Port Royale 4 Articles RSS Feed | GameSkinny.com Port Royale 4 RSS Feed on GameSkinny.com https://www.gameskinny.com/ en Launch Media Network Port Royale 4 Console Version to Stay at Sea a Little Longer https://www.gameskinny.com/yqyci/port-royale-4-console-version-to-stay-at-sea-a-little-longer https://www.gameskinny.com/yqyci/port-royale-4-console-version-to-stay-at-sea-a-little-longer Thu, 02 Sep 2021 20:01:53 -0400 Jonathan Moore

Port Royale 4, the seafaring mercantile strategy game from Kalypso, was originally set to anchor on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X|S on September 10. However, those versions will arrive a little while later, now scheduled for a September 24 release. 

Kalypso revealed the next-gen Port Royale 4 ports earlier this year and confirmed that the game would feature free upgrades on both systems. It will also be available for Game Pass on console. 

Port Royale 4 will run at 4K resolution on PS5 and Series X, 1080p resolution on Series S. Cross-gens saves will allow players to continue their efforts from last-gen systems. There will also be "real-time cloud rendering," according to Kalypso. 

Fans can pick the game up both digitally and physically for $59.99 on both PS5 and Series X. There will also be extended digital editions that include four lighthouses and five park blueprints. Lastly, Kalypso said a physical boxed edition would be available but didn't elaborate on its content or price. 

We praised Port Royale in parts, calling it "immersive" and "satisfying," while also recognizing that it's "combat is slow-paced and flawed." Regardless, it's a game worth checking out for fans of the genre because hey, a 7 ain't a bad game.

Port Royale 4 Trade Tips and Tricks Guide https://www.gameskinny.com/wp2bh/port-royale-4-trade-tips-and-tricks-guide https://www.gameskinny.com/wp2bh/port-royale-4-trade-tips-and-tricks-guide Fri, 25 Sep 2020 05:15:02 -0400 Jordan Baranowski

Ahoy there, landlubbers! Think you have what it takes to control the high seas, higher stakes economy of Port Royale 4? Here, there be trade, trade, and more trade. To make the most of your routes and fleets, you should probably get your sea legs under you before you begin.

Trading is central to success in the Port Royale 4, so here's what you need to know to set up optimal trade routes in the game. Buy low, sell high, and you'll be rolling in pieces of eight before you know it.

How Do I Make Trade Routes in Port Royale 4?

Sailing a ship to a port and buying or selling goods it pretty easy. You just have to manage supply and demand, as the filling level column for each city shows. The game's tutorials even reiterate the basic economy to make the most bang for your buck: buy commodities until the filling level drops to two green bars, and sell until it rises to two green bars. This will ensure the you get the best prices.

However, where things really start cooking is when you set up trade routes, but it can be easy to lose track of the steps in getting things moving.

Here's how you do it. 

How to set up trade routes in Port Roayle 4

In the top right corner, click the icon that looks like a map. This will open the Trade Route menu. From there, you'll see an option to Create New Route. The game will pause while you set up your route.

First, you'll click each city in the order you want your ships to visit them. Don't worry if you miss one or start in the wrong place; you can click and drag cities once their on the route in order to rearrange them.

Once you have the order set up, click on the individual cities in the list to set up which items you'd like your ships to buy and sell from the marketplace. There is a button near the top right of each city menu that cycles through a few options, as well. 

Clear All is a great way to change everything, and Standard will have your ships buy items as needed on the trade route and sell everything else that's desired by the citizens. The standard option is a great way to get started if you're just learning the ropes, but make sure to select it for every city on the route.

Once the route is created, click Confirm Route. You'll then need to assign a convoy to it. There are a few different ways you can get this set up, but the easiest is to look at your existing convoys by selecting the icon at the top of the screen that looks like a scroll. From there, you can look at each of your convoys and see if any of them are on existing routes.

If you have a convoy to assign, select it to pull up that convoy's menu. Click the tab that looks like the trade route button, and you'll see a space to assign a route to that convoy. If you are changing a convoy to a new route, you'll have to click the icon that looks like a bucket to remove the old route, then assign a new one to it.

