AirBuccaneers – PC
Developer: LudoCraft Ltd.
Publisher: LudoCraft Ltd.
Release Date: December 5th, 2012
Nerd Rating: 7 out of 10
AirBuccaneers is a first-person multiplayer-only airship battle game brought to us by LudoCraft Ltd, an independent game development team based in Oulu, Finland. The game was released in 2012, and still has an active and loyal player base to this day. I have only entered an empty server once, and there are bots so you can still enjoy the game. The game can be picked up on Steam for $14.99 and includes steam trading card support. This game was originally submitted to Steam’s Greenlight program, and was chosen by players to be added to Steam. The staff still roll out updates to the game every now and then, and recently a group of active members known as the Gnarly Kings of Air have began setting up organized scheduled matches to improve the activity of the game.
The story and lore of AirBuccaneers is interesting, though can not be learned from inside the game. The story explains why the setting of the game exists and why you do what you do, but you can only find the story out-of-game, like the developers website. The Buccaneers are a tribe that hailed from the East and traveled to the ancient city of Atland in hopes of finding worthy goods to steal. The people of Atland basically looked the other way at the self-proclaimed thieves, assuming they were just harmless nuisances. Not much is known of the Buccaneers past, as they can’t write to keep records of themselves. Since they can’t write, it is thus assumed that they were outcasts of their homeland. The one thing known about the Buccaneers is that they are skilled in handiwork, and they could create equipment out of almost nothing and make utensils from natural materials and abandoned junk.
The tale of the Vikings isn’t so simple. Long ago, there was a Viking who was the heir to the crown, but when it came time to take the throne, his troublemaking was questioned. He was challenged to a sword fight for the position of king, and he lost; thus abandoning his homeland with his followers. This is the last known existence of the said heir, however, long after talks have aired of a group of thieves that claim to be royal and follow old Viking heritage. Rumor has it that these Vikings are the descendants of the rebellious heir.
At one time, the Vikings and Buccaneers had an alliance; though short. The Vikings taught the Buccaneers ship-building in exchange for the Buccaneers teaching them magic. Combining these skills, the two tribes made an airship that ran moved with hot air and magic. Soon after, the two groups had an argument and started a war against each other. In the midst of the war, the magic slipped away, took the form of evil, and Atland was destroyed. Blaming each other, the wars just get more and more intense as time goes on.
AirBuccaneers only allows you to set one of three different languages, English, Polish, and Russian. Separate sound volume bars are always a plus in video games, and AirBuccaneers has three: one for music, one for ambient, and finally, one for sound effects. With the option to turn off blood, you can easily make AirBuccaneers a kid friendly game. No matter how strong your computer is, AirBuccaneers has the right quality setting for you to play it nice and fast. One thing I greatly feel every PC game needs are changeable keybindings, and thankfully, AirBuccaneers offers them.
As previously mentioned, AirBuccaneers is multiplayer only. The fact that the game is multiplayer only indeed saddens me, but the game is fun either way. I do feel though, that with the lore behind the game, the developers could’ve easily added a decent campaign to the game. The gameplay of AirBuccaneers is fun, and it requires a certain amount of skill and teamwork to win (sorry loners). When a round begins, you will spawn in your team’s base. Attached to your team’s base are docks with a variation of airships, and around them are a few cannons on the ground for defense. If there are no ships docked, or you would like to board an ally ship, in the middle of your base is a hang-glider. The hang-glider will fly you to an ally ship of your choosing.
There is a variety of 4 different ships that you can use in AirBuccaneers. The smallest ship has a steering wheel only and is the most agile. However, it is also the weakest and will explode on contact with anything. The main goal of this ship is to fly over an enemy ship and jump onto it to take the players head-on, or ram into an enemy ship’s balloon which will blow you both up. Next, there is a two-man ship. It contains a steering wheel, and one cannon. This ship is faster then the huge ships, and can avoid cannon fire easier. The most commonly used ship has positions for five men, however, a sixth man can heal it when it takes fire or shoot mines off its side. It contains 4 cannons and a steering wheel. Finally, the biggest ship is more like an immobile battle station meant to protect the team’s base. It has 2 cannons and a steering wheel, however, you cannot move it without using boosts, which are rechargeable speed charges in which you choose which direction to have the boosts move you. Though they can move, this causes them to be very slow and rather useless in the actual warzone.
You are equipped with six items to use in the war. The first item is a support staff, which lets you heal the ship you are currently on. The next item is a grenade, in which you will have 25. These can be thrown at other ships if you are within range. You will also have 25 air mines, which when shot will go a certain distance and open into a balloon (They sort of resemble underwater mines, without the spikes). The mine will stay in the air until it is hit or until it respawns. At your disposal is also a telescope, a sword, and finally 25 blockers, which are used to hit cannonballs before they hit you.
Airbuccaners also has RPG elements in the character customization. As you continue to play and gain experience points (EXP), you will also level up. No matter which team you play as, you gain EXP for your character on both teams. There is a total of 60 levels that you achieve by gaining EXP. You also have separate levels per class, and the class system in my opinion is very interesting. In many RPGs, you choose the class you want to play, and your character is now that class. For example: In an RPG, I’m not going to be casting spells as an archer. AirBuccaneers tackles the whole class system in their own way as opposed to most RPGs. You are all the classes at all times, but to rank up in a specific class, you must do the task associated with the class. In terms of the normal RPG, this means that I would be all the classes (archer, mage, warrior, etc.), and to rank up as an archer, I would have to use a bow; or spells to rank up mage, etc. There are a total of four classes, the captain, the cannoneer, the defender, and the guerrilla. There is a skill and flaw tree per class. When you get enough EXP, you can unlock a skill for a class, however, you also must unlock a flaw. The trick to this however, is that the game doesn’t require the flaw be for the same class, so if you are always one class, then unlock a flaw for a different class. Another unique and cool thing about the perk and flaw system is that they only affect you when doing an action of that class. For example, if you have a perk and a flaw for Captain, they will only effect you while steering the ship.
The art of AirBuccaneers is unique to say the least. The environment is beautiful, from the actual textures to even the skybox. The textures of the airships balloons are very interesting; they look as if they are a mixture of fabric and pieces from trees. The bottom of the airships are designed to look like the real life ships used by Vikings and Buccaneers. Throughout the game, you will find symbols (that would probably be used as tribal tattoos today) on weapons, airships, clothing, and around the separate factions’ bases. These symbols are very lore friendly to the Vikings and Buccaneers, and very easily fit into the game’s setting. However, the character models are rather ugly, and I believe this was done intentionally to fit the lore and the general idea of people from the era of Vikings and Buccaneers. Personally, I play as a Viking because the Buccaneers are just too ugly.
AirBuccaneers is a great game, and has amazing potential for full servers. I’d suggest picking this game up and getting together with a group of friends big enough to fill a server, then use team tactics, and see which of the teams has better teamwork coordination. I give full support and encouragement to the Gnarly Kings of Air, and I hope they can bring some more life into this game, as it deserves it. I feel like the price is fair for the content you are receiving, and it is obvious that a lot of work went into this game. (If only Pewdiepie would use his power to make games like this famous, instead of Flappy bird. No offense to those of you who like Flappy Bird, I’ll admit it’s addicting. )
Do you agree with my review of AirBuccaneers? Feel free to add your own thoughts in the comments! I highly recommend this game, and would love to see some more players in the battlefield.
Share This Post