Age of Sail II Review


Naval combat in the days of fighting sail has received rather lackluster coverage by computer game publishers. The few games that have been released just haven't been too good.

Age of Sail II is a fully 3D game which includes over 100 historical scenarios and six campaigns (the large volume of scenarios somewhat makes up for the fact that the game lacks a scenario editor). The scenarios range from ship on ship duels to very large-scale naval engagements.

You can control individual ships, or give orders to a group of them via fleet formations and tactics. The ships themselves are modeled with a high-degree of accuracy. Type and number of crewmen, various ammunition types, and location-based damage are just a few of the things you'll find in Age of Sail II.

Control of the individual ships is done via a simple compass wheel placed on the side of the screen. Just click on your new heading and the ship will change its direction. You also have control over your crew and can assign them to tasks on your ship such as fire control and repair work.

Those of you familiar with Age of Sail, will find several major changes. First and most obvious is the game's move to 3D. There's more than that, though. Land masses have been added and ships involved in a near-shore engagement will have to watch that they don't run aground. Also, forts are sometimes placed on the shorelines, threatening your ships with their guns.