Reviewed by Jimmy| 07.25.06

Introduction:Captain Jack Sparrow returns in this gaming adaptation of the new Pirates of The Caribbean movie. Pirates of the Caribbean : Dead Man's Chest will have you puzzle solving, sword fighting, and jumping right along following the movies plot line. We dive deep down into the Davey Jones locker to fish out the good and bad in the Dead Man's Chest.

The Game:If you're a fan of the Pirates movies staring the one and only Johnny Depp, then I'm sure you'll enjoy his digital swagger in this package. Pirates of the Caribbean : Dead Mans Chest (PC:DMC) keeps it simple and doesn't try to expand the franchise any more then it has to. Although the world is fresh and visually enjoying they stick to the basics and wrap this movie adaptation into an average hack n' slash package.

Slash Em' While Smiling
The menu screen opens to one of the most basic menus I've seen a while. Three selections are listed, simple and straight to the point they are, Single Player, Multiplayer, and Options. Dead Man's Chest is mainly a single player adventure and like I mentioned earlier you'll just be following the movies plot. I haven't seen the picture myself, but from what I've heard this is the basic premise. That being said, I don't think playing this game before you see the movie will ruin anything other then small tidbits about the plot, the characters and the locations. Hopefully the real movie is more rewarding and has more then slashing, jumping, and climbing. Who knows? I could be wrong.

Controlling the Captian
Controlling Jack Sparrow is simple as can be and the button placement for the most part is well laid out. For starters I'm glad the made the L and R shoulder buttons control the camera. In a 3D world freedom to move the camera is very important. I did come across a few times where I was blind sided, but nothing major or out of the ordinary. For Sparrow's moves he can attack with two different styles, one being a Speed Attack (x), Strength (square), and Stun (circle), plus he also has some extra power up moves that can triggered with the D-Pad, this includes smashing bottles on heads.

The Battles
The whole adventure has you traveling to different islands and hacking your way through a limited number of bad guys, I'm talking three varieties, just dressed in different skins. Pirates hack n' slash gameplay is probably one of the most basic concepts I've played in a while. Each enemy can be though of as either a X, SQUARE, or O. This is what attack you use to break through their defense and then you hit another button to finish them off. For example a guy comes up with a sword, the game says use X to attack, you use X a few times until it says press SQUARE, you press SQUARE and done. Easy, almost too easy. The only time when it gets moderately entertaining is when you are ganged up upon by a different variety of opponents.

Is That It?
The rest of Dead Man's Chest is just as basic as the fighting as well. The puzzles or jumping sequences are minimal and can be figured out quickly. Giving the wide range of audience the game will attack, I'm not really surprised Pirates of the Caribbean is easy. The variety is pretty limited like the combat, but for the content they do have, it's done right. It's too bad Pirates of the Caribbean lacks variety, a few more additions in every area of the game would have made the world of difference and could have helped shake up the repetitiveness.

Graphics and Sound
On the presentation side of the coin, DMC is great. The managed to snag the real voice talent from the movie which is a big bonus for any movie licensed game. This really helps keep the gamers into the game and the real likeness is needed when you're dealing with a character as distinctive as Jack Sparrow. The background sound is also mint, and keeps up with the high quality 3D graphics. DMC could be mistaken as a PS1 title hands down, the developer Amaze did a good job maximizing the quality of the graphics and keeping the load times down to a minimum. The longest you'll be waiting is for the initial load, then its clean sailing.

Kraken and Sea Battles
For extra content they have scattered hidden treasure maps throughout the single player game which unlocks special arena levels where you go through waves of enemies. The point of all this is to win a Kraken Statue, once you win all five statues you get to go one on one with Kraken for a special reward, sorry can't spoil the fun. Also included in DMC is a sea battle multiplayer combat game. Like Sid Miers Pirates you pick your ship which includes the classics types, the Brigantine, Fluyt, Sloop, Galleon and Frigate. Then you pretty much shoot down each other in a deathmatch, last man standing, plunder the flag, and timed match. The multiplayer is a good option and diversion from the stagnant sword fighting in the single player game. The one thing that has me puzzled is why didn't the included this in the single player level to break up the monotony a bit. At any rate the multiplayer sea battle can be entertaining for awhile.

Lowdown:Buena Vista Games' Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest isn't the most ambitious PSP title on the market, but it should keep fans busy for a while. If you're not a fan of the movie, or not even familiar with the story then this one should be skipped. Dead Man's Chest had potential but fell a little short. Not to worry, I'm sure Jack will be back with more adventures on the PSP.

The Good: Excellent Graphics and Sound, Multiplayer differs from Single Player Game.
The Bad: Dull sword fighting, Repetitive Gameplay, Easy Puzzles.

Gameplay: 5, Graphics/Sound: 7.5, Innovation: 4, Mojo: 6. Final: 5.5 / 10


  • 'As Jack Sparrow, players take on a variety of enemies by utilizing strength and speed attacks or "dirty moves" (such as head butting and groin kicking) as they progress through the adventure Utilize different weapons including swords, pistols, hatchet, throwing knives and grenades
  • Choose among five pirate ships and set sail in one of 10 maps to defeat fellow gamers or the PSP AI Earn notoriety by defeating enemies to gain rewards

Pirates of the Caribbean
Dead Man's Chest

July 2006