I have never seen a crowdfunding campaign subvert my expectations as often as Ardent Seas. Like most people, I began making assumptions of the game based solely on the quick description at the top of the campaign. “Build your fleet, conquer islands, and engage in epic naval battles with three unique factions in this naval RTS game!” The trailer starts and I see modern looking ships pulling out of a dock. Then this appears.
This game features a war between two planets and neither one of them are Earth! Alright, I’m definitely paying attention now though I feel like I now have a grasp on this game. “The stars of the show are the Flagships, enormous floating military bases that are both the core of any fleet, and the primary objective.” Wait, the most offensive unit I have access to is also the one I need to protect the most?
The rest of the trailer showcases combat, unit customization, and multiple game modes. All of it pretty impressive in scale and detail for such a small development team. Three words catch my eye as I scroll through the information under the trailer: Windows and Linux. This is such a rare occurrence and, as a Linux user, something to be excited about. Almost every game comes out on Windows but Linux is always the after-after though. Mac gets a port before Linux and just having a Mac port doesn’t even guarantee a Linux port. Just seeing Linux listed as a launch platform without Mac is enough to get me hyped for this game.
I went into the Ardent Seas campaign page thinking I knew everything about this game. It was going to be a slower paced, tactical RTS with a trite story regarding modern war and naval superiority. Thankfully I was quite wrong and am now stoked for an RTS, a genre I haven’t been excited about in quite some time.