Naval War: Arctic Circle: Friv Overview

Swedish publisher Paradox Interactive , specializing in historical strategies, annually releases "hardcore" projects. And although they have not gained much popularity, they manage to occupy a niche of games for a narrow audience of players with interest. Series such as Europa Universalis , Hearts of Iron , Crusader Kings and Victoria , many have today. Fans of one strategy or another have long rallied into large communities. Paradox Interactive partners work for them.creating large global projects with detailed gameplay, a system of statistics and diplomacy. The publisher holds the brand by releasing truly rare quality products. This time, the "paradoxes" present the results of the work of the Turbo Tape Games development team from Norway, who gathered to revive the ideas of classic wargames of the 90s.

Does anyone know the global Harpoon strategy ? Its first part was released in 1989. In those days, it gained worldwide popularity among consolers. It is unlikely that our readers can know something about her, but the subsequent Harpoon 2 of 1994 and Harpoon 3: Advanced Naval Warfare2003 may be familiar to you. This series was based on a simulator for training tactics among military officers of the NATO bloc. The entertaining version that has gone to the masses also presented a large number of realistic opportunities. In the role of the commander-in-chief of the army of submarines, destroyers, aircraft carriers and aircraft, the player needed to solve complex strategic tasks in reconnaissance, radar rivalry and directly in the battle itself. Each combat unit carried tactical weapons, but excluded the use of nuclear warheads, which turned a modern virtual war into a training ground for a real military brainstorming. It was this project that was taken as the standard by Turbo Tape Games studio when creating the Wargame Naval War: Arctic Circle .

By the way, the development principle itself is very similar to the situation with the Silent Hunter 4 submarine simulator , in which the entry threshold was lowered, management and gameplay basics were simplified compared to the third part. This is exactly what happened with the Harpoon series , which at one time was too complicated for the players, which negatively affected its popularity. So, reviving the game in the face of Naval War , the developers carefully simplified it. To preserve the "hardcore" of the project, caution was required. The result, however, was not so rosy - the Norwegians are still very far from the intended goal, although they are moving in the right direction.

In naval waryou should start playing with tedious training, so unloved by fans of quick entry into the game But you must honestly admit that if you are already a seasoned specialist in strategies, then the textbooks can be put aside, since in the campaign mode the tips are given with enviable regularity. And in general, the interface is quite convenient: in fact, all the time you play in 2D mode on a global map, giving out orders to “units”. The 3D mode is applied as a visual variety and does not carry any functionality. Simple visualization that can be turned off in the settings. Periodically, you will have to swarm in the thick manual attached to the game. A deeply developed world often creates difficulties in the way of acquaintance with it. And here lies the first minus of the game - the motivation is too weak to immediately rush into a long study of the basics. No bread for you, no spectacles, but only a long and tedious path through training for the sake of dubious pleasure to give the enemy ingenious maneuvers on a tactical map. After all, everything was exactly the same in the case of the seriesHarpoon , which the developers themselves criticized for this. It’s probably great to step on the same rake while still pointing a finger at them.

As soon as familiarization with all the instructions and textbooks is completed, the developers propose to plunge into the fictional military conflict of the year 2030 between the two largest world competitors - the NATO bloc and the Russian Federation. They will encounter a confrontation over valuable resources hidden under the water and ice of the Arctic. Of course, you just could not hear about it. There is not much time left before the planned depletion of world oil and gas reserves, so the leaders of the largest countries are beginning to assert their historical rights to own territories of the once nobody’s Arctic. It is noteworthy that a wide variety of countries are displayed in NATO, including the USA, Canada, Great Britain and almost all Scandinavian states. As the developers promised, Russia is not exposed as the enemy of democracy and the main aggressor on the planet.

The plot in Naval Warnot important. Here, the core of the gameplay itself. The story is placed in a dozen short briefings, shown before the start of long missions in the form of a printed newspaper. Each mission requires one to several hours of real time to complete it. Definitely definitely this strategy is only for patient players. No, the developers have provided time rewind, but the planning process requires a very leisurely approach. This is especially acute at first, when you have to compare the characteristics of each aircraft, ship or submarine presented in the game. But they include dozens of specifications and functionality used depending on the current situation. For example, for airborne reconnaissance, we use high altitudes to cover a larger radius of radar research. And to attack the height must be reduced. And this must be done with each aircraft individually. For marine "units" - already their own set of tricks, and so on.

Tasks, it is worth noting, are diverse. To protect fishing vessels from hostile forces, to prevent landing in the conservation area, to block the port, to explore the main positions of the enemy - with each new mission, the developers are poking us with increasingly complex tasks. Your victories or defeats will not be lost in the save files on the computer. The game maintains its own statistics, which will help a lot or, possibly, interfere with multiplayer. A collective game over the Internet in such conditions when you are an Admiral and are free to act at your discretion, turns the battle with a living opponent into a real performance. This is not ArmA , where everything is scripted, and not Battlefieldwith endless reinforcements. Here it is you who command reinforcements, you decide to launch submarines or aircraft, only you can set goals for your army, build it in the right order and perform maneuvers. There is only one goal - victory at all costs; the rest depends on the smartness of the player.

With all the significant advantages of Naval War, its isolation makes us wonder: do modern players need such a “hardcore” strategy today? After all, there are so many alternatives with wonderful graphics, plot. Only the recent tactical strategy of Wargame: European Escalationshowed a wonderful example of how “hardcore” wargame can look great in 2012 against the backdrop of the most beautiful games of the AAA class. But, as we said, Turbo Tape Games has its own way. It consists in modeling the principles of modern warfare as truthfully as possible. After all, it already differs from the Second World War in both armaments, goals, and the tactics of the struggle itself. Therefore, the usual techniques described in old books, the developers sent to rest, demonstrating their own view of the Third World War. And numerous fans of the subject help them in this, who at the official forum provide the Norwegians with information support, the existing characteristics of combat units, and share their experience.

Naval War: Arctic Circle is currently full of problems with the interface and sometimes hangs tightly, although this can be attributed to flaws in the pre-release version of the game. Naval tactical simulator and RTS all rolled into one without graphic frills and sophisticated technologies - this is how the project appeared to the players. If all this is finally sorted out, then the game will definitely please its buyer. This will be especially true for those of you who are not alien to long nights for tactical militants or strategies. However, you should not expect a revolution in the genre from the Norwegian studio - it’s just a good representative of today's rare “hardcore” games.

Pros: "Hardcore"; a huge amount of actually existing weapons and equipment of the NATO countries and Russia; simulation of radar and reconnaissance equipment; vertical control space - from submarines and ships to aircraft and ballistic missiles; the ability to conduct an invisible war with stealth weapons; full control over the entire army and individual "units"; weather effects affecting the battle.

Cons: extremely primitive graphics; difficult development for beginners; the scarcity of Canadian weapons in the NATO bloc; the model of at least a simple economy and resources to support the army is not used.

Tags: , , , , ,