The LEGO series of games expands to the renowned 'Pirates of the Caribbean' franchise, and in typical LEGO fashion the result is nothing short than adorable... but is adorable enough? Digging deep into Disney Interactives' 'LEGO: Pirates of the Caribbean' we'll see if this treasure worth unearthing.
Fans of the LEGO series of games should know what to expect with this LEGO adaptation of 'Pirates of the Caribbean.' While the team at 'Travellers Trails' might not knock down the walls of innovation they have done another first rate job recreating the "Pirates" property while respecting both brands. This means all the LEGO fineness is perfectly mixed in with a loose fitting translation of the source material. Sure, the runaround block-breaking action feels a little tired, but its all in good fun... and geez, aren't those polygons cute!
The source material should be known to most. It's the multimillion dollar property of Walt Disney that has spawned off into own legend of sorts. Staring the alluring 'Johnny Deep,' even if you haven't seen a “Pirates” film, you likely would know the character of 'Captain Jack Sparrow.' From the original film, 'The Curse of the Black Pearl' to a spoiler filled 'On Stranger Tides,' the entire collection is faithfully recreated. For fans of "Pirates," this is your one stop shop, your buried treasure of 'Pirate' goodness.
Be Mindful, Young Swashbucklers
Unquestionably 'Pirates of the Caribbean' is aimed at a younger crowd, but it can also be enjoyed by adult gamers as well. Akin to prior LEGO titles you will be kept busy as you smash and build your way through each chapters of the four films. Although, I should point out that I found 'Pirates' to be the most challenging out the previous entries and not because of the core gameplay, because of a few puzzle sections along with some tricky collection challenges. Keeping this in mind, 'Pirates' could cause some frustration with younger gamers, so having an adult around to keep things "cool" isn't a bad idea. Its not "hair pulling" stuff, but expect to do a little more aimless wandering until you figure out how to progress.
Continuing the Formula
Aside from being periodically lost, some other frustrations still exist. The controls are still finicky, mainly when jumping in the platform sections. Adding to the frustration is the inability to move the camera. These areas haven't really been touched on and who knows maybe they will never be, but I think it would be beneficial -- not only in playability, but in the scope and direction of the project. 'LEGO: Pirates' like the other LEGO titles still feel like an old school throwback, something that its linear level design and nonexistent A.I. keep reminding us of.
Continuing the formula, utilizing each character plays a big role in completing each level. If you're not playing co-op with your friends, expect to be jumping back-and-forth frequently. With that being said, co-op is super fun and the best way to experience 'Pirates.' However, that's only if you can get them to your house. Oddly online co-op is still absent from the series, which is a big negative for some. Even without online multiplayer, 'LEGO Pirates' has a long shelf life that welcomes multiple play-troughs. Then you add in the long list of characters (even if they are not so well known) other unlockables and collections a plenty, and you will get your money's worth.
The presentation also stays on familiar ground. The animation and the "Legoization" of the world has the biggest impact, however beyond this, nothing was really done step up the “core” design. Good or bad depending on your thoughts of the series, you will have to deal with some blocky graphics (pun intended) with the same grunting -- “uh,” “hmm's” from the audio. It's all little childish (which is to be expected) but some dialogue entries wouldn't have been so bad, would it? Digressing, 'Pirates' still works and is another loveable / charm-filled entry in the overgrown series.
The lowdown for 'LEGO Pirates' is an easy one. If you have enjoyed a LEGO game in the past, or enjoy the 'Pirates of the Caribbean' movies then 'LEGO Pirates' will serve its purpose by providing an entertaining “Lego-ized” adaptation of the films. The formula might be a little overdone, but its charm goes a long way.