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Captain Blood, a hack-and-slash pirate game revealed in 2004, will finally release in 2024

Belay! Delay!

Two pirates crossing swords in a ship
Image credit: SNEG Ltd

Way back in 2004, that terrible year when I swore off video games entirely to focus on my university studies, developers 1C SeaWolf announced Captain Blood, a piratical action game loosely based on Rafael Sabatini's adventure novels, in which a crew of 17th century freebooters set forth across the Spanish Main to rescue a magistrate's daughter from assorted bilge-drinking scallywags. Early footage painted the portrait of a spirited 3D hack-and-slasher featuring much buckling of swashes, heaving of hos and jollying of rogers.

Jim Rossignol (RPS in peace) was cautiously enthused when he played Captain Blood in 2008. "It was actually pretty fun - especially the arcade boat violence between speedy galleons - but I'm not exactly holding out for a masterpiece," he wrote. Alas, Captain Blood's ship struck a reef in the shape of unspecified publishing disputes, and sank beneath the waves after one last defiant preview showing in 2010. Now, the game has risen from the depths Flying Dutchman-style thanks to new developers Seawolf Studio and General Arcade and publisher SNEG Ltd. It'll finally launch on PC later this year.

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"The game underwent several iterations throughout the 2000s and was last showcased in 2010 before vanishing for years," reads a note on Captain Blood's Steam page. "Now, we are excited to bring it back, combining its original glory with a series of modern improvements for today's gamers." The re-reveal trailer above strongly resembles this one from 2010.

Captain Blood - which, yes, the blundering bosuns of RPS past are guilty of confusing with the Atari ST adventure game of the same name, sorry about that - still doesn't have a final release date, but they're aiming for "fall 2024". There's definitely a longer story to write about why, exactly, the game has been in Davey Jones's locker all these years, but for the moment, all I can tell you is that Seawolf Studio are a new outfit, based in Newcastle, UK, while General Arcade are a porting studio who operate out of Singapore and Malaysia. Publishers SNEG were founded in 2020 by former GOG staffers Oleg Klapovskiy and Elena Roor, and describe themselves as "focused on reviving classic games from the digital abyss and legal hell". Their previous Steam releases include Blade Of Darkness, originally released in 2001, and Star General, originally released in 1996.

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