Alpharrrrrr: Caribbean! Boards Steam Early Access

By Alice O'Connor on May 1st, 2014 at 8:00 am.

I'm calling ye out, ye lily-livered scallywag

The concept of ‘Mount & Blade with pirates and pirate ships’ is probably enough to sell a fair few people on a game, but what if that’s not enough? What if they need more? What if they demand razzmatazz? This problem calls for dramatic punctuation. Bang on an exclamation and bosh wallop, we have Caribbean! and the Internet falls over itself in excitement.

Snowbird’s piratical sandbox action-RPG has now hit Steam Early Access in alpha at £10.99.

Calling it “Mount & Blade with pirates” isn’t just lazily dismissive, mind. Caribbean! is built on Mount & Blade: Warband‘s engine and is awfully similar at its core. It’s the classic M&B formula of building armies, leading them into battle, conquering, trading, and becoming a mighty leader.

Only this time it’s about pirates, so you can roam the seas on upgradeable ships, manage a crew, get into naval battles with cannons blasting away, and send your chaps in to board the enemy. Also you get to wear a pirate hat and some magnificent doublets. And it’s really sunny.

Snowbird say Caribbean! is “70% complete” as it hits Early Access, and are planning to add odds and ends like siege artillery and factional meta-goals. Pirates, for example, might win by fending off Englishmen come to quash them. Here’s a dev diary with more on what is and isn’t in right now:

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32 Comments »

  1. SpecimN says:

    “The concept of ‘Mount & Blade with pirates and pirate ships”…

    Ah, you mean Sid Meier’s Pirates ?

    • P.Funk says:

      I’m sorry, did I miss the anniversary edition of Sid Meier’s: Pirates! where they added ground combat that was more than just a mildly distracting mini game?

      • Great Cthulhu says:

        There are many obvious differences, but they have the same sort of appeal to me: open worlds where I can do whatever I want, no predefined story, factions that carry on interacting with each other regardless of my involvement, settlements changing hands, etc.

        AC4 is another game that comes close, actually, though the factions in that game don’t really interact without your involvement. Still a fun, mostly open world full of plunder.

        Caribbean will still have its niche. But the above two games scratch my “open world pirating” itch well enough that I won’t feel compelled to give it a try until it is fully finished and polished to a shine.

      • SpecimN says:

        Oh please, don’t be sorry, Pirates! is a 1989 game if I’m not mistaken, and it was great for the time (I played it at that time so you should show me a little more respect, regarding my age !). Obviously Caribean! (note the exclamation mark like Sid Meier’s Pirates!) won’t be a remake.

        I’m just telling that Taleworld didn’t create a “Mount & Blade genre”, Taleworld admitted in an interview (here: http://www.paradoxplaza.com/Mount&Blade/?p=articles&id=23) that M&B was particularly inspired by Pirates!

        • Great Cthulhu says:

          Interesting bit about Pirates being a direct influence on M&B. Thanks!

          Also interesting: the text behind that link is actually an excerpt from an RPS interview: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2008/10/01/the-horses-mouth-mount-blade-interview/

        • P.Funk says:

          Well I was referring to the 2004 version which happens to have the exact same name.

          Of course you could have just said that you knew it was influenced by SM:P! instead of laying a trap where you can come out with a link and say “AHA!”. Really, why not just say that? Its far more interesting than your original comment and it has something worth reading embedded in it too.

          :P

    • electron105 says:

      A game which belies the Sid Meir name by being shallow and tedious, unlike M&B.

      • The Hairy Bear says:

        Pirates was a great game!

        • tormos says:

          Seriously how does anyone not enjoy Pirates!? I grew into gaming in the early 2000s but would eagerly boot up my father’s Amiga to play Pirates! at any opportunity rather than play most of the stuff available to me on PC at that point.

          • Meusli says:

            Yeah, the PC port was very limp compared to the Amiga version.

  2. satan says:

    Always thought a M&B pirates game would be fun, looks promising.

  3. hypercrisis says:

    From the same guys who put together WFaS apparently. And sounds like 70% is very generous. Withholding judgement until it’s finished but paying for M&B mods seems a bit ridiculous given the games already vibrant mod scene.

  4. hemmingjay says:

    This is not a mere mod. The engine had to be heavily modified to allow much of what this game does. It would be great if people would stop dismissing every new game as garbage before actually learning about it. Seriously, why is it that games now have to defend themselves at introduction? Remember when gamers read about a game without already having an opinion? How miserable do people have to be to hate everything before they even know what it is?

    Our industry/hobby needs a more positive attitude or it will continue into a cesspool vortex. Prove you are an intelligent individual by actually learning about something before sharing your opinion on it. I’m not talking about this game, I’m referring to everything in your life. Social media has trained us all into acting like critics about everything that we think we are supposed to shout out our assessment of everything on sight. We’re not. That’s asinine behavior.

