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When every tenth letter under the heading “ Hotline: Games ” begins with the phrase “When“ Corsairs III ”comes out …” and immediately two girls in our office, very far from the world of computer games, ask if we have an extra disk with a game (which has never happened before – except for Heroes of Might and Magic IV and shareware-arcades, they do not play anything), it means something. And it also means that the developers of such a game should at least try, and as a maximum – to justify the trust of the public. In the case of the Corsairs III , alas, neither of these things happened.

O Brother, Where Art Thou?

It’s no secret that “Corsairs” are made in the image and likeness of Sid Meier’s Pirates! The general idea coincides one-on-one: a player in the role of captain of a pirate ship irons the Caribbean Sea in search of merchant ships, goes to the service of one or the other colonial power, performs the tasks of governors, etc.

“Corsairs III” did not deviate from the course of the predecessor either by the rumba. Before the start of the game you have to choose a character, a nation and set several settings that affect the difficulty of passing. In the case of characters, the choice is between Blaise and Beatrice Sharp, the descendants of that same captain Sharpe, in the case of a nation – between England, France, Spain, Holland and pirates.

The adult life of the pirate begins with only one boat (no, this is not a boat, but its dimensions are still funny) and a small team. You can’t do much with such a “props”, so a bigger ship becomes the top priority for the newly appeared corsair. In the course are all possible means: the robbery of others’ vessels, the execution of tasks and banal trade.

Attacking anyone in the first third of the game is not only dangerous (any sea hawk will give up easily, not to mention real sea wolves), but simply unprofitable – most countries will become hostile, and then the way to their harbor will be closed for you . You can take a patent from the governor of a friendly power and get him an “errand boy,” but this, again, is for the big and strong (much of the quests are “sunk,” “attack and take”, etc.). Sirym and poor for the time being, it is better not to stick out and engage in trade. The economic system is very simple: those goods that are produced in one colony are cheaper than in that colony where they are not made – and vice versa. Accordingly, if you buy this product in colony number 1 and sell it in colony number 2, this can help out a good profit. Sometimes you even have to work with a “hyena”: if a battle broke out nearby, you can wait until it ends, and then pick up cargo that floated to the surface of the water from the sunken ships (if, of course, the battle was won by ships of a friendly country).

All trade is conducted through shops, quests are issued in the tavern, in the residence of the governor, random people on the street and all in the same shops. In addition, everyone in the same tavern hires a team and officers, who in the future can be appointed captains of ships (when you have the whole squadron at your disposal) and governors of the conquered colonies, as well as buying fresh portions of rumors. The latter does not differ in particular diversity, and most of it is a variation of two news: “The pirate has moved to the service of the British ” and “The country has somehow declared war to the country”. The shipyard (another building that is in each city) is intended for repair, modernization and purchase / sale of ships. By the way, terrible squalls work here: having bought a ship from you, they will immediately put it on the “shop window” at a price twice as high.

Simplicity is worse

The game consists of two uneven parts: long journeys by sea and short walks over land. There is no place to walk on the beach, the route is always the same (shipyard, shop-tavern, palace of the governor, etc.). Civilians respond to attempts at communication either with a deathly silence, or with a single stereotyped phrase common to residents of all colonies. There are no tangible differences between different nations in the game: they have the same behavior, they also give similar tasks, even the architecture is the same everywhere. Thus, the choice of a country becomes exclusively a matter of taste.

Fights on land happen infrequently (as a rule, when capturing colonies), and, in general, thank God. The characters are trained in four blows with a sword, but these blows are assigned to four different keys, that is, to remember, and even more so to apply, is very, very difficult. On consoles such a problem, of course, would not have arisen, but on the keyboard this is simply inconvenient (the legend about Die by the Sword is still alive), where for a good mastery of the sword it was necessary to master the entire numeric keypad). The second problem – getting under the hand, the hero twitches in pain and for some time gets out of control. If there was another (and more) opponent nearby, it would be in serious trouble. Enemies will take turns on the character, and you will not be able to fight back from them, you will not even be able to escape. The pistol is recharging for an agonizingly long time, so that in battle you can count on a maximum of one shot (until multi-barreled copies appear).

Sea battles are much more interesting. In combat, you need to constantly maneuver, follow the direction of the wind, take into account the characteristics of different types of ships (for example, ships with oblique sails go upwind faster) and change the type of projectiles depending on the situation. Ordinary nuclei are universal, the canister is good for destroying the enemy team, the little book (two cores connected by a chain; they are fired from two guns at the same time) quickly pierce the sails and break the masts, and bombs are best suited to destroy the hull. All this is enough for two or three battles, and then … and then, alas, it gets boring. Firstly, the battles were tightened (to be fair, after the installation of patches, the speed of movement of ships and the reloading of guns increased noticeably), and secondly, too simplified. Ships may lose their masts and lose their course, may explode and sink, but they will never jam the steering gear, the crew on the boats will never run away, they will never sink from a hole below the waterline. Yes, and the holes themselves look like flat “stickers”.

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