- Xbox Live Marketplace Update: May 21st, 2013
- Metro: Last Light Gets 4 DLC Packs Planned, Season Pass Available
- Ryse Confirmed as Xbox One Exclusive
- Battlefield 4 Will Be Available this Holiday for Next-Gen
- Call of Duty: Ghosts Xbox One Media
- Forza Motorsport 5 Xbox One Screens & Trailer
- Xbox One Specs
- Mornin '13
- No Backwards Compatibility with Xbox One
- Xbox One Does NOT Have to Always Be Online
- Call of Duty: Ghosts Shown On Xbox One, Timed-Exclusive DLC
- Halo TV Series Announced
- Watch Live TV with Xbox One [Updated]
- Microsoft Announces Its Next Console: Xbox One
- REVIEW: Metro: Last Light
- Peter Molyneux's Godus Going Mobile
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End Review
publisher: Disney Interactive
genre: Action Adventure
PIII 800, 256MB RAM, 400MB HDD, 32MB video card
|ESRB rating: T
release date: May 22, 07 (released)
|» All About Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End on ActionTrip|
If you ever wanted to get deeper into the thrilling life of a swashbuckler now's your chance. Granted, you shouldn't expect elaborate pirate scheming and adventuring like in Sid Meier's Pirates!. Instead, we're looking at a fast-paced ride through familiar exotic locations depicted in Disney's latest buccaneer-flavored movie. To put it another way, we are looking at another cash-milking movie tie-in. Even so, we ventured forth to find out if there are any elements worthy of your attention.
Like any halfway decent pirate escapade, this one begins with you being behind bars. After his unfortunate incarceration, Captain Jack Sparrow must break out of prison and perhaps help a few of his maties along the way. From this point, it's a non-stop rollercoaster of pillaging, swordplay and good old-fashioned pirate fun.
PC gamers are in for another obvious port with a standard console-like interface. Happily, finding your way around and getting used to combat won't take up much of your time. The controls were made strictly for the keyboard, which works just fine, believe it or not. So, you don't get to pan the camera around with your mouse (it's automatic). Astonishingly enough, it's one of those rare ports that doesn't give you a headache due to clumsy camera movement and feeble controls.
The gameplay mechanics are quite simple. You'll be hopping from one character to another, taking part in a series of fights and other regular pirate activities. Now, this is where one of the first drawbacks comes in. No matter which of the characters you happen to be controlling, there's really not a lot to do, aside from performing the traditional range of combos to defeat enemy pirates and monsters. Granted, certain segments of the game involve sub-missions, which may increase the character's notoriety and leave you with a few extra rewards, but it looks as though these features were incorporated just for the sake of it, adding nothing of remote interest to the player. Another problem is that Pirates of the Caribbean restricts movement to a great degree, which could easily put off many gamers. Just when you thought you've stumbled upon an accessible passageway or road, an invisible wall prevents you from taking it. Well, quite frankly, we never expect much in terms of freedom of movement anyway. The whole experience remains linear.
Aside from these issues, the combat can be rather enjoyable. Tackling three or four opponents at once may prove to be extremely difficult, though if you pull off all the right moves at the right time, it's easy to overcome them. For instance, fighting on deck gives you a good chance of avoiding blows and stabs from numerous enemies. Charging pirates and monsters can be avoided by timely moves, which allow you to nimbly dodge their attack, causing them to miss and thus fall overboard. It's also fun to watch when a well-timed dodge results in two opponents stabbing each other. So, it's all about reflexes and executing the appropriate moves. In any case, there's more to it than just stabbing and slashing. Your character can punch, kick or step on an opponent's foot before delivering the finishing move. Other than that, it's easy to pull of combos, once you've memorized the sequences.
Certain scenes remain true to the spirit of the movies. This is definitely one of the most important aspects of this game. With the brilliant soundtrack, familiar characters and generally satisfying ambiance, you are liable to keep playing for quite a while, particularly if you're into intense sword fights and crazy pirate-like stunts.
Still, my greatest disappointment was realizing that the developers disregarded certain key aspects that could've easily increased the game's replay value. There's actually very little reason to return to the game once you're done, other than unlocking more characters by completing the same challenges afresh. There are hardly any extras to be found of interest, which sort of makes the game look like an action-adventure that's targeted for younger audiences. Another painful truth is that it can get a bit repetitive after a while. Even with the solid swordfighting scenes and occasional boss encounters, there's not much to lure you back into the whole shebang.
On another bad note, the game brings almost no innovations to contemporary gaming and will, therefore, most likely be regarded as yet another mediocre achievement by a majority of hardcore gamers. Relying heavily on the success of the movie, the game delivers a semi-enjoyable experience. It's one of those games more suitable for renting. You race through it in no time and then forget about it the very next day.
When it comes down to fighting and combat, aside from the aforementioned stuff, the developers also included scripted action sequences that involve pressing the right buttons at the right time - it's another take on the archetype already seen in games like God of War 2, Resident Evil 4, Spider-Man 3, etc.
To our relief, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End doesn't seem to have any apparent technical flaws. Another positive thing needs to be said about the visuals. Although certain segments in the PC version look somewhat last-gen (a few texture patterns in background and so on), most of the game features well-directed battle scenes, decent artwork, excellently animated character models and sufficient detail depicted in the surroundings. The development team did a splendid job in bringing certain scenes to life, showing off accurate models of the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman, with the help of actual 3D models created by ILM.
As for the dialogue, every side character features Hollywood voice talent from the movie. However, the three key characters are voiced by sound-a-likes, which would normally be regarded as a downside, but, in this case, they are really good (especially the voice for Jack Sparrow).
In the end, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End can be a good game and a fun ride. Fans should definitely have a go at it, since it manages to pass on the movie's trademark humor and traditional scenes of swordplay, explosions and gunfire. Unfortunately, it's safe to say none of this will have a lasting effect on the player. In truth, it's nothing more than a generic action-packed game experience, inspired by a Hollywood blockbuster with very little depth. If you've seen one, you've seen 'em all.
Important note: We apologize for not being able to provide you with adequate screenshots from the PC version. The screenshots on display were taken from the X360 version of the game.
Soundtrack, character animation, atmosphere, good humor;
The game's low on extras and replay value, it achieves little to almost nothing in terms of design, gets repetitive after a while.
BACK TO TOP