In 1987, the original Pirates! (see our Hall of Fame entry) graced the computer gaming world with a unique mix of pixelated high-seas action. Creator Sid Meier (Civilization, Gettysburg!) admits that the original "opened up a lot of peoples' ideas about what a game could be" when it was released, thanks to the open-ended gameplay and variety of things for the player to do. It had it all: swords, sails, puffy shirts and powdered wigs. Why wait 17 years for a sequel? "With 3D and new technology, we felt we could really add something," Meier tells us. "We've learned quite a bit about gameplay... we learned how to build on a classic game without destroying it." And so, the team that brought Civilization into a new century with Civ III prepares to grapple and board another classic!
Sid Meier's Pirates! will allow gamers to live out the life of a pirate, cruising the Spanish Main during the golden age of buccaneers. Not so much the life of a real pirate -- grimy, desperate, and sick with scurvy -- but the romantic pirates of folklore. Think Errol Flynn or Orlando Bloom, swinging from chandeliers while wooing the maiden and defeating the corrupt Governor. The Caribbean is yours to plunder, sailing where you will and moving from one action sequence to the next in a fast-paced game that's easy to pick up and dive into.
We spent a few hours yo ho hoing it up with Meier at Firaxis secret pirate lair, but we lived to tell the tale. Here's what to expect!