How to Optimize Your Trade Routes in Port Royale 4

There are a few things to keep in mind while setting up your routes in Port Royale 4

Trade License

You need a trade license in each town you want to buy or sell goods in. You buy these by clicking on the town and looking in lower right hand corner of the menu. They get progressively more expensive as you obtain more.

Wind direction and storm areas

Keep an eye on wind direction and storm areas. When you are setting up a trade route, you'll be able to see the general direction the wind blows. You'll save a ton of time if you have your trade routes mostly go with with wind.

If an area has no wind direction, your ship will move extremely slow through that area. If the wind direction is red on the map, that's an area where storms frequently occur, which can cause damage to your ships.

Sail to different towns and create waypoints

You don't have to sail directly to the next town on the list. You can click on the lines being created as you set up your route and drag them to a new area in order to create waypoints. If you add new cities in or want to change a route, you can either move those waypoints around or delete them all together.

Prioritize citizen needs

Make sure you're meeting citizens needs first and foremost. On the trading and production screens, items are listed by how important they are to citizens. 

If you're sailing into town trying to sell fancy furniture, but the citizens of that town barely have enough food to eat, you're going to have a hard time moving your fainting sofas.

Build more than production buildings

You start as the administrator of one town, meaning you can build things besides production buildings. As you obtain more fame and favor with your viceroy (and build a lot of businesses in neighboring towns), you can lobby to become administrator of more. Keep building and earning, and soon you'll rule the entire Caribbean.

There's plenty more to mastering the trade of Port Royale 4, but this should be more than enough to get you started. 

Port Royale 4 Review: Old-School Capitalism https://www.gameskinny.com/kuzzg/port-royale-4-review-old-school-capitalism https://www.gameskinny.com/kuzzg/port-royale-4-review-old-school-capitalism Fri, 25 Sep 2020 05:15:02 -0400 Jordan Baranowski

At first glance, you might think Port Royale 4 is a high-seas adventure game, especially if you've not followed the franchise. The beautiful Caribbean setting and sea full of swashbucklers definitely makes it look like a successor to something like Sid Meier's Pirates!

Look a little closer, however, and you'll know that's a false flag. 

Port Royale 4 is much more akin to factory and supply chain management games, just with an "Age of Pirates" skin plastered over the top. This is a cutthroat engine builder that encourages you to play as the worst type of capitalist.

t's perfect for the right type of gamer, but there are some quirks of the genre and other elements tacked on that could make a sizable chunk of gamers bounce right off.

Port Royale 4 Review: Old-School Capitalism

It's extremely nice to pause Port Royale 4, set up half a dozen new trade routes, assign different convoys to them, then unpause and watch everything go into motion.

At its core, Port Royale 4 is a game that's about controlling the economy through production and trade. Whether you're playing one of the game's structured campaigns or its sandbox mode, your goals are the same: accumulate gold and economically choke out your rivals.

There are multiple ways to achieve that outcome, but a huge chunk comes from moving goods around the Caribbean.

When you first begin, most of the emphasis is on trade. You start out with a few small ship convoys that can sail to different cities, buying and selling goods along the way. You can do this manually, sending ships to different ports and filling the cargo holds with the various items and goods you need.

The principle of supply and demand is in full effect here, as is a hierarchy of needs. Each city produces certain things, like cotton, fruit, or grain. Big money comes from transporting essential goods from a producer to another city that needs it.

Once basic needs like food and shelter are taken care of, citizens will begin searching for luxury goods. Nice furniture, rum, tobacco, luxury clothing: these items demand higher prices but will sit idly in your ships' holds if citizens of various cities can't afford to put food on the table.

As your fleet grows bigger, you'll need to set up automated trade routes. These are fairly intuitive, and you can toggle all sorts of switches to determine how much of what to buy as your ships go about their business. This is where the "factory management" comparisons come in.

It's extremely nice to pause Port Royale 4, set up half a dozen new trade routes, assign different convoys to them, then unpause and watch everything go into motion. Watching all your little ships sail around and your money reserves tick ever higher is reminiscent of watching model trains run: it's oddly satisfying and easy to get lost in.

A Barrel of Rum

Trade routes aren't the only way to control the Caribbean economy in Port Royale 4. You can also build your own production facilities in different cities, changing the supply and demand balance, running your foes out of business and double dipping into expensive or rare commodities.

