This is what happens when you take Elite, strip out all the hi-tech gadgetry and set it in the 16th century Caribbean. You start off as a wannabe pirate with a little boat of your own, several thousand miles of ocean and a couple of sailors who've tagged along for a laugh.
Right from the start you're on your own. There are plenty of careers to embark on, from out and out brigandry to attacking outposts and innocent towns. This freedom to basically do what you want is the game's strongest feature. You're not constrained by plots so you're free to progress, by bigger ships and hire bigger crews.
Before you take to the seas with your crew of salty sailors you need to pay a visit to the docks. This isn't as suspicious as it first seems. Here you can buy an amnesty from the king, who'll promise he won't send out any more fleets to sink you, or sign up as a privateer a part time member of his fleet.
One-on-one combat forms an integral part of the game, unfortunately it's not very good. When you've selected your weapon, rapier, sword, cutless, but no guns, you're treated to what at first seems to be a graphically excellent combat section. That is until the characters start moving, at which point the ludicrously unconvincing animation ruins any sense of realism, as does the gameplay which requires you to stab your foe at least five times to kill him.
On a larger scale, no matter how cautious you are, you'll always end up in a navel conflict. Here you get a top-down view of the combat area which contains tiny graphics of the ships. Looking at this I can't help but think more could have been done here.
Pirates Gold is a nice concept with plenty of good ideas. Unfortunately it doesn't deliver the goods.
Enhanced version of the Pirates! adventure-strategy game. In the AGA version the graphics was completely rewrittain, more cartoon like and enjoyable. You can walk through the cities, visit the pub or the bay, etc.
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