Game Name: LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game
Developer: Traveller’s Tales
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
Platforms: PC, PS3, Xbox 360
Release date: May 2011
It all started back in 2005 with LEGO Star Wars, when our favourite building blocks finally did what we always wanted them to do and came to life – LEGO went digital and we got to hang up our imaginations for some mindless consumption. Since then we’ve been treated to two more Star Wars games, Batman, Rockband, Indiana Jones and even Harry Potter managed to get his life portrayed through the plastic madness. It was only a matter of time before the Scurvy Crew of Pirates of the Caribbean would make their LEGO début and it’s a definite flagship for the genre.
Player’s are introduced to over 80 playable characters from the series and from flailing-arms Jack Sparrow to squid-beard Davy Jones, the impersonations are spot on and as amusing as ever. With the dark, murky themes brought to life and brightened up in playful manner, the storyline we’re all familiar with is retold in great Traveller’s Tales fashion. The game plays off the tales of all four movies, from Breaking the Curse of the Black Pearl to finding the Fountain of Youth. Players find themselves in a central hub of “The Port”, where they can then select any chapter of the 4 films and get right to the peg-legged, pirating fun.
As with the previous games, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean is filled to the brim with collectibles – which pays off. Collecting the booty (aka as studs) from the many treasures and destructible objects in-game unlocks playable characters and abilities such as the stud-magnet (which makes acquiring studs a lot easier). All of these require Red Hats which are unlocked by completing character puzzles in “The Port”.
Challenges aren’t restricted to the Central Hub alone; the storyline will familiarise players with Character abilities. Most characters have beneficial attribute which aid in progressing through the various storylines. A compass owned by Jack Sparrow to find objects of notable use, a throwing axe equipped by Will Turner that allows you to hit target triggers and unlock hidden pathways and treasures, girls with double jumps, Flying Dutchman crew on the seabed and so much more await in your choking hazard future. These abilities grant access to areas and pathways you may be able to take when you’ve completed a chapter and return in freeplay mode. In this mode, there is access to every unlocked character and their abilities to aid in accessing hidden areas and mini-games.
Being the best looking LEGO game to date, with authentic plastic textures and lush terrains, the experience becomes even more enjoyable as you journey across lush islands and fight upon murky ships. The sound in the signature dialogue-free LEGO tradition, is astounding and true to the films; creaking ship decks and the odd Jack Sparrow wail only compliments the catchy score that compliments the mood of every stage. The silent nature of the game plays out amusing expressions and exaggerated outcomes that keeps players well entertained between all the swag harvesting and LEGO bashing.
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean then, is a breath of fresh air from an already impressive genre (barring a certain 3DS title). With better AI, good looks and many hours of challenging fun, it’s a definite addition to the family and casual gamer library.