Say you want to start controlling grain production in the area. You could appeal to your viceroy for multiple building permits, allowing you to build more housing and additional fields in multiple cities along trade routes. An influx of workers will come in, filling your fields and increasing the amount of grain being shipped to other cities.

That's not all. The influx of grain will have ripplling effects on the supply chain. If you were out in front of things, you perhaps built some breweries in cities later along the trade route. Now, you'll get money when the market buys your grain, which your ships will then carry down the route. You'll get money when those ships sell the grain to the breweries, who will use it to make beer.

If they are your breweries, you'll get money when the market buys that beer, which your ships will then cart further down the line, making you even more money when some up-and-coming city decides that Caribbean beer sounds like a good option.

Meanwhile, other nations and convoys are trying to do the same thing. The Caribbean economy is nicely balanced, and tilting things significantly in one direction will always cause blowbacks in another. Still, Port Royale 4 does a pretty good job of bringing out the ruthless merchant in you.

Choppy Seas

Ship combat in video games is notoriously tricky to get right, so it's nice that Kalypso tried something with it but... it just misses the mark.

If all Port Royale 4 had going for it was this economy simulation, it would be fine but lacking. 

The good news is that there are other elements to keep you busy: searching for treasure maps and partaking in other quests throughout the Caribbean, engaging in naval combat with your nation's enemies and, of course, hunting for pirates.

The bad news is that none of these elements are very fun.

Occasionally, while sailing about, a star will appear on your map that indicates a quest. Most of these quests are fairly simple: deliver a set number of goods to a certain town by a certain date, search a specific area for something, etc. The problem is that most of these are simple fetch missions that do nothing to challenge you. Instead, they force you to disrupt a trade route or keep a convoy on standby to go hunting.

No, thank you.

We talked about Port Royale 4's combat in our beta impressions, and it still just doesn't really gel with the rest of the game. Turn-based combat doesn't work for ships. They're supposed to be these unwieldy beasts, fighting against the powerful force of the ocean to even get in position to deal any damage.

With turn-based combat, whether you're battling pirates or other enemies of the crown, everything feels too neat and tidy. In a massive naval battle, things should feel chaotic and like they could turn on a change of the wind. In Port Royale 4, I move one ship, firing on an enemy. Then, they move one ship, doing the same. There are a few wrinkles to the formula, like captain's powers, but, without cover, terrain, and other variables to account for, it just feels boring.

Ship combat in video games is notoriously tricky to get right, so it's nice that Kalypso tried something with it but... it just misses the mark. After my first few naval battles, I found myself actively avoiding combat whenever possible. Luckily, you can automatically conclude most battles. On the other hand, that really limits much of the game to "watching your ships sail by."

Port Royale 4 Review  The Bottom Line

  • A good looking Caribbean adventure
  • Immersive setting and really dives in (there's even a sea shanty in the opening cinematic!)
  • Satisfying, assembly line-style gameplay
  • Combat is slow-paced and flawed
  • Not much interesting to do beyond central trading elements
  • Certain elements are easy to lose track of

There's a lot going on beneath deck in Port Royale 4, and much of it works very well. Setting up your perfect trade routes and watching all the moving pieces sail into action hits all those lizard brain elements that we love, and optimizing things when some new wrench hits the system is always a good time.

That said, these waters feel a little shallow. If combat or... something was more interesting, this game would feel like a slam dunk for almost anyone that's a fan of this genre. As is, it feels like a very niche title: solid, but not overly exciting.

[Note: Kalypso Media provided the copy of Port Royale 4 that was used for this review.]

Port Royale 4 Beta Impressions: Cutthroat Strategy https://www.gameskinny.com/62jul/port-royale-4-beta-impressions-cutthroat-strategy https://www.gameskinny.com/62jul/port-royale-4-beta-impressions-cutthroat-strategy Fri, 08 May 2020 13:15:47 -0400 Jordan Baranowski

Port Royale 4 seems to be a bit of an odd bird, but (mostly) in a good way. Most games set during the "age of piracy" are all about the pirates, and Port Royale 4 certainly is not all about pirates.

You can go rogue, but it's actually very tough to make it work, and you'll lose a lot of the benefits you'd normally accrue otherwise. Instead, this is a strategy game about building trade routes, controlling the means of production, and occasionally locking horns with some bad buccaneers out on the high seas.

