Thursday, May 09, 2013

Leviathan: Warships Gameplay Review

I'm playing Leviathan: Warships, a urn-based naval strategy game by Pieces Interactive and Paradox Interactive.

The game features cross-platform (mobile and desktop) multiplayer skirmish and cooperative campaign options. You can also play the nine-mission campaign offline, but it is much less enjoyable alone. Leviathan: Warships has asynchronous turn-based gameplay where you can have multiple active matches at a time and switch freely between them (although most players seem to concentrate on one game at a time). There are robust ship and fleet customization options: you can place cannons, beams, rockets, mines, smoke, shields, and cloaking items on several ship hulls, and none of these components are locked from new players. A points limit allows you to design small, medium, and large fleets, and the results are somewhat balanced (railguns are too powerful when spammed) with many options. Controls are mouse-driven, with click-and-drag movement and targeting. The interface is limited in several areas, however: it is difficult to determine when items are active (such as radar), and inactive periods after weapons fire and their cooldown timers disappear are simply confusing. Action plays out ten seconds at a time, and since each weapon has effective minimum and maximum ranges, the tactics of Leviathan: Warships have some depth. Individual weapons and systems (vision, movement) can get damaged and are automatically repaired over time. While the interface shortcomings of Leviathan: Warships are discouraging, the ship customization and action-oriented gameplay are welcome features.