Leviathan: Warships Review

The open waters can be a treacherous place. Brigands, scofflaws and villains of all types will try and plunder, pillage, and claim all that they can for their own nefarious needs. Luckily, in Leviathan: Warships, you control a fleet of super powered, heavily armed, and technologically advanced vessels of destruction to stop these sea-based reprobates from using the lawlessness of the high-seas to their advantage.

Leviathan is a turn-based naval strategy game. Each turn is divided into two phases: Planning and outcome. In the the planning phase, you give your ships orders. You can set up waypoints to tell them where to go, rearrange their firing position, activate special weapons, or give your ships targets to fire upon. After the planning phase you hit the commit button and watch actions slowly unfold in the outcome phase.

The strategy involved here is a heck of a lot of fun. This isn’t some fast paced, action packed game game like Great Big War Game or something like that. No, this game usually involves slow moving, massive battleships that sometimes take a couple of turns just to move them into the right position to point their guns the right way. This may sound boring to some, but for those of us fascinated by naval warfare, moving these bulky war machines into battle and fending back your foes with insane weaponry can be a deeply satisfying experience.

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As you sail through the game, you’ll unlock newer and better vessels and different technologies to use to customize your ships. The level and depth of customization here is pretty amazing. From bow to stern, you can change every inch of your ship however you want to. There are some helpful blueprints with pre-made customizations, but the real fun here is making your own.

The single player campaign is rather short. With only nine levels, you can beat the entire game in just a few hours(the levels can take a while), so that’s a little disappointing. The game’s big draw, however, is the multiplayer. You can actually go through the campaign with other players or there are three other different kinds of multiplayer games you can play (defense games, assassination missions) with lots of different options in each of those games. Initially, trying to find someone to play against was a little tough, but playing now you won’t have any problems finding fellow captains to sail with. And since the game is cross platform (iOS, Mac and Windows players can join the same games), the chances of finding other players only increases.

The game’s big low point is the controls. Tapping on your ships brings up an array of icons that you choose your actions from. The problem with this is that unless you zoom all the way in, seeing and even tapping on the right icon can be hit or miss. Zooming out makes the circle of icons get jumbled  and cluttered, and it can be hard to find the right button to press. The game also has problems registering taps on the screen. We’ve had lots of occasions where we had to tap really hard on the screen, or repeatedly tap just to hit the right thing. This can all lead up to hitting the wrong icons, setting the wrong waypoints, or having problems with targeting.

Leviathan: Warships is a real treat for those of us looking for an involving, methodical naval battle. It has some problems with the controls, and the single-player campaign is pretty short, but for the strategy gamer who wants a really fun ship battle they can play with others, Leviathan is a game they should be playing.