Heroes of the Seven Seas was originally launched for Samsung Gear VR as a bold, piratical adventure set in the ‘Golden Age of Piracy’. The player takes the role of a pirate seeking legendary treasures and along the way takes on the British Navy, sea monsters and other pirates.
Heroes of the Seven Seas sports a highly stylised, manga-inspired art style, which has been used successfully in other titles, but though it has gone through a graphical upgrade since its appearance on the Samsung Gear VR, the graphics are still uninspired, at times showing significant limitations which is somewhat embarrassing on title with the power of the PlayStation 4 behind it.
The gameplay is fairly easy to pick up. The naval combat somewhat resembles the naval combat in Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag and its quite fun, there is a certain satisfaction to be found in blowing other ships to bits with your broadside guns, though the lacklustre graphics do let the side down even there. The difficulty curve is somewhat uneven, with some missions being abruptly harder than others before returning to a more reasonable difficulty level, as if the missions were somehow out of order.
Ship combat eventually ends up with you circling the enemy peppering them with volley after volley until they are blown to bits or captured for raw materials. Upgrades to your weapons are available, which makes things easier, but doesn’t really add any new elements to the main gameplay. Added to that, new gameplay elements are such as special weapons are introduced with no explanation of where, when or how they are meant to be used.
Though the graphics are not impressive, its the writing that really lets it down. There are frequent grammar and spelling errors, such as one howler line where ‘surprisingly’ is spelled as ‘surprisely’. Most conversations are stilted and awkward, and often end suddenly, most characters seem to have little in the way of personality or motivation and the conversations you can have don’t seem to affect gameplay in any way, making actually talking to anyone something of a pointless endeavour.
In some ways it feels like the developers were planning to add RPG elements but cut them for time or resource reasons.
Ultimately, Heroes of the Seven Seas fails to rise about its roots as a simplistic mobile title. There is fun to be had sailing around and blowing stuff up, but at best it will kill a couple of hours before boredom sets in. In the end, the short length, poor writing and uninspired graphics let it down considerably. The PlayStation VR is capable of so much better than this.