Greetings, fellow Admirals! While searching for more naval games I came across “Victory at Sea” to mess around with. It may have taken a while to reach my blog, yet now finally able to be looked at on my blog for the PC. A game where you control your fleet in an RTS manner while also controlling their weapons individually.
[All images taken from “Victory at Sea” using Steam’s screenshot feature.]
Victory at Sea sure is an interesting game, in that it isn’t the worst, nor is it the best. It’s one of those fun games with aÂ semi-simplistic gaming mechanics and featureshat you can occasionally hop onto to venture around three world campaigns to gain control for the Japanese, British (U.K), Americans, French, Germans (Kreigsmarine), and even the Italians. You can use them in the Pacific campaign, Atlantic campaign, and even the Mediterranean campaign while purchasing shared allied ships at port; Axis ships at any Axis owned port. Your goal is to hunt down and sinking your enemy ships to earn war bonds to purchase to put towards your main fleet to combat others. Your main fleet being the one doing the aggressions to sink enemy fleets while also eventually over-throwing enemy bases and win the war for your side.
If you have played Navyfield then you’re familiar with the combatg mechanic. If not, then the combat can be observed through RTS manners of seeing the AI hunt down enemy ships, or even controlled by you to become victorious within your battles with you having to time & arc your shots appropriately to hit the enemy. You may even consider going hybrid by trusting the AI with oen side of the battle to do battle on the other end. The fun of this game being able to control your ship individually to do battle against others. It’s also to freely roam around the world to pick-and-choose your enemies to challenge and sink.
[Note: These thoughts are dated to VAS’s 1.2.2 update while reading up the 1.3 mod update. I only played the U.K Campaign fully & the Japanese campaign moderately. I may find myself coming back to edit when the game updates more frequently. Even to play so I can finish the Japanese campaign and enjoy other updates.]
– Helpful Links & Resources:
– Victory at Sea Steam Page:
– VAS Fansite:
(Make sure to click on ‘Ship Classes’ to see more.)
– Nations To Play:
The game allows you to play as all the nations in the skirmish while the campaign itself puts you in a more concentrated map with the ‘big players’. It’s both awesome, yet irritating how they keep treating specific nations. The major players being Japan, U.S.A, & U.K for the Allied side; Germany, Japan, and Italy for the Axis. The rest simply being ‘fluff’ that you can purchase and gain as rewards in the form as ‘war prizes’. Also those you can encounter on your main campaign map the longer you play.
- Japan: Pacific Campaign map only. You can however purchase them in other campaign maps, even playing with them in skirmish.
- British (U.K): Atlantic, Mediterranean, & Pacific only. You can also play with them in skirmish an in three maps.
- Americans: Atlantic & Pacific. Can also be played in skirmish.
- Germans (Kriegsmarine): Atlantic, Mediterranean, & Pacific only. You can also play with them in skirmish
- Italians: Mediterranean only. You can also play with them in the skirmish.
- French (Free): Can only be purchased through both factions in ship form at port. Can also be played in skirmish.
(I find it overly insulting that the ‘Royal Canadian Navy’, the Dutch Navy were both over-looked as ‘nations’ to play in the campaign, let alone the skirmish. I’m aware that the Russians were not added into the game, yet are planned to be eventually added. I am however overly grateful that the Canadians & Austalians both found themselves under the U.K banner. That part I’m fine with. Just a real depressing shame I can’t play as the Canadians, even if they’re known for ‘little’ ships. The ‘Royal Canadian Navy’ keeps being frowned upon, mostly by arrogant Americans which highly depresses me. I don’t care if it’s just Tribal-Class Destroyers, or even Light Cruisers. I’d still would love to command them, even if at a great disadvantage in the later half of the game that simply needs heavier & more brutal ships. And yes, they become useless in late game, thus you having to purchase from your Allied ports for better ships.Â I’m again thankful that Canadians have been added under the U.K banner, just that I would have preferred them as their own.
Would even be sweet to command the scattered Dutch navy for some added challenge. They had no home, yet out-performed & out-sank both the U.K & US combined that they both became jealous. They asked for the Dutch aggression to be toned down. Looking forward to when the Russians are added.
[RCN: HMCS Haida, HMCS Huron, HMCS Athabaskan, HMCS Iroquois, HMCS Uganda (Quebec), HMCS Ontario, HMCS Nootka, HMCS Esquimalt, HMCS Prince Robert; RCN Post War: HMCS Cayuga, HMCS Micmac, HMCS Magnificent, HMCS Warrior; War Prize: U-190 & U-889]
(Note: This is a major strike against the game, especially when given a middle finger by Americans.)