It's also a strangely calming game. Part of that is due to the setting and speed at which things happen. There's a very cathartic feel to setting up multiple trade routes, zooming out, and watching your various convoys set sail. You'll rarely hit stressful, fast-paced sections; Port Royale 4's leisurely pace puts it in a different realm from many supply management games of a similar ilk.

Keep in mind: These impressions come from an early build of the game. Port Royale 4 isn't due out until late September. However, here's what you can expect if you decide to set out on the high seas.

Port Royale 4 Beta Impressions: Cutthroat Strategy

Port Royale 4 is, essentially, a resource management game. You select one of the four major powers in the Caribbean (Spain, England, France, or The Netherlands) and set out to control the economy against a backdrop of pirates and buried treasure. To do this, you set up convoys of ships to sail between the various cities, searching for the best deals and manipulating supply and demand to increase your profits. There are many ways to play, but they all boil down to, "How can I make the most money?".

You start out with just a few little ships, and you send them out to buy a few goods here and there to start increasing your coffers. Soon, you'll start setting up automated trade routes, where you tell your ships when to buy and when to sell. You can turn pirate and attack anyone, or work within your home country's current alliances as a privateer. You can also set up your own production centers in cities, creating your own manufacturing or agricultural empire and, ultimately, reaping the rewards.

One of the best aspects of Port Royale 4 is that, for as complex as it all is, it isn't that hard to get the basics running and start humming along. You won't become some sort of pirate kingpin without putting in the work, but it isn't hard to start turning a small profit and branching out from there.

It's refreshing to play this style of game and not get punished if you don't "figure it out" right away; some players will be perfectly content to set their routes up and watch them work.

High Seas, High Stakes

There is plenty more to do in Port Royale 4 than just setting up your ships and watching them move. While you're trying to turn your profits for the motherland, all those other motherlands are also maneuvering against you. Cities build up on their own, crafting new means of production and growing (or shrinking) as events happen around them. You (and, to an extent, AI-controlled players) can block supplies from getting into certain towns, cutting off their growth and making them worthless.

You can drive up demand for vegetables in a city, then build a bunch of farms in that city and sell them at a ridiculous price. Even better, you could build those farms in a neighboring city, so they have to pay even more to ship them. Even better, you can then sabotage the vegetable farms controlled by England, making it so your vegetables are the only vegetables around. It's some serious mob boss manipulation.

Ready the Cannons

Besides all the economic aspects to control, there is plenty of exploration to be done. As you set sail all around the Caribbean, you'll encounter little points of interest. Some might be as simple as a sailor who wants to join your crew, others might give you part of a treasure map and still more might give you some bonus objective. These all fall under the same general umbrellas, but there are enough slight differences to keep them from getting stale.

There are also hostile ships to contend with: If your home nation is at war with another, you and they have every right to attack one another. Pirates also roam the waters, and you're always free to light the cannons if you come across one of these deviants.

Unfortunately, combat is the area that tends to be the muddiest part of Port Royale 4. Whereas the rest of the game is all happening in real-time, ship battles shift to a turn-based mode using hexes for movement and an alternating initiative. Turn-based works well with some types of battles, but you lose the feel of commanding a fleet when they suddenly start taking turns.

Ships are supposed to be cumbersome beasts. You battle for maneuverability, especially while controlling a multi-masted beast. By setting up battles as turn-based affairs, you lose the sense of seamanship that the rest of the game really puts across. Ship battles often feel unwieldy in video games, but Port Royale 4 doing the opposite helps you realize that they absolutely should feel unwieldy.

Luckily, combat in Port Royale 4 is not a central feature. It is going to happen occasionally, but you can mostly avoid it if it isn't your cup of tea.

A New Horizon

Overall, if you're looking for a strategy-management game that allows you to pick how hardcore you want things to get, Port Royale 4 seems like it's shaping up nicely. It isn't the worst thing in the world to watch dozens of little ships go about their business, sailing around the Caribbean and trading with towns. You can also go full kingpin, cutting off supply lines and starving cities out until they are forced to do business with you and you alone.

Keep an eye on this one: Port Royale 4 has some small issues at the moment, but it could turn into a hidden gem by the time it releases in September.