Port RoyaleSource: Kalypso Media

What you need to know

  • Port Royale 4 is an upcoming city-building and strategy game from Kalypso Media.
  • The title lets you become a Merchant or Pirate.
  • Your goal is to establish trade between 60 Caribbean cities and become filthy rich.
  • You can check out Port Royale 4 on Steam.

At Windows Central, we always try to bring you news about exciting upcoming games. This time, we're going to be talking about Port Royale 4 for Xbox One and PC. The original Port Royale launched almost two decades ago and is now regarded as somewhat of a cult classic. Instead of focusing on any particular continent, the game thrusts you into the Caribbean with the eventual goal of becoming the governor.

You could play as the English, French, Dutch, or Spanish and discover many secrets like hidden treasure. However, the biggest surprise was that you could start your own business or become a pirate. The ability to choose between different times in history, from the late 1500s to the late 1600s, altered gameplay to a considerable degree because there were different responses to pirates. And, as any pirate game should go, it featured intense sea battles.

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Now there's a new game coming on September 25 of this year. In Port Royale 4, you can again choose between England, France, Spain, and the Netherlands. However, there are a lot of modern enhancements. The first main feature to highlight has to be the four massive single-player campaigns. While we tested out the Spanish campaign, it seems like each country had radically different perks. Those perks also vary depending on who your leader is. For example, the Merchant will be completely different than the Pirate, but there will also be certain disadvantages along with each role. You can probably guess who's going to be after the Pirate.

From our Spanish playthrough, it seems like the goal is to set up trade routes and constantly manage trade between countless Caribbean cities. And when we say countless, there are 60! The map is massive and there are so many secrets that we feel we haven't discovered yet. You're going to spend hundreds of hours on this, possibly more, because it's shaping up to be an expansive and complex game. It's also quite a looker, even in beta form.

Port Royale 4Source: Kalypso Media

Despite all this, Port Royale 4 is still accessible. We're huge fans of city-building and other strategy experiences. It took us a while to get into Civilization VI because of the learning curve and mechanics. However, picking up Cities: Skylines was a piece of cake. Port Royale 4 leans more towards Cities: Skylines because it's easy to pick up and play. However, the various trading mechanics require some getting used to, especially if you've partnered with a dozen or so cities. You have to plan your trade routes, avoiding hurricanes and other threats, so that can be a challenge from time to time.

While you won't be building towering structures in Port Royale 4, there are 50 buildings to choose from like production facilities that make rum and other goods. The goal is to produce items to sell and the way you do this is by optimizing productivity and keeping citizens happy. This can be tricky a lot of the time because at first, you have to all out in order to beat the competition.

Port Royale 5Source: Kalypso Media

Now, all of you may be wondering about the sea battles. There are around two dozen ships to choose from with different styles. When you've finally selected your vessel, you'll have to engage in turn-based naval battles. These are quite trivial starting out, but from our understanding, the more you explore, the more danger you're in. Be sure to defend yourself, or attack if you're a Pirate, at any time!

If you're in the market for a strategy game, or love the genre, be sure to keep Port Royale 4 on your radar. September will be here before you know it. It looks great and is a lot of fun. Hopefully, the final build will be even better than the stellar beta. Aside from Xbox One and PC, it's also confirmed for PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch.