Leviathan: Warships, the recently released strategy game, is about as much fun as you can have without actually living off of hardtack and getting seasick yourself. You command a fleet of ships and face off against a computer, your friends, or other Leviathan: Warships players in online mode, creating a new gaming experience each time.
Let’s see if Leviathan: Warships indeed lives up to its hype.
There are two ways to play Leviathan: Warships, online and offline. Online and offline play are really similar, and you won’t need an account for offline play, but you will be missing out if you don’t venture into the deep waters of the online battles. If you’re shy your first time out, there’s a great tutorial that will run you through how to manage a ship.
Leviathan: Warships is a turn-based strategy game, but you know, with ships. You’ll control your ship’s forward and reverse movement, its orientation, and how and when it fires. Your ship will also have some shields that, while not impervious, will provide significant protection in the short term. The onboard guns will fire at will if you like, but you can also aim them at enemies within range. Your ship will take damage–that’s almost inevitable–and individual systems can become damaged, such as propulsion. Give it enough time, though, and you’ll be on the move again after your crew has made repairs.
Just as your fleet can be damaged, so can the enemy, and you’ll want to target and disable their guns and important systems. With each new mission, you’ll have a goal to complete, and the quicker you can get the enemy out of your hair, the better time your fleet is going to have. The mission objectives will vary of course, and they range from simple recovery missions to protection details, where you’ll be putting your ships between the enemy and an important asset. Do a good job, and you’ll get neat Leviathan badges. Do a bad job, and you’ll end up in Davy Jones’s locker.
Online and offline play will look really similar, at least in the beginning. I got all of the same maps and missions when I played on my own and then against some friends. That’s not exactly a con, since I was able to familiarize myself with the missions and didn’t look a dunce when it came time to show my stuff. When you’re setting up an online game, you also have the option of setting limits, such as how long you can take to make a move, preventing your friends from spending an hour moving their ships around, or the stranger you’ve been matched up with from taking days to get back to you.
Ship vs. Ship
I’ve been rather circumspect about online play, but that’s really where it’s at. Not only can you go up against your friends, but you can also get DLC with bonus online play maps. If you just need more missions and more ship fighting excitement, online play can’t be beat.
I loved that not only could I play against my friends, but I could team up with them, too. I created a sort of federation, and we played against the CPU. There’s a great global chat that allows you to keep in touch with your mates (if they’re not in the same room as you) and coordinate attacks and ship movements, important because smashing into an ally causes as much damage as a blow from an enemy. If that doesn’t work for you, challenge your friends and fight it out against each other.
I know what you’re going to say. Your friends aren’t cool enough to play a totally awesome game like Leviathan: Warships. Yeah, I hear ya. Cool turn-based strategy games with ships, energy shields, and minefields aren’t for everybody. You’re not getting left out, though. Leviathan: Warships can match you up with open games, or you can start a new game on one of the servers and wait for some people (who are obviously cooler than your friends) to join in.
Lovers of turn-based strategy aren’t going to be disappointed with the complex maneuvers of Leviathan: Warships. I’ll be honest and admit that I’m not a fan of war or ship simulators, and usually look elsewhere for strategy fun, but the trailer was so amazing (definitely check it out at the download link!) I had to give it a shot. I wasn’t disappointed at all.
There’s so much here to engage the mind, while still remaining a lot of fun. I’m usually shy of online play, but it’s really what makes Leviathan: Warships a standout. Whether I play the computer, my friends, or strangers on the Leviathan servers, each battle and map are a new experience each time I play.