– Admiral & Captains:
The game has basic RPG elements allowing you to customize your main admiral through name & portrait only. It’s your tasks to keep him alive, or have other captains replace him in death. You can feel emotionally attached to each Admiral and Captain the more you play in the campaign map, even going as far as making fan fiction or short stories of each.
Good luck trying to keep your Admiral & Captains alive to the very end. You’ll lose them easily as the easily destructible American Sherman tanks. Have your ship sunk shall have your captain sunk.
(More about leveling & war bonds below under ‘Purchasing Vessels’.)
– General Combat:
Combat in this game relies on you having to steam your way towards the enemy to blast them to bits. You can decide if you want the A.I to take full command, or you can control each unit while coasting them in ‘micro-managing’ fashion. You basically have to sail each ship into weapons range to deal damage by leading the ship, aiming, and firing appropriately. They can do the same. You use the number keys to fire the weapons while clicking where you want to fire the selected guns. You have to keep your shots within the blue firing arch that you’re given, or else you’ll miss or fail to hit the enemy.
To fire: Press the # representing the weapon -> Mouse-click where you want to fire -> hit or a miss.
It’s quite satisfying when you do find yourself fighting these ships. It’s fun opening up both the main and secondary weapons, tearing the enemy ship to shreds as a result. It’s also fun using your destroyers to hunt down the submarines to sink with the depth charge. A fun and helpful tactic being to steam up and coast on top of the submarine while blasting the ships to bits. Torpedoes are quite nasty in this game so you have to keep a close eye on destroyers, submarines, and any other vessel armed with torpedoes. They pack quite a nasty punch on both the enemy and friendly side of the war.
Waypoints are also your friend when you want to direct your fleet of ships to specific areas. Helpful when you want to ambush, pincer, or even circle around to do combat in stages. Same with when trying to avoid anti-air with planes.
Another fun feature being able to use a ship’s funnel to spawn smokescreens to force an escape on the enemy by leaving a black smoky mess to hinder the enemy’s accuracy.
The draw-back to these battles being that you don’t really lose your ship. They are indeed sunk, but you can salvage them at the nearest friendly port for a cost of your war bonds. There’s no real loss, except for losing your captain. It would be more devastating, more worthwhile if you could lose your ships for good to feel the full effect of a crippling or devastating loss.
– Submarines & Anti-Submarine Warfare:
Submarines are quite unique in this game with you having to treat them quite seriously. They are a real pain in the rear, yet a very manageable threat by always escorting your fleet with destroyers, or a cruiser with anti-submarine capabilities. They are basically there to pester you when you’re not looking.
I found an interesting tactic to deal with them by steaming straight for them, dodging any torpedoes sent my way, to then coast to a crawl on top of them. I would then have my destroyers spam depth charges onto these until sunk, bolting out of harms way when others lock onto my destroyer. It’s a fun “Sprint-Coast-Avoid” tactic.
Submarines also have the ability to ‘deep dive’ that allows them to go invisible. You won’t be able to see or attack them, also with the chance for them to flee when spotted. This also makes them great scouts for hunting down enemy vessels for the Japanese, or any other faction to boost the range.
Whenever you encounter an enemy fleet in the main campaign map, and when you’re near other fleets, there is a chance for them to steam straight into the combat zone. They can be either Allied or Axis, even both and numerous to pop into the map. You shall see the fleet’s national flag with a timer letting you know how long you have to sweep up the main fleet before the secondary (sometimes greater) reinforcements shall come to assist.
I also had a time where I was slightly heavily outmatched to find a convoy with supply ships come to my aid, instantly retreating away like a farmer with his cattle. It was quite a brutal and embarrassing battle, yet one where I till the bitter end to.
These escorts are very common around ports and heavily populated areas. Sadly, their variety is something to be desired from the impressions I’ve been left with. They are indeed to be made note of, yet something to be improved on.
– Attacking & Defending Ports:
Reinforcements is a way to both capture enemy ports as your own or to defend them from the enemy AI. They give you another element to worry about when sailing around the vast world preying on enemy vessels.
- Attacking Ports: To attack and conquer you simply need to destroy the defending vessels in a port, if on easy while defending your landing crafts. On harder difficulties you will need to purchase landing crafts at friendly ports which forces you to both defend and eliminate the enemies swiftly to allow the take-over of the port.
- Defending Ports: Simple! All you need to do is sink the enemy fleet by eliminating the attacking vessels and the landing crafts. It helps if you sink the landing crafts, yet goes a long way to benefiting your fleet by aiming for a perfect defense. You may also find yourself having to steam from far away to defend ports also for missions.
