The game is very in depth and has loads of things to do even when your not in battle. Like develop your own custom ships and planes which is very cool. The strategy part of the game is well balanced and plays out fine. The micro-management becomes a bit tedious at times and the options to completely delegate this to the computer leaves something to be desired. The actual battles are pretty cool except for the VERY frustrating hang-ups the ships run into. This is so annoying, I mean the game is all about navel warfare, you think Koei would have put a little more effort into how the ships react with one and other and the land around them. You are really forced to baby sit your ships after you give an order because there is the very likely possibility there going to snag on something. This control issue also comes up when you issue a simple order like "attack an air base", it's like the computer is a moron, it can not figure out how to approach the base and stay in gun range. It has to maneuver the ships in and out of gun range and by doing this they always end up snagging on something. Other than that there are some minor menu issues, like not being able to unassign commanders from there menu tad and other little annoying things like that. Take away all those problems and you have a really great WWII navel sim game. Unfortunately it comes off as if Koei got lazy and released this game before it was ready. So I have to say it is just a good game. Don't get lazy Koei!
Wanted to like it but it was too much & not enough
posted by GFR013 (MERRIFIELD, VA) Dec 19, 2007
Member since Jul 2004
First off you've got to love Koei and their propensity for coming up with some off beat titles. Unfortunately they also have a tendency of making titles that are a bit more complex than they need to be. In the case of PTO4 getting down to all the gritty details of ship design, research allocation, moving fleets around and then actually conducting battles can quickly overwhelm all but the most ardent gamer.
Fortunately in the case of PTO4 a lot of this can be "delegated" to the game itself, which essentially means it all runs on auto pilot and you don't have to worry about the details. Later, as you become more familiar with the game, you can start taking over some of these actions yourself if you think you can do better. Unfortunately the one area where you would like more control (the moving of ships and targeting the enemy during battle) doesn't seem to be available. So all you can do is tell your fleet to target another fleet and then they have at it. In the end this means all the battles are just a numbers game. If you have more ships/planes in your fleet going into the battle you're going to win. There isn't enough fine tune in the controls during the battle to really change the outcome (of course if there was that would potentially make the game completely unplayable, so it's kind of a double edge sword). So as mentioned on the one hand there's too much going on but there's still not enough control to really make a difference.
The other thing that needs to be said is while the graphics were ok, realizing it's a PS2 game, the fact that all the battles seem to take place in some sort of fog is really distracting. I don't know if that was an attempt at a "fog of war" thing or to cover poor graphics on the ships themselves or what, but most of the time you can barely make out what's going on during the battles.
So if you like war games you may like this. I think there's enough problems with it to keep it from being enjoyable to the casual gamer.
I'm big into the WWII category and I figured this game would be cool. I mean, it's original right. But cool things have a habit of sinking...and fast. There is no strategy element in the combat, just overpower your enemy's fleet. The controls are slapped-on and gimmicky, and the graphics suck. Do yourself a favor, don't rent or buy this game.