Under The Jolly Roger Review (PlayStation 4)

Under The Jolly Roger is a Pirate Open World Action RPG where you rove the seas across three continents filled with dozens of colonies and forts, hundreds of quests, and countless ships to plunder. Customize your ship, trade, challenge fellow pirates and face terrible mythical monsters such as Kraken and Leviathan.

Pros:

  • Nice graphics.
  • 1.94GB download size.
  • Platinum trophy with new trophy descriptions.
  • Opening tutorial section.
  • Pirate RPG gameplay.
  • Re-release of the previous game called Tempest Pirate Action RPG.
  • Optional replayable tutorial missions after a mandatory opening fight that shows off the controls.
  • Open world.
  • Sail around in your ship, run around by foot in set locations and enemy boats.
  • World map- select destination and optional fight instances pop up.
  • Map uncovers as you move around.
  • Ports-buy/sell goods, upgrade/repair ship, take tasks/jobs and manage the crew.
  • Scrolls-collect in fights and use to upgrade your crewmen.
  • Customize your ship-sails/color/flags and decorations.
  • Play how you want and do what you want.
  • Can use the map to travel or go into free roam and sail around.
  • Factions-unlock new factions and swap between them at will and factions dictate jobs, tasks, alliances, and buffs.
  • Captain and officers-unlock them/find them to equip them and get buffs for your crew and ship.
  • Boarding-damage an enemy ship enough and you can board it. You go into 3rd person view on foot and can attack and block. For rewards, you can choose to take the ship, take the crew or break the ship and repair your boat.
  • Night and day with weather effects.
  • Sea monsters inhabit the world and can strike randomly.
  • Can see wind direction.
  • Hire crew members from the pub and you can get different types and assign them to posts on the ship.
  • Combat-depends on the ammo used but a line will show the range and you just line it up with the enemy ship and a percentage bar goes up and at 100 percent you do your attack.
  • View-can zooms in and out including first person at the wheel.
  • Ship upgrade-buy and equip new parts from Sails to cannons. Shards are used for an overall buff like faster reloading etc.
  • Item management as you can become encumbered and unable to move.
  • The ship has a set of health bars for each part of the ship.
  • Your crew earn exp and can be leveled up using scrolls that increase their stats and abilities.
  • Can go on land and take on supernatural enemies and solve simple puzzles for treasure.
  • Huge time sink.
  • Cannonballs-different types do different damage like some do the whole ship whereas some will do the masts quicker or attack the crewman.

Cons:

  • Feels just like the other game.
  • Fiddly controls.
  • Hard to understand initially.
  • Frustrating combat and movement.
  • 3rd person events run badly and are zoomed in too close.
  • The mission structure is obtuse and messy.
  • Constant difficulty spikes.
  • Little explanation.
  • Vague mission /task descriptions.
  • Very grind-heavy.
  • Missions in port don’t disappear once complete.

  • 8/10
    Graphics - 8/10
  • 7/10
    Sound - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Accessibility - 7/10
  • 7/10
    Length - 7/10
  • 8/10
    Fun Factor - 8/10
7.4/10

Summary

I love me a good Pirate game! I couldn’t wait to jump in and man it was tough. Straight off you get a small self-contained fight to learn the controls fine, then you are dumped into this world and just have no idea what you have or want to do. After many hours of doing this and that I started to understand more and more. Missions are things you pick up from ports and get a vague description, the map uncovers as you play and combat is frustratingly drawn out. Pirate games need good combat but the emphasis here is all on wind direction and how it helps or hinders you. I personally found the wind is always against me and the enemy will sail away no problem before being taken out. Add in all the extra annoyances like combat on foot is janky and messy. It’s hard to block and get proper hits in. At the end of the day, I grew to tolerate the game and really wanted more from it. I have it way more time than what was needed because I kept holding on that it would get better but the grind and jank got too much. To say this is a re-release of sorts still feels wrong as so many little things have not changed. It doesn’t feel or play any different from the last game so it’s basically the same review as before.

Jim Smale

Gaming since the Atari 2600, I enjoy the weirdness in games counting Densha De Go and RC De Go as my favourite titles of all time. I prefer gaming of old where buying games from a shop was a thing, Being social in person was a thing. Join me as I attempt to adapt to this new digital age!

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