As Nicholas Dove, your first task in Redjack: Revenge of the Brethren is to get out of Lizard Point before the robed assassins who are coming to kill you succeed in their mission. This involves becoming a pirate under command of Captain Justice. But to do that, you have to impress the good captain (who is really a privateer, not a pirate -- not that there is too much of a difference), learn to fight and find a gun and sword to call your own.
Once you escape Lizard Point, the action moves to four other locations. During the game, you'll visit Port Royal and meet Erzulie, the voodoo priestess and learn of your immediate future, Cartagena (meet the traitor and rescue people from your past) and Redjack's Island where the final battle of the game is fought. You also engage in battle at the hideout of Blackbeard, the infamous pirate. Each location is well detailed with graphics and characters, giving each a different flavor and feel. Animations herald your arrival at each new location and, at times, within locations as well. At every step of the way, your path is dogged with danger and adventure and you must fight like a maddened weasel or die like a scurvy dog! Basically, that means learning how to fight with both sword and gun and with ship cannons as well.
Combat, which is central to the game, is easy to learn and you fight from a first-person viewpoint. Movement (dodges, retreats and charges) is controlled via the arrow keys while your sword and attacks are mouse-controlled. Each combatant has both a strength and health meter that decrease as he tires and gets hit respectively. You must reduce your opponent's health meter to zero to win the battle and you can replenish your own health and strength with potions, although they can get consumed quickly during battle.
Gun combat is similar to sword combat except the mouse pointer turns into crosshairs. You click on the mouse button to fire. Although you can't use the movement keys during a gun battle, you can swing around by moving the crosshairs to the edge of the screen which affords you a 360-degree range of motion. And, fortunately, you never need to reload which is helpful due to the furious battles you'll be fighting.
You also have to discover, during your travels, who the traitor is among Redjack's crew and why you are being trailed by assassins. You learn information by talking to other characters. As they talk, possible responses appear on a section at the bottom of the screen and you click on a response to select it. Decisions you make in the game can change the responses of the person you're talking with so choose wisely! It's all too easy to die in this game by making a wrong decision or going to the wrong area too quickly. Saving the game often is an essential aspect of survival.
The graphics here are very good. The backgrounds are average but the character animations, which use scanned models, are really superb, even if the characters are usually on the ugly side. Some of the characters, such as Erzulie (who appears at the beginning of the game and in Port Royal), can be very scary and strange. The movie animations are excellent and you'll probably wish there were more of them. Additionally, each of the characters has a unique voice and personality and the voice work is very well done.
Aside from being able to die in many terrible ways (assassins, sharks, guards, pirates or poison darts to name just a few of a hundred different ways), this is an extremely interesting game that makes you feel as if you're on a true pirate adventure. The characters are unique and interesting and the environmental flavor of seagoing pirates is in every part of the game from speech to the characters' appearances. You'll enjoy learning the ropes to become a pirate while seeking the information you need to win. In fact, the only thing the game needs is a sequel!
Graphics: The backgrounds are good but the interiors and the character animations really shine.
Sound: The voice work is very well done and the background sounds and music add just the right touch of menace, danger or excitement to the scenes.
Enjoyment: The game offers a unique, interesting universe to explore with lots of great pirate dialogue and characters and plenty of interesting puzzles to solve.
Replay Value: The game has such interesting characters and locations it's worth a replay or two.
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