Sea Dogs II in Development for PC and Xbox
Sea Dogs 2

Russian developer Akella is currently at work on its new pirate adventure Sea Dogs II, an ambitious melange of RPG, naval sim and strategy genres. The game's open-ended scenario allows players to execute a variety of quests as a ship captain in a romantic, 17th century Caribbean setting. A number of career-building strategies on both land and sea can be followed, ranging from serving a major European power to a more austere life of bounty hunting. At sea there are over 30 types of authentic ships that can be navigated and used to engage enemy ships and ports in massive battles. On land, players can explore towns, interact with non-player characters, and search myriad environments including treasure caves, smuggler's lairs and tropical islands.

Although gameplay is described as a free-form, action/RPG affair that encourages extensive interaction within a detailed world, there is a main story as well as a multitude of side-quests to follow, and many are randomly generated so that there is no definite ending to the game. NPCs play a crucial role in building your crew, and some will give you tasks to complete for gold, experience and items.

If the Caribbean milieu of Sea Dogs II is as scandalously intricate as Akella describes it, players should anticipate a vigorous simulation of 17th century pirating. A complex economic model facilitates realistic trading with 26 types of goods and over 20 places to trade. Captives can be taken in boarding and fort raids and ransomed for profits or kept as slaves, and virtually everything from ships to sieged colonies can be administered in great detail. Akella has also planned for some robust multi-player features: Deathmatch and team capture-the-fort modes are available, and up to 16 players can participate in these online sessions.

Sea Dogs II is scheduled for a fall 2002 release for the PC, and an Xbox version should be expected no more than a few months afterwards. Those interested are advised to check out the game's official Web site for more information.

by Michael Henninger    
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