Port Royale 4 was announced at Gamescom 2019 and received extremely positive feedback from the press and fans alike. The series aims to be the ultimate trading simulation, and the fourth entry in the series is looking to shake things up and introduce some cool new features while refining fan-favourite features. The game might not be out until the third quarter of 2020, but good things come to those who wait, so in the meantime we’ve picked out the four best things that we’re looking forward to most in Port Royale 4.
1. A 12 million square kilometre game world!
Port Royale 4 offers an unprecedented game world measuring approximately 4500km x 2700km (about 12 million km²). That’s the whole Caribbean from the south of the USA to the north of South America lovingly reproduced! However, it’s not simply surface level detail: whether crossing sandbanks or reefs, all budding seafarers will need to have their wits about them to find the best routes for their ships. Currents can hinder or accelerate ships depending on how you make use of them, and Port Royale 4’s dynamic weather system will also throw a spanner in the works with events like thunderstorms!
Additionally, Port Royale 4 has done away with pesky loading screens. Whatever you’re up to in game – docked at port, sailing the seas or examining the world via the city view – the whole world is seamlessly rendered and immediately available.
These screenshots, taken from a pre-alpha build, show just how big and pretty the world will be:
2. Turn-based systems for naval battles!
For the first time in the history of Port Royale, naval battles of up to 10 ships will fight it out in a turn-based environment. Don your captain’s hat and employ your most ruthless tactics to turn the tide of battle. Featuring 18 historically accurate ships, players can use various tactics to build their empire and conquer the 17th century Caribbean. Thanks to Port Royale 4’s new turn-based game mechanics, the game will be more tactical than ever before and you can play out your best-laid plans on an in-game hex field, with up to 20 ships participating in a battle (10 per side).
Then there’s the new ‘captain tactics’, which can be unlocked during the game and offer many advantages in combat, such as quick repairs or advanced maneuvers. A talent tree is also available for you to develop your own unique approach and skillset. However, for any landlubbers out there that would rather leave the dirty work to the crew, fights can also play out automatically, leaving you to sit back, sip some rum and watch the action unfold.
3. Pick your nation and character
Port Royale 4 begins by asking which nation you want to represent. This decision has a huge impact on your standing in the world, and will continue to change how things play out as the game progresses. Each nation has its own specific set of advantages and disadvantages – in our example (see the above screenshots) we’ve picked Spain, which prides itself on fast expansion and colonisation of the new world. If you choose Spain, you’ll get quicker improvements in the expansion of your empire and the growth of your settlements. If you choose England, then you’ll take advantage of Britain’s naval prowess and enjoy bigger fleets, not to mention bonuses in your shipyards that will speed up the expansion if your fleets, but potentially at the expense of your cities’ development.
As well as selecting a nation, you can also choose from one of four characters. These also have their own specific pros and cons, so you’ll need to keep an eye on your particular speciality and change your play style and tactics accordingly. In the above example, we decided on the pirate character. Pirates are excellent at confiscating enemy ships and fleets, even more so with the backing of particular nations. Pirates will also gain more ‘fame points’, which will help them move through their technology tree much quicker. However, if a pirate confiscates friendly ships, especially their own nation’s ships, they will lose twice as many fame points, so players intent on donning and eyepatch and befriending talking parrots should be wary of the challenges that may line this path. In a nutshell: always be aware of your strengths and weaknesses, and chart your path through the dark waters of the Caribbean as far in advance as you can!
4. There will be a Port Royale 4!
Sorry for repeating ourselves, but the excitement of a new Port Royale is almost too much for us to take! With an enormous play area and near-limitless trading and tactical possibilities, the fourth entry in the series is looking to be the best yet. Be sure to follow along as we lead up to the launch later in 2020.