I find that these needs more tweaking for variety. That’s just me though. You really do need landing crafts to take over ports on all difficulties while needing to purchase them anything above easy or normal.
– Leveling, Purchasing Ships & War Prize Vessels:
This game is built around the mechanic of having you fight other fleets to gain the necessary RPG styled rewards to progress. You have to find similar level enemy fleets to sink so you can level up, earn war bonds, and spend war bonds on vessels. The more you sink the more you level, the more you earn, and the more you can unlock to purchase. The more you level up the more that becomes unlocked.
This then allows you to go to port to purchase vessels to harass the enemy vessels with. When at port (bigger being better) allows you to mix-and-match your Allied ships with other Allied ships, or with Axis with more Axis. You can even purchase the French vessels with them being both Allied & Axis at the very same time.
Low leveled war prizes is occasionally rewarded to you as ‘token ships’ to aid you in your conquests. The more missions you accept from ports the more you’ll be able to earn in war-bonds, and more vessels finding your way into your fleet from the enemy side.
– Ship Types & Equipment:
Each ship is specialized in specific style of warfare. You have to be cautious with how you use what, and what is loaded out with what weaponry. It is pre-determined, yet helps when you know what ship can deal with situation to then focus them on their niche roles. Also do note that I’m generalizing with what I’ve experienced on both the U.K & Japanese vessels when in combat.
- Destroyers: Basic single & double turret mounts + Torpedoes + Depth charges. Lay-out varies per nation.
- Submarines: Torpedoes on both ends. I wasn’t able to confirm, yet can be sure they’re torpedo heavy. There was plans to make them mine-layers.
- Light-Cruisers:Â Double medium turrets, torpedoes, and sometimes even depth charges (rare).
- Heavy-Cruisers: Double medium turrets, secondary turrets, & sometimes torpedoes.
- Battleships/Pockets/Deadnaughts: Roughly the same with double heavy guns & secondaries on both sides
- Aircraft Carriers: Each one loaded differently with torpedo bombers, bombers, and fighters.
You can’t mix-and-match their weaponry so that’s something to suggest highly to the developers in vanilla form. Modding can be done, yet not vanilla form. Also, each ship is default equipped with Anti-Air guns and radar while others not so. Japanese struggle with sight while the Allied & Germans can see at range. Something to note in combat.
Modding is planned, and it is in the game in various forms. This game wants to support modding that it’s trying its best (in an indie manner) to release whatever it can while tending to other matters at hand.
- Light-Modding: What the game is (June 2015) with people being allowed to swap around hard-points & units in a fleet. You’re able to fiddle around with stats, hardpoints, and how to set up the rosters for various fleets and etc.
- Unit Modding:
People being allowed the option to create & import their own vessels. Being able to insert a more proper HD appearing unit(s), among other cool features.(Currently MIA)
- Map Modding:
Being able to create & make maps at will by altering the landscape, shipping lanes, among other cool things.(Unconfirmed, yet needed.)
My hopes being that the camera can be fixed, and that someone could consider making some ‘major’ mods for this game. Would even help to spread the ‘KanColle’ love while making sure you can mix-&-match hardpoints. This game still needs to grow to even get there.
– My Thoughts & Suggestions For Improvement:
Myself and others still feel that there’s still more to be added onto the game to improve on it. These aren’t any hard-core difficulty thoughts either, just ones that I feel need to be tended to in a normal manner and mindset. Not stats related or anything heay.
- United Maps: All three maps merged into one and made into an infinite timer. Just going around harassing while gaining and losing ports appropriately.
- Royal Canadian Navy: Even though they don’t have ‘super ships’, they should still be added as a playable side to pay respects for being one of the major players in the Atlantic. Without the Canadians both U.K & U.S.A would have struggled much heavier losses. Canadians upgraded their ships with far superior equipment, even going as far as giving the Allied nations a nice buffer to get cocky & arrogant. Canadians happily sheltered Dutch Royalty while doing their job at sea.
- Dutch Navy: Yes, Netherlands was briefly non-existent thanks to the Nazi Germany occupation, yet they still fought tooth & nail wherever they went. They still manged to out-sink the U.K & U.S.A in tonnage that it makes them just as special an noteworthy as the Canadians. Great pride for the Dutch. You fought so well that one of your ship was was nicknamed “The Ghost Ship” for being the most reported as sunk. That goes to HNLMS Tromp for being resilient.
- Multiplayer – Co-op: This has been mentioned many times, yet something that is still desired. Has to be campaign map to make the most of it.
