New Sid Meier's Pirates! details

Firaxis confirms that its hotly anticipated high-seas sequel will sport expanded role-playing elements.

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Firaxis Games has released a few more details about Sid Meier's Pirates!, the forthcoming update of the 1987 classic buccaneer adventure. Like its predecessor, the game will let players step into the boots of a pirate captain and take to the high seas of the 17th-century Caribbean. It will also retain the original's mix of exploration, sea battles, ship commandeering, fort raiding, booty collecting, and hand-to-hand combat. Originally announced at last year's E3, the new game is also known to use the GameBryo 3D engine used by the Morrowind and Dark Age of Camelot series.

Firaxis' latest announcement confirms that the new Pirates! will feature a much-expanded role-playing element with "multiple paths to a wealthy, happy retirement"--meaning, presumably, that players can choose between a benevolent, Jack Sparrow-like rogue or a heartless, Blackbeard-esque buccaneer. The company's release specifically mentioned a large cast of "interesting and dangerous characters" as well as a fame system that will let players expand their crew, fleet, and pile of plunder as their "reputation and skills grow." The statement also confirmed a system of alliances with other pirate captains and that the game would have enhanced surround sound.

Unfortunately, more details on Sid Meier's Pirates! are scarce. The PC game is being published by Atari and is scheduled for release later this year.

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