through to permadeath where EVERYTHING is at stake each time you go into battle!
Relaxing, rewarding, tactical, thought provoking, and with skill trees that will have you changing them up depending on your own particular play style, King of Seas is just the kind of game that I enjoy spending my time with, and spend a lot more time with it I will.
King of Seas releases TOMORROW, May 25th on Xbox, PS4, Nintendo Switch, Steam & GOG!
Review by Dave from a PS4 code kindly supplied by Team 17.