    /rant over Yes, I know it did no good. Flame away.

    • John Connor says:

      You say defend themselves, I say prove themselves.

    • tormos says:

      I’m going to resolve the negativity of gamers by writing multiple paragraph angry rants about negativity on video game sites! Fun!

      • SanguineAngel says:

        This must be the aforementioned cesspool vortex

        • Premium User Badge

          Harlander says:

          If there’s a vortex, the cesspool must be emptying, though, right?

          • The Random One says:

            It’s more like an ant vortex, just going round and round until everyone inside dies.

  5. frightlever says:

    Snowbird? As in the guys who make the Eador games? I checked the website and apparently so. Huh.

    • Premium User Badge

      bills6693 says:

      Wow, I didn’t realise this is the same studio. They seem to be a good studio – they just updated their year-old eador game with a massive free content update!

  6. The Hairy Bear says:

    I’d definitely buy this, Mount and Blade was good but I like the idea that they’re trying to build a bit more of an end game. Also has everyone been eating their negativity breakfast?!

  7. Skyhigh says:

    I bought this, since I like almost everything M&B. Played it for an hour or so yesterday, but yeah, its not finished as expected (it says in the starting screen that the game is 70% finished).
    It seems you can’t walk around in towns for now for example. Something one can do in M&B: Warband and in many mods. And there is no multiplayer, not sure if this will come later or not.
    Anyway, Yarr!!, that’s of course how I called my character. :)

  8. Hydrogene says:

    The Warband engine is really showing it’s age graphically wise, which is a shame as I’m sure this will be a lot of fun! I think Assassin’s creed 4 pirates georgeous graphics and atmosphere has really spoiled me.

    • Premium User Badge

      bills6693 says:

      For me, thank goodness its still in this engine! I can actually play M&B games. Think of the low-end user :)

  9. trooperwally says:

    Measured negativity incoming (I call it caution)…

    I was super excited about this game when I first saw it on RPS back in July 2012. Since then I’ve followed their infrequently updated website for info on the games development. The developers themselves said that the game fell into “development hell” in August last year and I all but gave up any hope of it seeing the light of day. If nothing else, compare the screenshots from 2012 and those above – not a lot of progress for almost two years. Sure screenshots tell you very little and nothing really about mechanics etc. but it makes you wonder what has taken so long that they’re still only 70% done. Allowing for optimism bias in developers assessing the percentage completion of their project I’m still really cautious about this game.

    I’d love to play a good M&B game with pirates but honestly the devs have largely lost my trust. I’ll hold off until it’s done I think.

    References:
    Original RPS article: http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/2012/07/02/naval-gazing-caribbean/#more-114297
    Dev’s website: http://snowbirdgames.com/?cat=11&lang=en

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      cpt_freakout says:

      Of course it looks the same – the engine can only do so much. Even with the best graphical mods, Warband still looks a bit 2003. I understand the skepticism, but I would think they’ve taken this time refining what’s underneath, like all the systems necessary for seafaring and port blockading and whatnot, because there’s only so much you can do to improve the visuals.

      • trooperwally says:

        I was more meaning in terms of models, animations and textures. I’m not very technical but I’d have thought they could work on those a bit. For example, a lot of the armour and horses shown in the video looks like it’s taken from WFaS. That said, they’ve put in some new stuff and I’d dearly love it to be the game I hope. I’m sure the modders would put out some nice graphics mods that make it just a little prettier.

    • captain lust says:

      For full disclosure, I do Community Management and PR for TaleWorlds (you can hear my voice on the devblog :D).

      You’re free to make what you will and have your own opinion of the game but I would ask, what about a developer admitting when they have problems would make you “lose trust” in them? Surely a developer that is honest about issues they have is more trustworthy. It’s just interesting seeing comments like these from a PR perspective. I hope you enjoy the game if you do decide to give it a go.

      • trooperwally says:

        “trust” was a poor choice of word. I should have said “confidence”. I don’t for a moment think the devs are being sneaky and the admission of difficulties suggests they really are playing it straight. However, difficulties can turn into games getting cancelled and it is that which made me lose confidence. Seeing the alpha boosts my confidence but I still have reservations about whether it’ll get to the quality we all hope it does for final release.

  10. Keyrock says:

    A Mount & Blade & Sid Meier’s Pirates! mashup? Be still my beating heart!

  11. Premium User Badge

    LegendaryTeeth says:

    Mount and Blade as Pirates? Yeessssssssssssssssss.

    My body is ready.

  12. botty says:

    And nobody mentioned the awesomewhileunpracticalness of musket-and-axe-bastard-child ?