The Free Gauntlet Update Adds A Brand New PVE Mode To Maelstrom
If fast-paced naval battles sound intriguing, but player vs player is not quite your thing, then you might want to consider giving Maelstrom a second look. The game, which entered Steam Early Access in 2018, emerged from it in 2019 as a free-to-play title. Gunpowder Games decided on this change to ensure a bigger player base for the multi-player only title, but also kept things fair by excluding any competitive advantages from the list of things you can buy. They also decided not to exploit players with loot boxes and instead made all items directly purchasable in the store. However, while all of this was great news for fans of multi-player games, there’s still plenty of players who prefer sticking to co-op or single-player titles.
Thankfully, things are about to change with the “Gauntlet” update that Gunpowder Games is releasing for free today. In contrast to the PVP mode that has been the focus of the game since the start, Gauntlet is aimed squarely at the PVE fans out there. We had the opportunity to try out the closed beta of Gauntlet over the weekend and it definitely has a lot of fun to offer fans of co-op. While Gauntlet can be tackled on your own, it’s a case of the more the merrier as you can team up with up to three friends for the challenges. To complete Gauntlet you need to triumph over five stages that ramp up in difficulty the further you go.
The stages in Gauntlet all have different themes and each has a primary objective as well as a few secondary ones. As long as you manage to complete the primary objective your team will move on to the next round, but completing the secondary ones will mean you get some extra loot in the process. Gunpowder Games managed to inject some nice variety in this mode as we were tasked to hunt down pirates in order to lure out their leader during one round, while the next required us to navigate to the end of a canyon intact. The canyon mission only required us to reach the end zone as a team, but the secondary objectives ranged from managing to do so under a certain time to taking down three “bosses” in the process. Of course, there were also plenty of smaller enemy ships as well as guard towers, floating mines, and maelstroms to keep things challenging.
Gauntlet mode has multiple difficulty settings with better rewards doled out for taking on bigger risks. Teamwork helped for tackling some of the challenges, but solo players will also have fun with this mode. Maelstrom players who enjoy the PVP mode will be glad to hear that not only does the Gauntlet update add some extra variety to the game, but it also comes with the introduction of Captain’s Traits. Previously players were only able to upgrade their ships, but with this update it is now possible to make the captains more powerful too. Thanks to skill trees, you now have more tactical flexibility than ever before. Since each captain has their own skill trees it’s also a nice incentive to try out ones that you might not have considered before.
Maelstrom can be downloaded for free on Steam, so there’s no reason not to jump in and give it a shot. Players can jump straight into the brand new PVE Gauntlet mode or try out the classic PVP mode. For anyone not familiar with the game check out the trailer below for a taste of what to expect. Not only are the navel battles a lot of fun, but the grim fantasy world of the game is also very unique. In the PVP mode players are not only competing against each other solo or in teams, but also have to keep a watchful eye on the leviathans that roam the dead waters ready to pounce. Since the release of Maelstrom, Gunpowder Games have released paid DLC that adds new undead captains and ships, to the Orc, Dwarf and Human factions. For more information be sure to give Gunpowder Games a follow on Twitter or Facebook.