Forts: High Seas – Review
Follow Genre: Real-time strategy
Developer: EarthWork Games
Publisher: EarthWork Games
Platform: PC
Tested on: PC

Forts: High Seas – Review

Site Score
7.4
Good: good soundtrack, unique combination of genres
Bad: abusable balance issues in singleplayer
User Score
9.0
(1 votes)
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VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Forts is a real-time strategy game that was released in 2017. It combines Worms-styled gameplay with RTS elements, and with this unique gameplay combination, it quickly became loved by RTS fans. Every match of Forts is a perfect combination of defending your base while at the same time staying on the offensive to put pressure on the opponent. Earlier this year EarthWork Games released their second DLC for Forts called High Seas. It brings us a new campaign with 18 missions, new water-based mechanics, a new soundtrack, a new story with graphic novel-style cutscenes, 20 skirmish/multiplayer maps, and much more. Today we take a look at that DLC to see what it’s all about.

Story

Five years ago the famed scientist Professor Fred Capcitor disappeared mysteriously on the high seas. In Fort: High Seas you play as his son Max, captain of the United Navies. Your mission is to fight against pirates to stop the creation of a terrifying mega-weapon. As you get closer to the mega-weapon, you uncover what happened to your father.

The story is told in-between missions in the form of graphic novel-style cutscenes. It is nice that High Seas decided to focus more on the story than the base game. It is clear, however, that the story still isn’t the main focus of the game. It is a basic and short storyline that serves as a goal and setting for the gameplay. That doesn’t mean that the story is bad though, it just doesn’t go very deep. The story is perfect for what it’s trying to do, it adds a sense of purpose to the missions, and it is a nice distraction from the gameplay.

Graphics

Forts has very basic, simplistic graphics. The backgrounds look as if they’re still a sketch and the characters are very cartoony. The cutscenes are beautifully drawn, but for the in-game graphics ‘beautiful’ isn’t the first thing that comes to mind. The in-game graphics don’t look amazing but are very functional. Every asset is easily distinguishable which makes it easier to quickly build your base. In general, everything graphics-related is done very cleanly, it’s simply very basic.

Sound

High Seas features a new dynamic soundtrack. The soundtrack features more than 20 new tracks with multiple genres that all sound amazing. The music really makes the battles feel like an epic naval clash between warships. The sound effects are also mostly solid, but sometimes a bit underwhelming. There are times when you can feel and hear the impact of your missiles, but sometimes the sound is underwhelming/absent and you don’t hear any impact whatsoever. Overall, the sound design in Forts: High Seas is good, except for a few sound effects that miss their target.

Gameplay

Forts is a real-time strategy game that combines multiple genres with great success. Physics-based base building and 1v1 Worms-inspired combat come together to form a game that requires the ability to multitask. You’ll soon find yourself having to find the perfect balance between offensive and defensive gameplay to win. The game is very fast-paced and has very little downtime, this means you have to think and act fast. Managing your actions per minute (APM) is therefore very important. If you know the good weapons to build, the player that builds them first often wins. While there probably are very advanced strategies once you get really good at the game, we found that we could win most single-player matches by simply building a specific strong weapon first.

The base game’s campaign was, for a big part, focused on teaching new players the game. For that reason, multiplayer has been the main game mode for most players. Forts: High Seas brings us a new campaign with a new storyline that adds 18 missions with new sea-battle-related mechanics. It skips all the introductory missions and gets straight to real battles where you have the same freedom as you would have in battles against other players. This campaign was a really fun experience and was much more enjoyable than the original campaign. Nonetheless, the battles could be won by simply building a specific weapon as fast as possible and then just spamming attacks, making it impossible for the AI to catch up. So, while the game has a very cool concept with a lot of freedom, it seems that you can just follow the same plan every time and just execute it as fast as possible. We found that it would be much more fun if there was a bigger requirement for thinking outside of the box, and a higher reward for an original playstyle.

Conclusion

Forts: High Seas is a great addition to an already unique and interesting game. It brings new mechanics, buildings, and a campaign that greatly improves on the original. On top of that, there’s also a new soundtrack that sounds amazing. If you liked Forts, you will probably like High Seas too. As a DLC it does everything it should do. For the asking price of this expansion, you could do far worse.

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 9.0/10 (1 vote cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
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Forts: High Seas – Review, 9.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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