Creativity seems to be a major focus point in many games these days, whether it be full world access such as is in Minecraft, or designing individual creations like in Besiege; another game to follow in the footsteps of the latter is “The Last Leviathan” which has been labelled as “besiege with boats” by many who are fans of both, but does this title sink, float, or sail among the sea of games out there?
Much like the game Besiege you start with a single controller building block around which to attach pieces to form your creation, in this case it is a ship’s helm; onto this piece you can attach various blocks which could be simply structure and buoyancy, pieces to power or steer the ship, or weapons to tear apart your targets. The building part is very simple and intuitive however the end goal is the harder part; with no real tutorial on what causes a boat to float, sink, roll, flip, or any tangible information whatsoever, it’s fairly difficult to create a functioning craft. Luckily there is options to start with a pre-made basic design onto which you can make various tweaks, or completely restructure, which is a real hassle saver before you get a feel for how to build your own vessel.
Once you have your ship you can sail around and look for various activities to test your craft against, these can be fights, races, targeted assaults, treasure retrieval, and anything else the developer may add in. These are indicated by checkpoint style markers that you sail into and can start the event.
I found the races the most difficult aspect, possibly due to my sub-par ship design and trying to get a feel for the controls, however the combat was very engaging and enjoyable; you can control your weapons in first person allowing you to aim up your shots to lay waste to any who oppose your magnificent warship, and there’s something very satisfying about launching volleys of cannonballs while battling against the throws of waves.
The controls are much simpler when compared to Besiege, which is likely a massive influence for this game; whereas Besiege required you to assign a key to every piece, controlling in The Last Leviathan is very standard with WASD to control speed and turning, clicking fires weapons with Shift showing their arcs in third person, and first person control is just mouse movement and clicking. There are also a few other controls for pieces such as torpedo jets, but it’s all pretty simple and easy to get into.
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Once I started to get into the idea of how ships work more and I managed to create my own ship from scratch I had a lot of fun causing havoc on the high seas. Further to the Crusades mode in which you look for objectives there is also a sandbox for testing your builds, a versus to pit your ship against another AI controlled one, a mode coming soon which will involve more of an exploration element, and the developer even released a special event for Halloween in which you pit yourself again a large spooky ship in a timed battle. In the Halloween themed event you are encouraged to stream and record, with the promise of special t-shirts for the top three times, which is a fantastic addition to a game.
A big part of what makes a game successful is the developer’s attention to their fans, and the interaction from the fans themselves; so it is happy news that I can say the developer does in fact listen and reply to feedback on the discussions page, showing that they care about the game and how people feel about it, securing a continually improving product, also the fan-base seems very enthralled with the game, posting many interesting creations to the Steam Workshop for people to download and sail for themselves, a great tool for any creation based game.
The sounds in the game have a nice impact to them and add to the overall combat experience; however there is no music in the game which I would enjoy. The graphics look really nice and I’ve not noticed any real issues there, and I could run the game in the highest settings. There are currently multiple bugs present, such as races hanging and needing the game to be fully restarted, also a few missing features such as a replay button on missions, however it is an early access game, and I have no doubt that the developer will iron out any issues.
Overall The Last Leviathan is a fun creative experience if somewhat clumsy at times, and I look forward to seeing where the developer takes it from here; if you enjoy creation based games then this will be a good one for the collection!