For a first time effort by a publisher, The Lost Admiral is remarkably mature in many aspects of game play and only lacks real substance in the peripheral areas of sound, music and graphical presentation. For most war gamers, however, the three aforementioned aspects can be overlooked and forgiven assuming game play exceeds industry standards and offers a worthwhile time investment. In that respect, The Lost Admiral delivers, well, admirably.
Innovative and intensive game play begins almost immediately with the requirement to initially outfit your war machine by choosing from a vast array of equipment, vehicles, weaponry and placements. Furthermore, nearly all components can be mixed and matched as you see fit and the enormous number of possible operations you'll be faced with seem limitless. More than just assuring incredible replay possibilities, this opening function of building your forces by using pre-determined buy points emphasizes strategic planning and mission awareness from the very start.
The main objective in The Lost Admiral is the acquisition and control of the sea in order to guarantee full control over home ports and elimination/annexation of enemy ports. Your initial deployment includes selection of home ports and deployment of your initial forces and equipment for defensive posturing and upcoming offensive purposes. In an extremely effective and accurate game design, the number of units stacked within these home ports are unlimited but at the same time active usage is restricted to only the top two units. Non-port locations can only sustain two units at any given time. Knowing exactly what units are available during an attack is essential to successful execution of defensive maneuvers.
The game features a full complement of seagoing craft, each group with specific characteristics, focused strengths and support capability. As an adjunct to the huge selection of equipment available, The Lost Admiral contains an astonishing number of scenarios and campaigns as well as a random scenario generator. It's not an exaggeration to foresee long hard drive life for this totally engrossing and fun depiction of strategic naval maneuvers. Other features include ten difficulty levels with customizable options such as fuel considerations and weather all built around an easy to use interface and game engine that results in fully playable games in one to three hours segments. Nine interesting, varied and cleverly constructed maps serve as the basis for the scenarios but randomly generated maps can be used for all scenarios and the fourteen campaigns as well, keeping play lively, fresh and unpredictable.
Computer AI is astoundingly well developed and can more than hold its own in strategic planning and execution. Players also enjoy the challenge of being promoted in rank from Seaman 1st Class to Admiral as the game evaluates progress throughout game play. The Lost Admiral should not be confused with a nuts and bolt detailed recreation of actual battles seen in many naval war games in the genre but it does offer a totally novel approach to putting the word "fun" back into war simulations. Even with dated graphics, the playability factor of The Lost Admiral will remain timeless in terms of computer game shelf life.
Graphics: Although somewhat graphically challenged, involvement in game play will eventually render the looks unimportant due to the well designed engine behind game play.
Sound: Average at best but not a factor in game enjoyment.
Enjoyment: Impressive game play, impressive design, impressive options, impressive replay value. Easy to forgive the shortcomings (sound and graphics) when game play is so well developed.
Replay Value: There is enough game play and enjoyment in this title to keep players at nearly every skill level, from novice to expert, coming back for more and more.
A turn-based naval strategy game, take various ships with different capabilities and defeat the enemy fleet. Includes resource system, units from PT boats up to battleships and carriers, good AI (multiple levels), player history, and more.
It is time to claim back what was yours infact. Your loyal friend who remained in the navy while you were dismissed, needs help. You are the man for this mission: The Lost Admiral. No one can stop you this time. It is either victory, or SHAME!
First of all, you need to create an officer to start this game. After that it is wise to play plenty of learning games with lower difficulty levels and appropriate settings to get used to choosing ships effectively, game controls and general layout of the game map. Learning games does not affect the history rank of officers, so experiment at will. It is with scenarios and campaigns that you will earn your rank back. Campaigns are two or more scenarios added up. The higher difficulty level you choose in options, the higher AI you will have to compete against.
Game lacks seriously when it comes to sound effects, and graphics also are not very satisfactory and somehow buggy; but gameplay covers for these bugs. Multiple AI levels, together with different types of ships to choose from, enhance the ability of strategy calculations.
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