Naval Ops: Commander
2nd Jun 2004 | 14:23
Having made its name with some of the finest combat strategy games known to man, beast or samurai, it comes of something of a surprise to see Koei dipping its toes into the unfamiliar waters of a naval sim.
At first glance, it seems that the PS2's mighty processing power is wasted on the tiny ships and distinctly old-school graphics. However, if you can get past the retro visuals it soon becomes clear that there's just as much strategic fun to be had in the water as there is on dry land.
From the start you have command of three ships, which you control from a top-down perspective. These include your main battleship and two escorts. As you progress, you'll be able to add more craft to your fleet, including fighter planes.
The first few missions are very simple, requiring you to merely point your torpedoes in the direction of the enemy and sink them. Later on, you'll have to sink entire enemy fleets, take out strategic land-based installations and weave your way through perilous minefields. The cumbersome nature of your battleship will frustrate you at first as it frequently rams headfirst into the nearest harbour wall, but it wouldn't be very realistic if such a huge ship turned neatly on a dime.
Naval Ops is probably more suited to PC playing strategists, but may still be worth a look if you like messing around in boats.