Movie studios these days will do anything to squeeze another dollar out of a film, and Disney are masters at it. Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End came close to being a great movie-based video games because of it game play and it looks absolutely great. However, there are a number of things that definitively prevented it from being so.
One would think that since the game was produced by Disney Interactive, a subsidiary of Disney, that they’d pull out all the stops in the game. Well apparently they never got that memo. Johnny Depp, Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley’s voices were absent from the game. The music was not from the films, rather it was “inspired by the movies” and one of the most glaring mis-steps was the altering of key scenes from Dead Man’s Chest. All of these add up and take away from the gaming experience.
Yet despite all this, it’s still an entertaining game. You experience key battles from both sequels, from wandering around Tortuga to scaling pirate ships and even battling the Kraken. Game developers Eurocom do a good job delivering a swashbuckling experience. There’s an innovative dodge mechanism where you look for a red circle underneath your opponent’s feet and then tilt the left stick, side stepping your adversary and executing a trip, slash or back body drop. You play as either Captain Jack Sparrow, Will Turner or Elizabeth Swann and you an even switch between pirates on the fly by pressing left or right on the d-pad, allowing them to explore new combos.
One thing has to be said… the game looks good. Sunlight bursts through green foliage, Tortuga looks great, the Red Coats look like they’ve stepped out of their time period, water flows realistically, and best of all you see Jack Sparrow’s bizarre mannerisms. Hands flailing about, running in his peculiar manner and more.
Pirates is its own worst enemy. You’ve got a simple play style that almost anyone can learn yet Disney dropped the ball on numerous things, preventing what could have been a great game to be something that will not be remembered in years to come. It’s not terrible, but it’s not something I would spend $60 on either. Unfortunately I’d have to say that Pirates is most definitely a rental.