Do you often entertain fantasies of being trapped on a boat? Does Scurvy sound like fun to you? Do you ever suffer from bouts of intense nationalism that cause you to resort to piracy? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then I have just the game you’ve been looking for.
Uncharted Waters: New Horizons is a game with several main characters, each having their own story that you’ll likely have a difficult time getting to because stealing food from native populations, attacking anyone who dares cross your path, and needlessly buying expensive gifts for the various women working in bars all over the world will inevitably take up the bulk of your playing experience.
Oh, you can progress the story ahead if you’d like, but wouldn’t you rather sail around aimlessly, discovering new and exciting indigenous populations to exploit? Is it not every person’s true dream to accrue a fortune in trading, purchase a fleet of mighty warships, then proceed to destroy those whose very existence offends you? Does power not exist for the sole purpose of being wielded carelessly and without regard for human decency?
New Horizons is big, so even after playing for awhile I continued discovering new locations, albeit slowly, given that your vessel’s speed is dependent on how many sailors are in it and most of my crew had died from malnutrition by that point. There are also typical sailor problems such as Scurvy, rats, and having to pay your crew. How rude is it that after all of the near-death experiences I subjected them to, they still expected financial compensation? And all that time I thought we were bonding on a deeper level.
If you find yourself broke and possess a penchant for gambling, you can challenge random strangers to blackjack. This is usually a surefire method of losing what little you have left, since the odds always seem stacked pretty heavily in their favor.
Alternatively, you can make some cash finding new places for cartographers, but that always seemed like a boring thing to do. If I discover a new place, it’ll be for the sole purpose of razing its ships and potentially defecting to spite the king of my current country.
Piracy is the best. You can earn royal declarations that literally give you the right to attack other countries’ vessels, and once you have one, it becomes open season on random ships. However, a straight fight is rarely an easy thing. Once you’ve attacked a ship, it’s usually a better plan to navigate carefully around attacking ships to directly challenge the leader of the fleet to a duel.
The music is composed by Yoko Kanno, which is unfortunate since the limitations of the system turned what was a great idea into a series of loud, repetitive, headache-inducing themes. Luckily, television remotes have a mute button.
All in all, there’s so much sick satisfaction in this unholy union of discovery, exploitation, and piracy that it almost feels wrong to enjoy it so immensely.
Here’s what you should do: