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  • Gender: Male
  • Birthday:October 23,1987
  • Location: Argentina

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Recently, a newly released game caught my attention. It's called Cloud Pirates, and went out of beta last week. Since it's free to play I gave it a shot, as usual, completely oblivious about what would I find there. To my surprise, I… sorry, this isn't easy for me… I actually enjoyed playing it!

So come with me in this journey of grog, flying ships, and space scurvy...


THE GAMEPLAY

A FAMILIAR SETTING


After checking the main menu and playing the tutorial, I discovered, to my enjoyment, that Cloud Pirates is an action MOBA, and extremely similar to one I've played before called Panzar: Forged in Chaos. And when I say similar it is because they're pretty much the same exact game, but with different aesthetics, that's all. I'll get to that later…

The game consist of quick matches in which you command your ship teamed up with a bunch of other players, and try to accomplish objectives in a variety of airborne maps. These objectives can go from capture bases to grab treasures and deliver them to specific points, or even kill anything in sight. While not much imaginative, its more than enough for a game of this type.

After every match you get experience points and advance not only your character -from now on, the captain, that means, you-, but also your selected ship, each one with a specific role in battle. There's three main roles: assault, defense, and support, and each one can be light, medium or heavy. As you may predict, there's a huge pool of different ships to chose from, and they advance individually, so if you want to play with something new you'll have to start from scratch.

Personally, I think this is great, because it forces you to understand your newly chosen class in depth, and also it adds a little more replayability to the game. Notice that every fight you get extra rewards for performing better in that particular match, and these achievements can be almost anything you do: surviving more than usual, killing more people, assisting your partners, and so on. Therefore, the better you play, the faster you'll grow.


When you create a new account you'll be greeted with a bunch of quests that provide you with gold and experience, the much needed currencies to upgrade your ship. Every quest you complete seems to grant you a new one, but I'm not sure for how long it goes. I've achieved level 6 already and it seems to keep on going.

I've mentioned before that Cloud Pirates is very similar to Panzar, and that's because it's almost the same game. Everything from graphics and controls, to character development, team composition, and even the objectives of the maps are the same, so it seems that they didn't put much effort in developing this product. There isn't even a story to unfold or a world that you can discover, it's just generic pirate stuff that doesn't make any sense when you put it in space - even the music is like they just ripped it off from Pirates of the Caribbean.


Scoreboard

An example of a newbie scoreboard.

The first victory of the day with each ship grants you double

experience, which is a fine incentive to change your playstyle once in a while.



PIRATES IN SPACE

A RECIPE FOR INSIPIDNESS


As I just mentioned, the world in which we fly on, Sarnaut, is just a bunch of rocks scattered in the air and nothing more; also, every ship seems to have a generic black flag with a skull on it and the captains wield curved swords that serve no purpose whatsoever. Nevertheless, considering how crappy the artwork is in the gaming industry these years, I think this way is better. I'd rather have a nonexistent plot than a cliché one that forces me to follow it, taking away time and resources and bringing nothing to the enjoyment of the game. Even when I'm a big fan of the two original Monkey Island, the Pirates of the Caribbean fad burned me out of pirates to the point I can't stand them anymore, so a stupid quest of fighting ghosts and chasing legendary items would actually turn me away from the game.

The music is bland and repetitive, but I guess it's enough for this. Fortunately, the announcer just says what he needs to say - you won't find awful, uninspired, stupid crap about Davy Jones locker like in the pirate map of Heroes of the Storm, for example. Instead, you'll be warned about the capture of vital points and items, or even when your ship is getting owned so you can react properly.

The graphics are very nice and the maps are big, with rocks, clouds and other obstacles in which you can maneuver in order to protect yourself from enemies, adding to this game skillcap. One thing I've noticed is that, sometimes, there is just too much shit on the screen. The first time I played this I almost got an indigestion of numbers - just check the screenshot and see it for yourself.

On the bright side, pretty much anything you need to know about how to get better is right in front of your face, so there is no excuse for being bad here - if you want to improve, you'll need to watch the information closely, nothing more.


NumbersEverywhere

I wish I paid more attention in math class...



THE CONTROLS

LIKE DRIVING A TANK IN A CHINESE BAZAAR


The controls are pretty basic: you move with WASD, change your latitude and altitude with Shift and the Spacebar, and shoot with your mouse, which also controls the camera. The direction your aim is locked is which gun you'll use - front, left or right, but be careful, because shooting too much will overheat that weapon and it'll take a few seconds to work again. You can also use a variety of skills which change depending your ship, and goes from torpedoes to warp jumps or extra shields.

The first ship you'll try is probably going to be the Trainee. It moves like a turtle on drugs and when it shoots, it overheats faster than a teenager in front of a cheerleader. Yet, with patience and perseverance, after a few matches you'll be able to upgrade it in order to make it faster and more resistant. This procedure can be done with every ship available, and while it's at this level, you'll be paired with other players in the same training, unranked stage.

Eventually, you'll change it for a more powerful version of it, bringing you to level 2, which also allows you to play in a ranked league, providing new challenges against more experienced captains. It also means you'll be stepping into a dreadful territory, which brings me to the next side of this story...


Crew

At level 6 you can recruit a crew for your

ships, providing a variety of bonuses.

They can also gain experience after each battle.



RUBIES

IN CASE YOU'RE TOO BAD AT THE GAME


Yep, the game has a P2W feature. With enough IRL money you'll be able to upgrade your ship pretty fast, and get a quick edge on your enemies. Still, with the huge array of different strategies and considering it’s a PvP game, a skillful player can overcome an inflated one with ease.

Some side quests can grant you free rubies that you can trade for extra gold and experience, but they're not much and they take time to accomplish - time that can be, ironically, removed with rubies. Right now I'm playing with a level 6 captain and I haven't found many overpowered players flying around, but as I mentioned before, Panzar is a similar game with the same method of payment, and the real problem start at maximum level, in which you get stomped to the ground instantly if you're not 100% equipped with the best crap around. I don't know is that happens the same way in Cloud Pirates, but in my previous experiences with other games, it probably does.


TO PLAY OR NOT TO PLAY?


In conclusion, if you like quick paced MOBAs with personal development instead of a locked pool of characters to chose from, I suggest you to give this game a try. You can learn how to play it as soon as the tutorial is over, and it has that strange addictive effect of RPGs in which you'll always be playing a little more in order to advance to the next level.


Sadly, describing the game in a single review isn't enough, so if you have more questions about it, feel free to ask.

Or even better, get into the action in your own vessel and find it out yourself!

Tags:
Cloud Pirates   MOBA  

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