Wasn't blown away at all by Windward...

User Rating: 2 | Windward PC

TL;DR SUMMARY: Game is easily a pass; which pains me to say as I typically love anything having to do with nautical, naval, sea, sailing, etc. (Thank God I got it in a Humble Bundle!) There's three main mechanics to the game: 1. Sail, explore, and pick up items as you find them, 2. Attack and have combat with enemy vessels, 3. Dock at ports via a menu where you get supplies/quests -- wash/rinse/repeat those three mechanics endlessly throughout the entire game on "procedurally-generated" maps. (At least you can also customize the factions/ships, as well as the map layout I guess... fourth mechanic!? LOL.)

Anywho, after perusing around on the webs a bit... seems some devs have "inspiration" (as a developer so eliquently phrased it on the Steam forums) from older shut-down titles/creations to then take said material, roll it around a bit, and rerelease it as their own... sad in a way... to have the ability and opportunity to make something unique and make the most out of the platform/foundation, and instead recycle something that's been done and shut-down numerous times before. :-|

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REVIEW: Not to be mean, game has some promise and potential, but it just got so boring with only sailing all the time and ship-combat aside from some (sarcasm) rousing menu-simulator going on.

Which is sad, because this is the chain of events that got me to start playing the game. Ever since playing AC: Black Flag many moons ago, constantly having an itch for pirate adventures. Today I decided to browse around. ArcheAge is a waste of time unless one wants to grind and be KoS'ed all the time, but I saw Voyage Century, Uncharted Waters Online, and Pirates of the Burning Sea. Outside of PotBS, I had tried the other three before, and they were very underwhelming; but for some reason, I never got around, ever, to trying PotBS. So, I started playing PotBS today, 06/18/17, and I actually rather liked it... in some ways it may be dated, but the game is a blast.

So anywho, what I did come to find in the game (PotBS), was the ship-combat seemed a lot more fun than the ground-combat and running around. And I recall the ship-combat in AC: Black Flag being loads of fun... so decided to brush the dust off of Windward, which I got in a Humble-Bundle awhile ago, and finally give it a whirl... with a focus on just sailing and ship-battles, how could one go wrong.

Well, that's where it begins to massively unravel. Game is okay, customization and configuration at the beginning of factions, and color-schemes, etc is really neat... but when the game starts and you play for awhile, it's the classic wide as an ocean, but deep as a puddle dilemma.

It's another of many "pop up menu at the docks" sailing games with a locked isometric-view, where you're constantly staring down at your ship with no means to zoom it in whatsoever, so the view you start with is all you constantly have the entire game (an ability to pan in behind the ship and have more of a graphical 3D view would be awesome!), with nothing but constantly seeing the water and the ship, which might be okay. But then you just constantly sail, gather, quest (which quests you get at docks and they get put in your cargo-hold like inventory... for some that makes sense, but others not so much), grind, combat, etc. If this released many moons ago on say the NES, SNES, or even the Gamecube, or even early Playstation 1 or 2, might not have been so bad as a quick time-waster console-game... but this is a PC game, that only released 2 years ago in 2015.

It's almost more of a clicker kind of game... since when you come across pirates or enemies, your ship will auto-fire at it and all you really need to do is circle it and watch the battle commence. I was trying my hardest not to doze off while playing this, and I honestly wasn't tired when I originally started playing it... and even more bluntly honest, I wanted it to be much more fun than that! -_-

I'm gonna' have to shelf this again... because if all I did in this the entire time is JUST ship sailing constantly and auto-combat and grinding... I might find myself burned out on other games such as PotBS, etc... which is a shame... was hoping this would be a fun "filler" kind of game when on a cool-down from PotBS and such... oh well, I guess... considering the state of today's gaming-industry, guess I shouldn't be all that shocked. Even if it were more of a pleasure-cruise exploration, there's so much more that could be done and/or added to make it more fulfilling as such. Perhaps allow people to get off on land and piers/town and walk around with a top-down old-school pixelated character (think Dragon Warrior or original Ultima and/or Final Fantasy) that can explore around, dig for treasure, fish, etc... perhaps even build/upgrade a house and/or your faction's village.

Another thing that I found bizarre, is even though it allowed me to customize SIX factions, which I tried to make really unique and interesting, even on the largest map (33x33), it would only allow me to place FOUR factions!? What happened to the other 2 that I customized!? >_<

PS - I also typically rather enjoy when a game comes with native gamepad support, which this does, and perhaps there's a way to reconfigure it, but the default controls are REALLY janky! The heal skill you press the A button (or X since I'm using a PS3 controller), then press down on the D-pad to apply it... for manual combat/cannons you use B (or Circle on PS3 controller), but no matter what button I seem to push, I can't seem to get it to acknowledge on a target (Circle and X don't seem to do anything) unless I drop the controller and mouse-click (at which point I can see the reticle flicker as if acknowledge, rather than vanish like X and Circle do)... must have missed which button does that. (Would also be nice if there were more to a docking-process rather than just coming to a stop at the end of a dock and pressing down on the d-pad... maybe more or a process, like furling in sails, dropping anchor, chucking a rope to the dock, and then coming ashore.)

** NOTE: Due to issues in other areas/websites, have client-side disabled viewing comments via custom user-script; therefore won't be viewing/reading/responding to comments on this review.