Leviathan: Warships is a naval combat game that puts you in the captain's chair with a fleet of customizable warships at your disposal that you can outfit with the kind of weaponry you will need to dominate the ocean. Originally released by Paradox Interactive as a PC title, this missile-launchin' and battleship-sinkin' war game has now been released on iOS. Are you ready to sign up for intense combat on the high seas? Or is it time to bust out some old board games instead?
The port over to mobile hasn't left much on the cutting room floor. Leviathan: Warships has all the game modes, maps and ships that were found in the PC title, with not much being stripped away from the hard-core and comprehensive real-time simulation aspects of the gameplay. In other words, it hasn't been nerfed for the casual gaming market of the App Store, but instead goes for the straight up war game experience.
When it comes down to it, this game is all about micromanagement. Leviathan does not shy away from meticulous, specific detail-oriented gameplay that requires you to keep track of a lot of moving parts. While that's not for everyone, it will definitely please hardcore fans of naval combat games, who will be right at home with this game. Admittedly they are not in my normal wheelhouse of games that I'm good at or seek out on my own.
It took a bit of getting used to what it takes to succeed and win myself some maritime campaigns. After some time (and through some strategy searching online), I was able to get the hang of what kind of tactics I needed to employ in order to not get the ol' "glug-glug-glug" every time I put a warship in the water. Going in guns blazing is not the way to approach a game like this, despite the temptation to just aggressively tap through the planning phases.
In that planning phase, you’re given a set amount of time to lay out the blueprints for the following ten seconds of action. You decide the location of your ships, set the armaments at your targets (you can also elect for an auto-aim option), and whether to use defensive countermeasures like mines or shields. After everything is all set, you hit play and watch as the action takes place.
Planning out a battle takes some military thinking and juggling of several tasks at once, such as thinking ahead to where your enemy might be attacking from, getting your own navigation straight, outfitting your ship with the appropriate kinds of weapons, and making sure your guns are pointed in the right direction. I know that sounds obvious, but at first I was definitely firing more than a few shots into empty water at nothing. Then I discovered the aforementioned auto-aim option and just went with that.
There are four modes in the game that you can take on. In the campaign mode, you will embark on nine missions, with each new one unlocked after you complete the mission you're on. Campaign Mode is weaved together with a pretty convincing war story, which unfolds battle to battle. In Challenge Mode, you bypass most of the storyline and just dive right in.
I never got around to really digging in to the meat of this, but for people obsessed with these kinds of games, it should prove effective for getting your naval fix after you're done with the story. There's also Points mode and Assassination Mode, with each one rewarding different styles of gameplay.
It's in that variety where Leviathan: Warships really flexes its muscles. The customization options really speak to the fact that it used to be a PC war strategy game. Whether you want a fleet that's composed of lightly-armored and highly-mobile ships that can outmaneuver opponents, or a fleet of heavily-armored juggernauts that will slowly blast their way through whatever's opposing them, it's up to you and your preferred way of playing. I know what you're thinking. Yeah, just like Ice Hockey, nothing beats a team of all fat guys.
Within the realm of turn-based strategy games, Leviathan: Warships is good, but by no means perfect. Give me a few rounds of X-Com over this title any day. That's just my personal preference. There will be plenty of armchair generals out there who will get lots of enjoyment out of this title. And I can appreciate it for what it is. But this game is definitely not for everyone.
App Store Link: Leviathan: Warships for iPad | By Paradox Interactive | Price: $4.99 | Version: 1.01 | 223 MB | Rating 9+