- Improved Ports: Each port needs to be personalized and customized to each major area. It may take a lot of time and effort, yet shall be worth it in the end.
- Improving Port Defense & Assault: The map needs to contain actual land when attacking and defending. Needs to contain something that doesn’t look half-assed.
- Improved Naval Combat Maps: Basically to add debri, ice, snow, and fog into the mix. To basically add more variety that even Silent Hunter 3 managed to be unique in at times. Different game, yet same idea on top-side of things.
- Improved Camera: It needs to be more friendly by being able to be controlled far more freely. Needs to be able to zoom in more and move further upwards more.
- Ship Details: Been said before, and said again….Update the ship quality! Update the Bismarck & Yamato models to be more fearsome and realistic! Hire a Japanese developer to assist you wherever you can’t!
- Interceptor Enemy Fleet: Basically a fleet that would hunt down enemy fleets on both sides to keep things balanced. This mostly being aimed at the player for failing to meet their match late game. Think of how the HMS Hood hunted down Bismarck and you’ll get the general idea here. Players keep pointing out that there’s nothing late game, thus this being the solution.
- Port Storage: There is no way to split your fleet to act as a defense fleet, or a way to store them. There is no way to port certain ships. You should be able to dock your ships you don’t want to sortie with.
- Easteregg Ships: Would be neat to purchase other foreign ships to add into your fleet. Basically any Polish, Dutch, Canadian, and Finnish ships. ORP Blyskawica for example….or HNLMS Tromp as another.
- Map & Unit Modding: The game still needs some form of unit modeling additions, camera fixes, and map building. It needs to allow us to make our own scenarios, shipping lanes, and etc. It would go a long way in supporting the game, even if it may go the silent route of ‘Star Wars: Empire at War’.
I’m aware that Russians are being planned so no worries there. Do make them worthwhile though…..There’s still lots to improve the game with. I want to also recommend something that would keep players playing the campaign for longer, especially during the late-game, by inserting other elements to the mix. Needs more fun added by giving the players actual fun challenges.
I’ll also remove any thoughts from the list whenever they find themselves into the game. It’ll be unlikely, yet worthwhile for them to invest their time and interest into with those suggested.
– Final Thoughts:
Even though this game is a free-roam arcade game, it does have its nice fun moments. I’m sharing this game because I love naval games after playing Silent Hunter 3 a lot. I do love this game for the fun it genuinely provides, wanting to support it & anything that allows free-roaming fun. When I discovered and purchased the game the developers were also active with this game. They took suggestions, but weren’t that organized with their game. A bit messy, yet still caring for their games. Game features were too far apart, especially with people considering this to be a piece of shit, so not much attention which I consider a sin on the gamer side of things. This game is fun, just for those short terms at a time with you having to aim and lead your shots.
I never did play the American campaign for how arrogant, ignorant, and overly patriotic they are. Always telling you how to play, what to enjoy, and etc. Always trying to wedge themselves in other games that don’t have them. It always has to be the Americans while being forced to treat them like gods. Fuck that! I’d rather play anything but them. I want to play as the Canadians, U.K, Germans, Japanese, or Italians, and that I did! I played both the U.K & Japanese campaign happily. Should be nice to eventually play the currently non-existent Russians also. I’ve been overdosed with American pride and abuse that I just want to sink every American ship I see in response to that; Karma. I want more respect where it is given, and glad this game does that. Not fully, but it’s getting there.Â I’m overly critical with this game not having Canadians in as a nation on their own, yet am overly grateful that the developers took the time to add them in under the U.K banner. I want that European & Japanese mentality of adding EVERY nation and not just what they view as a bias ‘big player’ campaign. Variety helps in this case, as it did in Silent Hunter 3.
I do find it fun to explore when not constantly irritated by the Americans. It is fun to sail to hunt down more ships to sink. It’s still simplistic, yet still free enough to want to go hunting. Too bad the end-game and the ending still needs a hell of a lot of work. It forces you to spam giant ships while not taking the little ships into that much into consideration. Basically – “Go big, or go home!” – type deal. It needs to be dragged out in how Silent Hunter 3 drags out its fun with almost endless hours of gameplay. Playing in higher difficulty also helps there. I guess upgrading should be more gradual. The equipment also needs to be customizable, as in KanColle with how I’m spoiled in it. There’s still lots of work to be done on this game.
