HighFleet review

HighFleet review


What is it? A complex mix of action strategies, a behemoth with anti-gravity.

Expect to pay 23.79 GBP/27 USD

release Come out now

Developer Constantine Koshutin

Publisher Micro prose

multiplayer game? No

Associate Official website

Ask me what my favorite game is, most of the time I will answer Sid Meier’s Pirates!, which is a mixed genre and cheerful adventure game published by Microprose in 1987. Microprose is a software company known for simulations, strategy/war games and games that occasionally conduct genre bending experiments. The brand has recently been resurrected. Although most of the published games tend to be traditional wargames, they also released a hybrid HighFleet, described as a distant future action strategy game, involving airships fighting civil wars during their deaths. . empire.

The narrative of what you did at HighFleet sounds fascinating. You negotiate an alliance with local warlords! break the code! Design a new ship! Let them fly around in the fierce battle, dodge bullets and launch missiles! HighFleet is also cleverly grouped together, with a narrative interface that allows you to access different parts of the game experience through the flagship window. Want to intercept a message? Click the phone receiver at the top of the screen to enter the radio interface, then use the mouse wheel to turn the dial and find the signal.

In other words, HighFleet feels that it is the product of a single vision, the style is consistent, the system seems to be integrated and guides the player into its thinking mode. In most cases, this is something unique and exciting that I would be happy to recommend. There is only one small problem:

I hate this game.

(Image source: Microprose)

There is a cliché about game reviews. If a reviewer doesn’t like a game, but it seems to be the kind of game others might like, they will say that it “will definitely please fans of that genre”. But that’s not me. On the one hand, there really is no such genre. On the other hand, if there is a type that we can squeeze in HighFleet, it will be next to Sid Meier’s Pirates!, my favorite game. So in theory, I am a fan of this type.

When HighFleet is flooded with various systems, pirates! It is full of mini games, which are bundled together to create a story of bluffing pirates swinging around on the deck of a galleon, dueling evil Spaniards and wooing the governor’s daughter. These little games are very interesting! There is one exception: In the original version in 1987, if you got lost in the Caribbean, you wouldn’t just pull out an in-game map. No, that version of pirate! There is a small game of astrolabe, you can use the history device to calculate your longitude and latitude, and then check the map in the manual. It was terrible-so it was removed from the pirate version! You may have seen it.

The core problem of HighFleet is Every little game has astrolabe obstaclesFor example, I got a tutorial that allowed me to learn how to intercept transmissions, but once I started to intercept these transmissions myself, I didn’t know what they did or what they meant. There is a complete system that can launch stealth attacks, but I hardly see how it matters or why it matters. Some of it boils down to a bad tutorial, where you learn something you can do without having to understand why. But the chaos did not completely subside during the main campaign. Every new system I encountered has increased my confusion, not my fantasy as an airship commander—except for the diplomatic system based on cards and dialogue, which is simple and effective.

(Image source: Microprose)

Let us fight the most important battle. Your fleet has a certain number of small ships, such as frigates and frigates, which you can control in battle. You can have several, but in fact you can only control one at a time. In dual-barrel shooting air combat; WASD moves, the mouse is aimed and fired, afterburner, missiles and flares, etc. There can be multiple enemies on the screen at a time, but when only one of your ships is destroyed or retreated, it will be replaced by the next one in the list until each ship is taken care of.

The look and feel of the battle is great. There are simple weather effects, such as raindrops hitting your video screen, wailing music suitable for the Russian/Western Asian atmosphere of the game, and rumbling gunfire. Ship control is a constant gravity tug-of-war, with loading time and ship damage on the verge of difficulty and frustration. The action of fighting is very suitable for games.

The problem lies in all other aspects related to combat-connective tissue. Information on what fighting actually means is very scarce. Is it okay to lose the ship? Until you reach a certain level of competence and expertise, HighFleet has no real answers. There are crew members on board, and if you lose the boat, you can save them, and you will get a mark indicating how many people were rescued at the end of the battle, but not what the crew actually did or how to replenish them systematically.

(Image source: Microprose)

The strategic aspect of dealing with combat is also offensive. HighFleet provides a tutorial to teach you how to launch ships from your fleet to fight independently, but either I lost most of the ships I sent, or I don’t know how to recall them-I can only land on the same ship My flagship is where they seem to work. Damaged ships can be repaired and customized at the shipyard, but this requires time and money, and it is not clear when the risk is worth the reward. Then there is the nightmare of landing ships one after another in a specific docking area to get a slight maintenance advantage.

In other words, I feel like I never know if I do well, good enough or disastrous in any particular battle. HighFleet also runs as an ironman game, with an auto-save that is continuously updated, unless there is a chance to participate in the entire battle again immediately after the battle. This means that after each battle, I have to decide whether I need to try again without a strategic background.

The behavior of playing HighFleet is like a bunch of alarms sounding, telling you that you are in big trouble, but you don’t know what the alarms do or why they sound. It’s like a hot topic reposted by celebrities on Twitter: suddenly everything you do is wrong and there is no way to calm anything down.

(Image source: Microprose)

In most cases, this is still a problem I can solve-for an experimental game like this, when you try to unravel its complexity, expect some moments of confusion. But there is a small problem: HighFleet is difficult, or at least it feels difficult, and more importantly, it does not have any difficulty settings. This is a simple, vicious cycle of battle, repeating the battle, becoming more and more frustrated, and then discovering that more battles can be lost. All this is a steady stream of stimulation and pressure, and there is no relief.

You may have the patience to unlock these systems. The clever interface and attractive style may take you in and inspire you to figure out the meaning of each part of it. Maybe you are a two-rod jockey, and fighting is meaningful to you. There are many components that appeal to the imaginary player in my mind… but that player is not me. I have really played this game and I can’t wait to finish it.

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Bart Thompson
Bart is's List Writer . He is from Houston, Texas, and is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in creative writing, majoring in non-fiction writing. He likes to play The Elder Scrolls Online and learn everything about The Elder Scrolls series.