The free-to-play naval combat simulator that plays like an arcade game from ICE Entertainment and the long-running publisher Changyou Limited has launched on Steam with some mixed reviews. However, the general consensus is that despite the game being a clone of World of Warships, the addition of submarines and secondary weapon control has managed to win over even some of the most jaded of free-to-play MMO gamers.
Steel Ocean features six different warship classes and more than 100 different naval craft that span the likes of submarines, scouts, carriers, destroyers and battleships. The game boasts massive 16-vs-16 competitive modes across various maps designed for optimal tactical team play.
You can check out some gameplay with the video below courtesy of Q games.
Steel Ocean Gameplay FREE PVP Naval U boat game
According to Feindfeuer the game is a mixing bowl of fun, and despite being a clone of Wargaming’s free-to-play naval game it still manages to entertain…
“This is a suprisingly fun mix of Navy Fields, World of Warships and World of Tanks. Taking influences from all of them and turning them into an interesting and entertaining F2P title.
“[…] It’s of course not without flaws, It is certainly a bit uglier than WoWs though it easily beats NF, but that’s not really a challenge (not talking about [Navy Fields 2], nobody talks about [Navy Fields 2]). There are only NA servers available, so I have to play with a rather high ping of 120 to 200 from central europe. And the UI is not the cleanest design around.
“That said, it’s free. So if you’re interested in a (F2P) naval arcade combat game, just download it and sink a few ships to see if it fits you and judge yourself if you like it more than its competitors or not.”
Remillia Scarlet believes the game is closer to Battlestations than it does World of Warships, stating that the game’s inclusion of submarines, secondary weapon controls and tactical carrier gameplay adds some depth and flavor to the game…
“This game shows strong potential and has the systems and structure in place to create a highly diverse and interesting experience, however, poor graphics and optimization hampers the game and the arcady experience isn’t for everyone. It might be wise to not approach this game as a “WoWS clone” but approach it as “another naval battle game” and evaluate it as such. In the latter case, it certainly has it’s own flavor as a [BattleStations]/[Navy Fields] hybrid with WoWS-esque gameplay.“
Astecarmyman praised the game for the manual torpedo launching, which does not have auto-aim enabled, as well as praised the game’s potential to become a hard-hitting team-based game, despite having a clunky AI and poor graphical optimization…
“Steel Oceans has great potential as a Battlestations/Navyfield hybrid and could pose a threat to WoWs with proper optimization and a UI overhaul. Proper team play is very effective with designated roles, however like your average tomato WOT or WoWs player, you will not see coordination that often. Hunting for subs and battleships in submarine wolfpack is great fun and it is incredibly satisfying to know that those torpedoes you launched were from your skill alone. (NO aim assist for torpedoes) With time I think this game will truly start to shine, it just needs a bit of polish.”
You can check out some of the submarine gameplay with the 33 minute video below from YouTuber Raptor.
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The sweet smelling FebrezeNinja enjoyed the game’s balanced roles for each of the naval classes, writing…
“Probably the best arcade PvP warship game out right now. Lots of sastisfying moments, like firing a salvo of large guns, figuring out the perfect torpedo spread, or diving right before battleship shells land on you.
“Submarines are balanced overall. Time-limited diving with a lengthy recharge, and destroyers and cruisers have depth charges that can wreck you at any tier. They can also hit you with torpedos at periscope depth. Death against unattentive battleships and carriers, though. Hard to hit while surfaced.”
But it’s not all sweet smelling powder and silk bags, some of the users are aren’t pleased with Steel Ocean, citing that the game’s lack of international servers make it unplayable for a lot of people outside of America, with CreepyG writing…
“Dont expect much fun if you live outside North America. There is only 1 game server and it is in North America. If in the UK, expect MAJOR lag, an inability to fire weapons and a totally crap experience.”
Chinese gamer Tarlafic warned everyone away from Steel Ocean on the basis that the game isn’t “realistic” enough and that the ships handle like “tanks on water”. It’s further stated that the Chinese developers don’t know how to compete in today’s gaming market and are known for only copying Korean MMOs and westernized Japanese games…
“I’m not a fan of wargaming series, but for me, this game is even worse than world of warships, at least WOWS could make you feel like you are playing a naval game, not a commanders collection game with tanks driving on the water.
“And also, I recommend you guys not to play any of the chinese commercial games that already, or incoming to on the Steam. Some of the chinese independent games are pretty good, but the commercial games are 99% sh**. More than ten years of the complete enclosed videogame environment, make most of the chinese game developers forget how to making a game with good contents.”
Some stated that it’s a worse clone of Wargaming’s World of Warships. Others stated that the game needs time to grow into its own. The Noob of all time felt it difficult to rate the game because it was fun to play but still had UI and optimization issues, writing…
“Well, I’m not sure how to rate this. The game is good, with major differences from WoWs (World of Warships) and implementation of subs, but the UI still suffers, the music and the Graphics are not very good. Overall, its an Okay game.”
Gunnyhighway thought the game also had potential but that it needed an update in the graphics department, writing…
“Interesting game play inspired by Battlestation Midway, but poor graphics. The same game with a more recent graphic engine would be awesome.”
As a free-to-play game the only thing you lose trying this game out is time. If graphics aren’t the most important factor for you then it’s just a matter of finding out whether the mechanics suit your gameplay preference. For now it looks like ICE Entertainment could still fix up some aspects of the game’s UI, but otherwise a lot of gamers seem to be having fun with it.
You can learn more about Steel Ocean by paying a visit to the Steam store page.