Man of Bore Review

Man of War Info

genre

  • N/A

players

  • 1 - 2

Publisher

  • Strategy First/Virgin Interactive

Developer

  • N/A

Release Date

  • 12/31/1969
  • Out Now

Platform

  • PC

rating

Man of Bore

Ah… the days when huge warships sailed the seas for the greater

glory of their empire. You can imagine the feel of the billowing

air, the smell of the sea, the sight of chunky pixels. It was an

age when captains captain’s commanded with an iron fist and stood

by unable to do anything until the four minutes of combat were up. Have

you wanted to be commander in a game where you can see all the

action but do nothing about it?

Man of War is a simulation

of the age of naval combat in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. When I

first looked at the manual, I was immediately impressed by the quantity of historical

information included. Man of War also includes a CD-ROM titled Stowaway!,

which is a reference to life on a warship during the time covered by Man

of War
. Gameplay in Man of War is divided into two sections. In the

strategic section, you observe the entire map from an omniscient position above

it all. You can issue up to 12 orders to your fleet, and inspect the condition

of enemy ships. I liked the ability to see every detail of my enemy’s ships,

but it’s a little unrealistic to know the exact condition of an enemy ship many

miles away. Once you have finished issuing orders, you can click the end of

turn button to enter the second section of the game.

More a Passenger than a Captain

The second section of Man of War is touted as “A revolutionary

real-time first-person perspective…” It’s actually more like a

graphically poor, half-assed attempt at a first person game.

After you have issued your orders for the turn, you get to stand

around on the heavily pixelated deck of your ship and watch the

other ships, in various states of pixelation carry out combat

while you enjoy the bad frame rate. The real-time section of

this game may be an interesting twist on turn-based strategy, but

the graphics aren’t very good and the frame rate on my Cyrix 166

hovered around 9-10 fps. Although it’s kind of interesting to be

able to watch the outcome of each turn in real-time, I found it

extremely annoying to be unable to issue any orders in the real-

time phase or to do anything except look around. It is something

of a blessing that the designers let you end the real-time

segment if you get bored, but unfortunately, you can’t bypass it

entirely. This means that each turn, you must wait around for 30

seconds or so while the real-time engine loads.

Like Oil

and Water

The turn-based part of Man of War is only fair in quality. It is

nice to be allowed to have up to 150 ships in an engagement, and

the scenario editor is good, but the game does not allow you any

but the most basic targeting options. I would have liked to be

able to choose between targeting the hull of sails of my enemy,

and perhaps load my cannons

with different types of shot, instead of generic cannonballs. At

its heart, the main problem with Man of War is that turn-based

and real-time gameplay do not mix well. The real-time aspect is

aggravating because the player is powerless but to observe, and

the turn-based part breaks up any feeling of action that might

have been developed in the real-time part. Unfortunately, Man of

War
ends up a game that sounded good on paper but

turned out not to be seaworthy.

REVOLUTION REPORT CARD

Rating2
Limited options
Allows very large battles
Chunky, jerky graphics
Realtime sequences fail to add to gameplay signifigantly
Includes historical reference CD-ROM