Leviathan: Warships iPad Review
- It's Combat Mission with naval warfare.
- A campaign, plus multiple multiplayer modes, and a shipyard to create your own fleets.
- Cross-platform play.
- Might be too slow paced for some.
- It can be hard to find multiplayer games with the matchmaker.
Leviathan Warships is a lovely mix of real time and turn based strategy that primarily focuses on engaging multiplayer naval battles. A must have for strategy fans.
- Full Review
- App Store Info
Did anyone ever play any of the Combat Mission games? This question is being asked because if you have, you will immediately understand how the gameplay of Leviathan Warships by Paradox Interactive functions. While most strategy titles are put into sub-genres by whether their battles play out in real time or turn by turn, Leviathan Warships combines these by separating the turn based and real time play styles into a planning and execution phase. Unlike Combat Mission, the gameplay here is confined to naval warfare on the high seas, but with a focus on multiplayer (with even the campaign mode having a co-op option), and the ability to fully customise the fleets that you take into battle. Not bad for an iPad release at all.
The planning phase is the quiet part of the game. The game is paused, and you can assign all manner of orders to your ships. Using the green and red arrows, you can move forward or backward, either to the waypoint that you drag out from the arrows (which tells you how many seconds of game time it will take to get there), or you can use the plus button to assign multiple waypoints, dictating a more complex path. You can also change the orientation of your ship, as not only will this allow a wider berth to fire for some of your most powerful weapons, but some ships are equipped with a shield that you can assign to any of the four sides of the vessel (and of course there's the idea that the front or rear of the ship would be harder for an enemy to hit than the side). Once you're satisfied with your planning, you press the 'commit' button, and the next ten seconds of game plays out in real time based on your orders. The ten seconds is long enough for new developments to appear, but short enough that if you find yourself under siege you can adjust your strategy in the next planning phase. And yes, the majority of your weapons fire automatically, but you can view your gun ranges, manually target, and some of your heavier artillery does need to be approved by command before being unleashed.
You can imagine, that with multiple players either cooperating against an enemy or playing against each other in points or assassination mode, the situations the player will find themselves in can escalate quite quickly. This is a game about cautionary and clever play, as any weakness will be either exploited by the computer or a player who has the faintest of notions about what they are doing. This style of play though is what makes the game so rewarding, either watching a plan execute perfectly, or being able to recover from a dangerous situation. At the current time of review however, not many players seemed to be online as the matchmaking system had trouble finding games of any variety. Now the game was taken off the App Store shortly after release to address multiplayer issues (although it is back now), and perhaps more patching needs to be done. The ability to play games cross-platform is as exciting as it is ambitious, but without the player base, the main draw of the game is, if you'll pardon the pun, dead in the water.
With people to play with however, this is an easy recommend for strategy fans. Not only with the multiplayer options, but the shipyard allows you to personally customise your fleet based on the point limitations of the different sized game modes. This allows players to experiment and min/max their destructive capabilities. There are more ships available for purchase in the store, so there is a danger of 'paying to win', but this is certainly a game where a clever strategy can sink even the most decked out war behemoth, and some players will definitely find that out the hard way.