Or at least, it is right now. Developer “ArenMook” has big plans for the isometric high-seas shooter, but for the moment, there’s a free, fully playable alpha demo that’s already nicely polished – especially given Windward‘s scant three months of development time so far. Basically, though, if you’ve played the 2004 Pirates revamp, you’ll be confidently row- row-rowing enemies’ boats gently down the river Styx in no time. But, if not, it’s a quick formula to pick up, requiring only a deft sense of timing and position from players. Aiming and cannon fire, meanwhile, are automatic.
It’s excellent fun in a 4v4 point capture setting, too. I almost immediately found myself engaged in a lighting quick back-and-forth that saw my opponent and I narrowly darting in and out of firing range. When it became apparent that my faithful Titanic Two was looking a bit more like Swiss cheese than their ill-gotten cruiser, I decided to charge straight into them. Unfortunately, my hull wasn’t nearly as thick as my incredibly suicidal resolve, so I harmlessly exploded mere inches away. I bet it would’ve been even more intense if my fearsome foe’s name wasn’t “Fartzilla.”