Carriers at War II

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a game by Strategic Studies Group
Platform: PC
User Rating: 7.3/10 - 3 votes
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Carriers at War II
Carriers at War II
Carriers at War II
Carriers at War II

The inspiration for this naval wargame from ssg is the Japanese campaign in the South Pacific during World War II. At this time, the use of aircraft carriers in battle as effective weapons and not just platforms at sea for spotter planes, was just being realised by the ignorant brass back home.

CAW and mouse

Avid naval strategists will undoubtedly be disappointed with the static images, repetitive animation sequence and, most of all, the macro approach to combat; no cross hairs or specific target selection here, control is from a broader perspective. You will be impressed, however, by the scope and accuracy of the cat and mouse aspect of naval warfare, ssg has gone to great lengths to ensure historic details are observed. For example, fire control on allied vessels is superior, just as it was in the actual war, and seaplane tenders and strike transfers can be utilised to enable longer range bombing. There's even encyclopaedic data on all craft, ports and land bases, which is presented both on screen and in the daunting 200-page manual.

The bigger picture

Where Carriers at War 2 falls down is in the limited control over combat and the beautifully rendered, but sadly static, graphics. There are eight different scenario types, which range from defending a port, to safely delivering cargo to a specified location. Most of the gameplay is in deciding what to do once you have tracked down a potential target. How close should you get before launching a strike? Do you go for the carriers or capital ships? Whatever you decide, the combat is handled by the computer. All you can do is select which squadrons you want to use to attack the target. You are unable to prioritise ships to be hit, set the squadron formation, or anything else.

Back at sea level

In removing the player from the close-quarter combat, ssg has lost the 'seat of your pants' thrill stuff, which creates most of the atmosphere in games of this nature. The screen is separated into eight ranks; with the top and bottom being safe zones and the rest being hard hat areas. Again, you don't command the formation of your ships and the targeting of the enemy is unplayable in its simplicity: the biggest guns go first every round and so on. All you get to do is watch, deciding only which elements of the fleet are attacking and what their broad target is. Carriers At War 2 has evidently been pitched at die-hard strategy fans.

You certainly won't want to touch it if this is a genre you only dabble in. However, experienced players of strategy and war games may find the level of command too broad for their liking. If you have played and enjoyed the first Carriers at War game then this will undoubtedly appeal to you. Otherwise I'd suggest borrowing it first from your local friendly retailer before actually parting with your cash.

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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