I basically bought this game also to support the navy side of the genre. I want more Silent Hunter 3 type games. More quality, more navy games, more multiplayer co-op, more fun. I want game studios to stop pretending to be passionate about games by actually listening to gamers to pump out quality naval games. No more 2014 bullshit. More actual fun quality games! That is why I love this game because I want it to be nudged and molded into something fun. It’s fun playing as the Japanese, the British, and others. It’s fun seeing the ‘fluff’ being Italians, French and others. But it’s overly insulting and aggravating that Canadians & Dutch being constantly ignored because of how bias they (Americans & game developers) themselves are.
My hopes was to also see a KanColle mod, but that’s something that shall never see the light of day thanks to my inexperience with modding. The modding community & KanColle also being far to ‘docile’ (fearful), or even uninterested in doing so for this sort of game. It would be nice, but highly unlikely for this. Respect points to those that do managed to mod KanColle into this. Let me tell you that I prefer KanColle over VAS because I can also customize my ship girls to suit their battle situations. KanColle knows how to be fun, and is something VAS needs to look into to replicate into its RTS arcade form.
IL-2, Silent Hunter 3, & War Thunder happily gained respect points where others failed. They were small, yet noteworthy enough that they paid their respects. Learn from them!
– I rate VAS: 7/10.
(-1 for no Canadians & Dutch; -1 for poorly designed cloned ports & Low-res ships; -1 Poor end game in campaign & bigger = better in late game. Ratings shall go higher the more they add onto it.)
- Being an active naval game giving you the option of fighting other ships in both skirmish and campaign map.
- Being able to choose nearly all the fun factions. You can play as the U.K, Japanese, Germans, Italians, & Americans with the rest being side-fluff.
- You can purchase whatever ship you desire on Allied ships or Axis ships only.
- You are occasionally rewarded ‘war prizes’ being low-leveled destroyers from the enemy side. They may help or hinder.Â Mostly hinder.
- Love the freedom of sailing around the open sea in the three campaigns: Atlantic, Med’, & Pacific.
- Love that the submarines can be used by stalking, deep-diving, and being a general pest.
- Firing of the weapons brings great satisfaction, more so when going head-to-head in an equal show of strength. Still shooting at them in the fog of war is also quite amusing. Needs more of these tense moments.
- I love how I can loosely connect to my Admiral & captains with light customization. Would be neat to connect with them further with more customization.
- It’s quite neat how each ship has unique randomized names. Whatever you encounter, purchase, and etc is mostly randomized from an nice list.
- Canadians & Australians are united with the British to have them purchasable at a friendly port. The names are quite appropriate, even the fictional ones.
- Game allows you to mod unit stats, roster, and hard-points. At least it has modding, and modding planned.
- Poorly designed cloned ports that need to be individualized per area. Needs to be customized roughly to their native region.
- More boat traffic on the map. Not just warships and convoys. More random traffic also, and more weather effects.
- Needs more water maps dealing with arctic waters and etc. Needs more slight variations.
- The defend & Attack port need to be decorated more professionally by adding actual land-mass of the port.
- Needs customizable hard-points with the current types being silly. It’s your fleet so you need to adapt to your situation. Personalize the fleet to your type.
- Game Developers hinting they’re Anti-Canadian by not considering adding RCN. Too many American oriented opinions with desires of seeing ‘special’ warships, nothing more. I want my Canadian pride! We played a major role in the war, whether you want to believe it or not.
- No Dutch ships seen, or added. Dutch played a major role, whether you wanted them to or not. They still managed to outscore both the U.K & U.S in tonnage. Needs to also be respected by inserting HNLMS Tromp (The Ghost ship)
- No Multipalyer or co-op at the moment. No fun to be had with fellow Admirals.
- Game becomes too repetitive the more you play it. Too arcade with it needing more variety, and more end-game content.
- Viewpoint is too far & pushed away to be connected with the vessels. You’re being pushed away from being attached to the vessels, the Admiral, the captains, and etc. Camera doesn’t help….Everything feels stiff and introverted. The game wants to be alone, away from the fun. (developer choice)
- It’s a shame that ships belonging to other nations weren’t added as ‘eastereggs’ or in their own separate manner. They lose their native ship classification of ‘HMCS’ to ‘HMS’, and similar.
- Bigger ships means better results. The end game enforces the idea that bigger ships are the best. Destroyers and anything else simply doesn’t matter, only playing tiny roles. Even though Destroyers and others play a big part, they’re treated as worthless late game. Needs tweaking.
Thanks for viewing and hope you give the game your support to spawn more naval games. This also being in the interest of KanColle love. If you haven’t, go watch ‘Das Boot‘ so you can gain a good idea of proper naval combat. Great submarine movie! Funny how I prefer KanColle web game over this game. I still wish this game the best. Proud of my Yuudachi (Poi?) & Bismarck in KanColle.