GDN:NEWS ARTICLES

Naval War Arctic Circle Review (Windows PC)

Posted by Christophor Rick (TheSuperGuido), Apr 19, 2012 14:59

Naval War Arctic Circle is hard, at times, it’s really hard. In fact, you’ll end up playing Naval War Arctic Circlesome missions several times because of this. That’s really due to a flaw in the mission design, if you ask me, which usually drops you into the middle of a mission with a low percentage chance to succeed, unless you follow a pretty narrow range of actions. What are those required actions? Well, that’ the trick you see.

So you end up doing a lot of trial and error in Naval War Arctic Circle which is sad because it takes some of the fun out of the game. It also means that many people will play each level in exactly the same way, which takes some creativity and realism out of the game.

For example, you’ll lose a mission because three hours of game time have passed, or because you lost a small handful of units. That doesn’t really feel like naval warfare at all if you ask me. A lot of naval warfare is stealth when dealing with submarines, trying to find them before they find you and Naval War Arctic Circle feels like you’re rushing around trying to do far too many things in too little a span of time.

The naval war arctic circle strategy map

Aside from the irritating requirement of trial and error to pass missions, the game is quite interesting. The interface and graphics are such that you feel like you are sitting in the mission command center giving orders instead of on any of the ships. Since you’re in the position of an admiral this feels about right.

The other daring thing they’ve done is given direct control over submarines. I touched on this when I saw the game in Sweden back in January. For the type of naval war that this game revolves around, it works. Mostly because these submarines aren’t involved in long-term, long-range covert missions or as nuclear deterrents which was a major part of sub warfare during the Cold War. They are like queens in a game of Chess, sometimes you need to hold them back and use them strategically and that could only be done with direct control over them. So while sub and naval warfare diehards and purists might complain about this, for the gameplay it works quite well.

For more video game reviews on this and many others head to Game Rankings

Our Rating for Naval War Arctic Circle Review (Windows PC)
7.0 Replay
Being unable to pass a mission means you have to play and play again. However, I’ll lose interest in the whole game before I pass some missions so it’s sort of a waste. It took a good 15 tries to pass one mission and that really equals frustration instead of fun.
9.0 Graphics
The strategic interface is cool and the graphics are interesting and you can even zoom in to a single unit and follow it about. However, that’s not recommended because...oh darn, you missed an objective and failed the mission. Do over.
9.0 Sound
A lot of the sounds are pretty good and remind me of my time in the US Navy.
6.0 Gameplay
This is even more painful than actually being in the Navy, and I speak from experience. The way missions are constructed are such that you’re more likely to fail than succeed until you run through them several times, sometimes more than a dozen. I passed one simply by memorizing where the units would be over the previous failures and sent my units there straight away.
5.0 Multiplayer/Online Content
It was so hard to play the single player that my spirits were crushed and I was unable to play much of this. There are just four scenarios to choose from and absolutely no options for them aside from which faction you play. On top of that, there’s almost no one playing online.
7.0 Overall
Seriously, I had high hopes for Naval War Arctic Circle which it took and dashed, repeatedly, against the jagged, rocky shore of its gameplay. There’s a massive amount of potential here I think but it’s buried under a wash-rinse-repeat mentality of trial and error to beat some missions, which can then be memorized with enough repetition.

Rating: 4.5, votes: 2


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