The high-seas battle royale Maelstrom isn’t the most detailed naval combat simulator you’ll ever run across, but it’s “fun and fast-paced,” Chris said in his 2018 preview of the Early Access release. His primary complaint was that it hadn’t attracted much of an audience at that point, which meant sometimes lengthy waits for matches to fill up.

That should be a little less of an issue now: It went free-to-play last fall, and now it’s got a new PvE mode that pits players, solo or in groups, against a series of randomized challenges ranging from sinking a number of AI-controlled ships to running a gauntlet (the mode is actually called Gauntlet) through a series of canyons and islands. Each challenge has a primary and secondary goals, and they are tough: With a base ship, it took me a few voyages to complete a single primary challenge, and trying to do more inevitably ended badly.

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