Sid Meier’s Pirates
!® is the action-packed roleplaying game
that lets you live the life of a pirate in the seventeenth-century
Caribbean. Choose which exploits and quests to pursue in this
award-winning PC game.
One of the most innovative features of Pirates! , when taken in its chronological perspective, is the introduction of a living, dynamic playing field. In Pirates! , many of the most important factors which affect player decisions are randomized at game-start, and continue to shift during gameplay. This not only creates a new experience each time the game is played, but also requires the player to remain flexible to change, and be ready to exploit possibilities when they occur.
The most important random factor in the game lies in the diplomatic relations between the four nations laying claim to the Caribbean. Relations may differ greatly from game to game,
and can shift in an instant, causing opportunities but also denying
them, possibly even for long periods of time. The player generally benefits
from periods of war between two or more countries, because any
aggression towards a country’s ships or cities (which occurs often if
not specifically avoided) will gain recognition with its enemies,
prompting them to bestow the player with land, titles, and several other
benefits. During peacetime, the player can only benefit from the capture of pirates on the high seas, which is seen as favorable by all nations, but is a rare occurrence.
Cities are also dynamic, with statistics like wealth and population
fluctuating constantly. The player has a list of cities in one of the game’s
menus, allowing him to see the statistics of any city. Some cities will
show accurate statistics, especially if recently visited. Other cities
may be colored differently on the list, and will show no data. This
indicates that a city’s statistics have changed since the last visit.
Visiting taverns in cities may yield an encounter with a traveler who
offers to sell information about cities whose statistics have changed.
Knowing the statistics of a city helps the player plan ahead, especially
with regards to trading or any desire to raid or conquer cities.
Changes occur whenever time is passing, and are unrelated to player actions. In fact, in this earliest game in the series, random events
do not have any graphical representation, and the player can do nothing to prevent them. In Sid Meier’s Pirates!
(2004), events mostly occurred as ships with different agendas reached
their destinations, such as a troop-bearing ship arriving at a poorly
defended colony, bolstering its defenses (which meant that ship could be
intercepted and the event curtailed, if the player so wished).
/ Me / 2000 / XP , Pentium III or AMD Athlon
1 GHz or higher, 256 MB RAM , 1.4 GB hard disk space, 4X CD-ROM
Drive (8X Recommended), 64 MB T&L -compatible SVGA video card
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