Captain Blood Preview

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Publisher: 1C
Developer: SeaWolf


Platforms: Xbox 360 and PC
Official Site 1cpublishing.eu/game/captain-blood

Dr. Peter Blood was a doctor who made the treasonous mistake of treating wounded men who had rebelled against King James in the late seventeenth century. Despite wanting no traffic with the quarrels of kings, Blood was sentenced to death. But his sentence was commuted – instead of a short drop at the gallows, Blood received a long trip across the Atlantic and was made a slave on the island of Barbados. During Blood's unfortunate servitude, Barbados is attacked by Spaniards, leaving Blood and his fellow slaves the remarkable opportunity to steal a Spanish ship and maraud the Caribbean as pirates.

Projected Release: 2008
Kyle Ackerman


Captain Blood was originally written by Rafael Sabatini, but the compelling tale quickly caught on, becoming the basis for several films and plenty of playground duels. Publisher 1C has been working with developer SeaWolf for several years on the development of a Captain Blood game, and now 1C is claiming that it will see store shelves by the end of this year. Captain Blood will also be one of 1C's first games to reach the Xbox 360.

At 1C's "Another Night in Moskva" event this week, the publisher shared its progress on action game Captain Blood. When I say "action game," I mean it – the emphasis of Captain Blood is clearly on keeping the action coming at a constant pace. Much of the game is hack-and-slash-style action, as the player cuts down hordes of enemies in places like contested ports, culminating in boss battles against powerful individuals. But Captain Blood also varies the action by venturing onto the warm seas, engaging other ships in battles that require careful timing of fusillades of cannon fire and a keen sense of the wind to win.

Button-mashing action fare is nothing new to consoles, but Captain Blood promises to deliver plenty of over-the-top piratical swashbuckling along those lines. In typical melee combat, different button- or key-presses activate different blows, take a defensive stance, or fire off weapons. Most impressively, the build appeared smooth and attractive while keeping a lot of characters on the screen at once. Captain Blood even battled through a port accompanied by his friend Pitt.

1C is promising a lot more than simple swordsmanship and a few firearms. Seafaring combat as well as the ability to board and seize enemy ships are both promised for the final release. The publisher is also promising role-playing-game-like development for both Blood and his vessel.

Captain Blood has been promised to gamers before, and isn't known for his timeliness, but there's every indication that Blood and his crew will manage a 2008 departure, if the tides favor their adventures. When the game comes, expect rich action and plenty of entertainment, though perhaps not the proletarian politics Dr. Peter Blood was known for in Sabatini's books.

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