Game Over Online ~ Man of War 2

GameOver Game Reviews - Man of War 2 (c) GT Interactive, Reviewed by - Rebellion

Game & Publisher Man of War 2 (c) GT Interactive
System Requirements Pentium 90, 16MB Ram
Overall Rating 28%
Date Published Monday, June 28th, 1999 at 07:53 PM


Divider Left By: Rebellion Divider Right

Naval combat games are few and far between these days. In fact, they’ve never been a big genre with popular games and high sales. Recently, Jane’s Fleet Commander came out and allowed you to get involved in the modern day style of naval warfare. Strategy First has created a sequel, to their past Man of War release, to take you back to the days of old, where combat was determined by cannons and hand-to-hand combat, not cruise missiles and air strikes.

I remember playing the first Man of War back in 1997. It was right about the time that 3D accelerator cards were becoming the newest craze in hardware. The original didn’t have any 3D acceleration, but back then, I could have really cared less. The graphics were nicely done for the time. However, this is 1999. Mediocre unaccelerated graphics in this style of game are just plain unacceptable. When I first saw the screenshots in the MoW2 magazine ad, they looked pretty good. However, the screenshots were small, therefore deceiving to the eyes. The pixelated and blocky graphics of MoW2 take so much away from the rest of the game that it’s hard to give MoW2 any credit. I know this game was designed more toward the wargamer and strategy gamer, but when you use a first person view for much of the game, graphics this shoddy make the game virtually a complete waste.

As if the graphics weren’t uninspiring enough, the audio is also bland and uninteresting. Cannon fire and cannon hits are unconvincing, while the in-game speech lacks any sort of panache. It does help to make it seem a bit realistic, but there’s just a lack of different sound effects. I want to be engrossed in the combat and thrilled by the battle. I just can’t get that experience from MoW2 at all.

The game has two main game options, scenarios and the campaign. Scenarios are well numbered and cover a variety of famous battles, allowing you to play either side in an attempt to keep history or change it. The scenarios are probably the best way to get into the game, since you will be in control of usually large navies, ready to go directly in the fray with the enemy. The campaign mode is more a gradual building. You start out with a small ship with little support and fight against handfulls of other ships. The two starting campaigns allow you to play as either John Paul Jones, the famous American captain of the Revolution and Wooden Walls, an English captain. Two additional campaigns for Wooden Walls become available as you progress through the game.

The gameplay is somewhat simple, yet somehow frustrating. There are two main modes of control, captain on deck or captain on bridge. On deck, you will give the orders for sails, cannons, directions, and basically everything else, while you’re free to walk around the ship and watch the battle. On bridge gives you control of the ship, so you will actually be doing the steering instead of commanding it. In this mode, the AI controls cannons and the rest. There is also an area overhead map from which you can see locations of ships for both sides to best decide your tactics.

It does feature a good setup for multiplayer. The primary reason for this is that SFI has provided their own multiplayer servers online to find games. It also supports IPX and standard TCP/IP gameplay. Even with SFI’s Matchmaker service, I still couldn’t find anyone else who even remotely wanted to play with me. It’s great implementation of multiplayer into an extremely disappointing package. Someone at EA should get together with the SFI guys to see if they can put 1 and 1 together and get 2 for once.

I found the game to just be frustrating at times. Directing other ships around in large battles can turn into a complete nightmare, especially while trying to keep your own ship in one piece. The entire game leaves you wondering why you even started playing games in the first place. It’s a complete waste of time and the only enjoyment you’ll be getting is the Uninstall process.

Highs: still looking hmmm it’s got its own multiplayer service
Lows: Horrible dated graphics, poor fleet manipulation, slow, not fun at all

 

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Rating
28%
 

 

 
 

 

 

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