Arr me hearties, there be no gold in them there seas
As a massive Pirates of the Caribbean fan, I was really looking forward to giving this a go. After all, from the word go this looks like it, um, drew inspiration from the afore mentioned blockbuster.
You take the role of Captain Thomas ‘Hawk’ Blythe as he sets out to find the treasure of Sir Henry Morgan. Along the way he must sail and fight his way through the British, the Spanish and even his old boss Captain Black Beard, not to mention a black ghost ship that looks remarkably like… well anyway you get the idea.
You start out on the see and at first glance it all looks good. The tutorial mode kicks in and tells you what to do. The see looks very good and the ship looks great. You can trim the sails to adjust the speed and you can manoeuvre the ship with ease. However that is where it starts to fall down. Huge sail ships should not perform and handle like a formula one car! You can do near right angle turns in these things, taking any feel of realism out of the window, before you ever float over you first barrel of powerups!
Your fist see battle is quite fun, you chase around after the enemy chucking cannon balls at it when the target marker changes to the correct colour. Once the enemy ship is defeated you must board it and kill the captain. Ahoy shiny sword fight!
Sword fighting in this game can only be described as disappointing. You just hammer the fight button and hope for the best. At first it is great fun, but after a while you begin to feel that you have no control of the character and are just along for the ride, but we’ll come back to that.
Land based missions play the same as the ship boarding, with the added bonus of larger game areas. But again it comes down to button pressing and hoping for the best. You can earn special moves which will help in some fights, but mostly they get ignored for the button mashing. Most fights are pretty easy, although at times you will suddenly find yourself hopelessly outnumbered, which can be frustrating. These missions tend to end with a boss fight, but again these are fairly easy to deal with.
The game is story drive, but to be honest it is not worth worrying about, you can guess the plot and really the voice acting is so bad in parts you may want to ignore the cuts scenes totally. There is quite a large area of land and sea in this, the trouble is there is no free roaming. Each mission has you following a point in a compass until you get to a huge floating orange arrow. Here you will most likely need to kill something. In this day and age of free roaming adventures like GTA, this just feels to restrictive. I wanted to be able to sail the seas, then land at Tortuga and have an explore, but no such luck.
The game has some fun factor, you get to live out your swashbuckling dreams with ease, but the trouble here is it is to short lived. I loved it for the first 30 minutes, but after that it just got to samey. Sail, Sea battle, run from ghost ship, land on island, hit mouse button, sail and repeat. Throw in the fact that it has very little imagination in it and there is nothing to keep you coming back.
The Bad: Simple, formulaic, not as good as the competition.