Port Royale is the latest game from Ascaron Entertainment that is set in the beautiful seas of the Caribbean during European colonialism that was filled with buccaneers, gold, pirates and power. The game can only be described as a real-time strategy game that takes place both on land and at sea. You have the choice of becoming a corsair, merchant or pirate from four different nations that include England, France, Spain and Holland.
As a pirate, you can pillage towns, steal treasure maps or even build your own fleet to become a new power in the world. Alternatively as a Merchant you can create your own goods to trade, build a fleet of ship to dominate the trade routes and eventually become a wealthy merchant who has the ability to run a plethora of towns.
The gameplay of Port Royale is reminiscent to the games of yesterday such as Pirates on the Amiga 500 to its modern day predecessor, Sid Meier's Pirates. The main aspect of Port Royale is to amass as much wealth as possible by creating trade routes, plundering enemy cities, increase your own reputation and create your own products to sell. The game heavily revolves around reputation and this is achieved in a number of ways from scourging the ocean of enemy pirates or by performing missions for your selected government.
The beauty of Port Royale is that it also works as a real-time strategy game where the player can also create their own towns so to speak. You have the options of creating houses, different types of industries and a variety of other different buildings. These buildings can you help you bring profit while you are away at sea or they can be created to sell at a later date for more profit.
Port Royale is not all about strategy and simulation as there is quite a bit of action in the game. You must also battle other ships on the high seas, attack and plunder enemy towns and even protect your own towns. The control system of Port Royale heavily revolves around the mouse as you must select and move vessels around the screen. The battle system in Port Royale is quite simple yet effective and uses a point and click interface.
Graphically, Port Royale is an amazing game on the PC that features a fully integrated 3D engine that with probably one of the most realistic battle effects that I have seen. Everything from fire, damage, smoke and a variety of other effects are seen when you engage in battle with an enemy vessel.