Final Opinions and Recommendations
Rating a game like Distant Guns is somewhat harder than some would think. Jim Rose tends to cringe when people call the game a wargame. He likes to think of this game as more of a simulation title rather than a wargame. In some respects he is right. Games like Dangerous Waters were genre crossing games that combined the simulation genre with the wargaming genre. Distant Guns is similar to this. At the same time this isn’t a true simulation. Simulations can put you in a first person setting, something that this game does not do. Since there is no virtual bridge in the game, it is hard for me to call this a true simulation.
As a game though this is a very good one, one that anyone interested in naval warfare should look at. In many respects this game is the true successor to the venerable SSI title Great Naval Battles series or even more appropriately the successor to Fighting Steel. In fact, this game would make an excellent follow on for that title. I know that Storm Eagle has stated that this is the first of what is hopefully a series of titles using this engine and I can see this being a potentially lucrative engine for them. Some aspects will need to be added for the game to be brought into WW1 and more for WW2 standards.
If you are even remotely interested in naval warfare from the great age of the gun then this is a very good game to check out. The game isn’t perfect, the interface can be frustrating to newbies and the campaign has suffered from bugs that probably will still need to be worked out but the game is fun, and engrossing.
The game is not a fast paced game. Yes, you can speed up the time in the game, in fact, you will have to if you want to play the game at all, but even so this is a slow paced game and the action fulfils itself over time. If you want a quick bang bang style game then this isn’t it. The ships of the time were notoriously inaccurate in their firing and in this game it is evident. You will fire hundreds of shots at an enemy ship before you will finally sink it. Yes, there may be a lucky shot but don’t count on it.
It fulfills the criteria that I have that the game becomes a phenomenal waste of time. I can easily find myself devoting four or five hours at a sitting while playing the game. The campaign is very addictive, which made it even more frustrating when it crashed. I am hoping that this is the end of the crashes and look forward to starting the campaign again. It would be nice to finish.
In the end I recommend the game. Storm Eagle has produced a game that has the potential to be among the best of the games released in 2006. They have shown a dedication to the game and have improved upon the game from its initial release. I have found that there is a patch coming out for the game at least once a week, something that you rarely see from games that have fifty times the budget. Granted, it would have been nice if the bugs weren’t there in the first place, but the fact that the producers are showing this level of support shows that this game was made not for profit, but for the love of the genre and the game.
If you have any interest in the subject matter then pick this game up. It is worth the few extra dollars in cost.
Reviewer’s Systems Specs
- Dell Dimension 4600
- Pentium 4, 2.8 GHz (HT)
- 1GB 400MHz DDR RAM
- 80 GB Ultra ATA 100 HD
- Radeon 9800 Pro
- Creative Audigy 2 sound card
- Broadband cable connection for online play
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