When you maneuver your ship close enough to the enemy boat, your gun placements will light-up in bright green (see the menu graphic at right) so you can take a shot with that particular gun. The possibility of a “hit” might be slim if too far away for accuracy. To offset this, when you select the gun and place your cursor on the enemy boat, it will give the percentage rate of a successful “hit” on the target. In that box it will also advise you if the enemy vessel is “healthy” or “damaged”. It will not tell you how much it is damaged. When moving-in for the kill, it is wise to plot a course alongside or move your ship within a very short distance of the prey when firing your weapons for the optimal chance of making a direct hit. You must also take into consideration that when you are struck by the enemy, your guns may take damage and be unusable in following rounds. So your plotted course will have a huge impact on the outcome of the battle. You can monitor your own ships damage by simply selecting three buttons on your menu panel which give you six areas of damage percentage, or worse if you are flooding or on-fire.
Sadly, there is no multiplayer component in Ironclads: American Civil War. This particular omission will certainly be met with a negative criticism by many turn-based game players that like to play this form of game. It is truly strange why there isn’t some sort of LAN, online, play by e-mail, or even just a same computer multiplayer component. It would be a good addition for an update.
Totem Games did a reasonably good job on their first endeavor with Ironclads: American Civil War.
Each campaign map, which there is fifteen collectively, will take you approximately one hour plus to complete successfully. You will be entertained for a very long time. The artificial intelligence regarding the movement of the enemy vessels is very good and will keep you on your toes. I only noticed a couple of occasions where questionable actions were evident. It is obvious that Totem Games did extensive research on the ship modeling characteristics and even though there is no graphical representation of personnel shown piloting ships or firing guns, the details of each vessel make up for that immersion shortcoming. Another positive item worth mentioning is the clean and simple menu system to navigate, fight, manage speed, and the visualization on where your ship is heading are all a plus.
Ultimately, the idea behind the game is relatively solid but the actual construction of the game is lacking. There are far too many major omissions for this to be truly enjoyable by all but the most dedicated of naval combat fans in the community.
On the other side of the coin, considering the flaw where you cannot save a game-in-progress under another name while allowing only 3 saves and the omissions that failed to be included in this game, it makes this title somewhat questionable in respect to its price tag of $35 USD. While I liked the good simulation gameplay that is found in Ironclads: American Civil War, I disliked the missing functionality even more.
- Artificial Intelligence
- Ease of Play
- Historical Campaigns
- Ship Models
Could Be Better
- Lack of a Tutorial
- Lack of a Scenario Editor
- Lack of Multiplayer
- Lack of Stand-alone Scenarios or Randomly Generated Battles
- Save Game Technical Problem
- Single Difficulty Level
Reviewer’s System Specs
- Intel Core2 Quad-Core Q9550 2.86 GHz
- 4GB DDR3 RAM
- 2 x 150 GB 10,000 rpm WD Raptors (Raid 0)
- NVIDIA GeForce 9800 GX2 w/1GB of video RAM
- SB X-Fi Extreme Gamers Edition
- Broadband Internet Connection
- Windows Vista Home Premium 32-bit Edition
- 22″ Dell Widescreen Display
- 1680×1050@60Hz resolution
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