The latest Lego game release takes inspiration from one of the hottest Disney franchises, all four Pirates of the Caribbean films are given the Lego brick treatment in Pirates of the Caribbean: the video game and we have been putting it through its paces.
First things first, this game isn’t for hardcore gamers although some might enjoy it we’d suggest children and big kids of all ages will love this game. This will certainly be one of the biggest games of the year as it accompanies a brand new blockbuster movie and uses the same look and feel as all the other Lego titles. Basically if you liked other Lego Harry Potter and Lego Star wars III then you will like this one too.
Look and feel
The game follows the film storylines with comedic cut scenes that explain what’s going on, the Lego characters are perfect Lego adaptations of their real life counterparts and behave in a similar way. Predictably Jack Sparrow steals the show with his trademark clothing and a swagger that mimics the onscreen Captain perfectly; users can play as 70+ characters that all have their own look, accessories and specialities.
The fact that each character has their own speciality is important to remember when completing tasks throughout the game; switching is much more necessary than before, hints are given but some puzzles aren’t too clear – especially when playing with a 6 year old not used to split screen play. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean is very similar to Lego Harry Potter in that puzzles and solving problems feature heavily unlike earlier Lego games such as Lego star wars which followed a platform format with just a few puzzles.
If you are familiar with prior Lego games you will find controlling characters easy, visual aids include arrows to point you in the correct direction and icons to show which character you need to complete a task. To switch characters simply press Y on your Xbox controller when you are near to them, alternatively hold down ‘Y’ and choose the correct one from a list organised with a wheel – this makes things a lot easier when multiple characters are on screen.
As mentioned earlier the game is fairly puzzle intensive, probably due to the fact the films only have limited action scenes where combat is involved. This doesn’t make it any less enjoyable though and there are still opportunities to fight, bash and jump your way around levels.
The game allows you to take hold of 70 plus characters including animals and the ability to ride animals such as pigs and horses. Unlike previous games vehicles have been left out, which makes a lot of sense as the films don’t include them!
Some other reviewers have reported crashes, at the time of writing we have experienced no crashes but have encountered a few glitches. The most common glitch include characters that seem to disappear or become entangled in scenery, a frustrating glitch that can sometimes be fixed by switching characters and moving into a different level section or by killing the entrapped character so they regenerate in a playable position (if you can see them of course). Other glitches relate to co-op mode which is covered later in the review.
On the whole game play is exactly what you’d expect; nicely coloured Lego Scenery that can be blown to kingdom come mixed with a few battles, puzzles and good clean family fun.
The lobby has been modelled on a port/dock from which you can select the game mode, view achievements and visit the store to purchase items with your bricks (currency collected throughout the game). Once you have completed the initial level you can select any of the four worlds, each representing one of the films including the brand new film ‘On Stranger Tides’.
Traveller’s Tales, the games developer, has opted for a diagonally split screen on co-op mode when players drift apart. This allows them to do their own thing without hindering the other player, it does take a bit of getting used to and certain things are made impossible when apart. A great example of this is trying to hit a target when your partner is moving away from you; basically you can’t because your crosshairs move erratically. Computer co op is a little hit and miss, to be fair the AI characters behave as they should the majority of the time although can be erratic which is frustrating when completing puzzles.
The eagle eyed among you will notice that online co-op mode is missing from this game, probably due to the problems faced on previous titles; even so we’d have preferred it was included.
Apart from that co-op is actually our favourite way to play, its ideal if you are a patient, team player but not if you are easily frustrated.
Lego Pirates of the Caribbean offers block smashing fun themed around four blockbuster films, that’s one better than Indiana Jones which omitted the latest film. There are still a few minor glitches but the core game play is still brilliant and will offer hours of fun.
The top video includes my thoughts on the game and the others show general game play.
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