diana;;maelstrom;;multiplayer;;pirate;;sailing;;seabattle;;gunpowder Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee


By Diana "DumeeGamer" Dumee on April 17, 2018

Ahoy, mateys! Shiver me timbers! Captain Dumeegamer has boarded th' deck 'n is ready fer some pirate action. Wha' a coincidence that th' great scallywags o' Gunpowder games 'ave got some pirate bootie prepared fer us. So let's get ready fer grand seabattles 'n play Maelstrom!

Yes, dear readers; we will set sail and navigate the treacherous waters of the pirate seas. How, I hear you ask? Well, that's simple! We play a couple rounds of Maelstrom; a fast-paced multiplayer naval battle game, filled with pirates, sea monsters and let's not forget booty. tons and tons of booty! Take control of your very own pirate ship and start blasting your opponents clean out of the water. Do you have what it takes to be the most devious pirate captain ever to roam the seven seas? Load your cannons, put your crew on edge and let's find out!

Now, before you can take up the captain's mantle and start sending your opponents to Davey Jones' locker, you must first establish your race. To do so, select either a Orcish, Dwarven or human ship. The game starts with a short tutorial, which is a good way to learn the basics. As soon as you've managed to complete said tutorial, you are ready to enter the dangerous waters, where danger is lurking around every corner... or wave.or something. During my first match, I saw a Skull symbol on my trusty mini-map. Curious to know what it was, I set sail for this mysterious symbol. My first reaction when I reached my location was: "Oh, crap!" Or, as a true pirate would put it: "Aaaaaaarrrghh!"

Let's just say that the sea has more dangers in store for you than just other pirates. There are also deadly sea monsters roaming the waters, presenting players with additional dangers besides cannonballs flying past their ears. I'm not sure at this point if killing these monsters is even possible, at least I wasn't able to kill even one of them. So, for the duration of my time on board, I tried to stay out of their way. I must say that these monsters look scarily magnificent! And although they are really cool to look at, you'll have to be careful not to cross their paths. But this gets harder as more ships sink, because this will cause "Dead Waters", which means the maps' size will be reduced from the outer edges inwards, forcing ships to flock to the regions that are still "safe". Although entering these Dead Waters does not mean an instead death, believe me when I say that you don't want to stay in there too long to see what happens!

Although Maelstrom is only in its Early Access stages at the moment, it's already a lot of fun! In this phase, we can only play the multiplayer mode, which in itself offers you a couple of options. You can enter the online battles, in which it's basically every pirate for him or herself! If you'd like to practice some more, you can play the Solo vs Bots mode. Your enemies are NPC, giving you the much needed opportunity to hone your pirating skills, but this mode yields no rewards. Lastly, you can also gather up your mateys and play the game in Party Mode. After each match played in this mode, all players receive rewards based on the gold collected during battle, bounties claimed by sinking other ships, and how long they survived.

Maelstrom entering the Early Access is already a dream come true for the developers at Gunpowder Games. Luckily, their dream doesn't stop there; the development roadmap has some awesome stretch goals, which will be linked to the number of copies sold. The first goal is set for 10,000 players, with a fully fledged single player campaign slated to be unlocked at 125,000 players. Gunpowder Games Lead Developer Blaine Smith had this to say: "We're stoked to finally turn the game loose and see how players react to the monsters and chaos of 16 warships trying to outwit each other, trading broadsides and blasting the bits off each other in battle!"

Maelstrom looks great, plays well, includes controller support and offers you a fun way to battle others in an all-out pirate war for domination on the high seas. As you partake in more and more battles, you can upgrade your ship, gather additional loot and come up with your very own strategy for survival. I, for one, really had fun trying out this Early Access version and I can honestly say that I'm more than just a bit curious to see what the full game has to offer!

available on:

Gunpowder Games
April 11, 2018 (Early Access)
Full release TBA