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Video Game / Swashbucklers: Blue vs. Grey

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It is the The American Civil War. In response to the Confederate seceding from the Union, the Union launched a blockade of all Confederate ports.

You are Abraham Grey, a mercenary for hire making a living in the Caribbean sea. What started as a simple job transporting prisoners thrust you into an untold chapter of the civil war...

Launched for the PS2 and PC in 2007, it has received mainly negative and average reviews.


Tropes applicable are here:

  • Anachronism Stew: Surprisingly averted. Most of the technology (ships and weapons) along with the setting are surprisingly faithful to the time period. Played straight for the Final Boss, who has a prosthetic that allows him to blast electric shocks.
  • Anti-Grinding: You gain less experience the more you level up unless you fight stronger enemies.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Cruiser has four weapons slots compared to its predecessors which only has one or two. While your first instinct is to fully use all of them, using all of them in conjunction with the steam engine will take up the entirety of your cargo hold despite it being the biggest possible size in the game. Secondly, by the time you cycle to the fourth weapon, your other weapons would have long since fully reloaded, making buying a fourth weapon a waste of money and space.
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  • Bag of Spilling: In-Universe example. Regardless of which side you pick, you will get betrayed nonetheless and have all your stuff taken away in a story quest when you get thrown into prison. Your ship is still untouched though.
  • Big Bad: Governor Nicholas Sharp, who is working with the Confederates to build the ultimate Ironclad to blow up the White House from the sea.
  • Boarding Party: Once you damage an enemy ship enough, you can make a break for it to seize the ship.
  • Bottomless Magazines: Averted. You need to purchase ammo for your guns and ship weapons. Only the basic ship cannons play this straight.
  • Breaking the Fourth Wall: Your inner voice does this all the time, be it for Lampshade Hanging or being your tutorial guide.
  • Cap: The level cap is 50. You can still earn experience but there will not be anymore level ups. You face the Final Boss around 40-45 if you never did any sidequests.
  • Explosive Overclocking: The main purpose of your steam engine. You can use it to boost the speed of your ship to avoid attacks or make a break for the enemy ship to board it. Overdoing it will break the engine and make it unusable for the rest of combat.
  • Final Boss: The Ironclad Aurora and Governor Nicholas Sharp. The ship is more powerful than any other ship you will ever face in the game, forcing you to board it to avoid being sunk. On board, you face Governor Nicholas Sharp who suddenly has a prosthetic to help him fight you.
  • Infinity Plus One Ship: The Crusier. It is the best ship in the game as it has the highest parameters in every category. The only way to get it is through boarding and seizing one for yourself, provided you don't get blown to smithereens first before you can board it.
  • Inventory Management Puzzle: You pretty much have to do this to fit in as many health and energy refills in conjunction with your weapons and ammo. Same applies to your ship's cargo hold.
  • Mana Meter: The energy meter. It is used for your active skills.
  • Sequel Hook: After defeating Governor Nicholas Sharp, he promises that they will meet again before bailing. Meanwhile, Abraham Grey wonders about the absurdity of his Evil Plan while his inner voice wonders if that is ever going to be addressed in a sequel or expansion pack.
  • Skill Scores and Perks: You can obtain a new perk or upgrade an existing one every time you level up.
  • Story Branching: Around mid-game, you have to decide between Union and Confederate. The story doesn't differ much if you pick either side and the Final Boss is the same regardless of which side you pick. You cannot attack ships that are on the side you picked and if you are Confederate, you have to run a Union blockade if you attempt to land on Confederate ports unless you gain a certain perk that allows you to pass without incident.