Generic movie tie in ahoy capt’n
With the release of Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At Worlds End in the cinemas the obligatory videogame tie in has arrived. Taking the role of Capt’n Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, Elizabeth and even Barbosa, you swashbuckle your way through not only Pirates 3 but also Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Mans Chest. Sword fights, bad pirate accents and dead parrot sketches ahoy!
At Worlds End starts off just before the start of Pirates 2 explains just how Jack ends up floating at sea in a coffin! This prison escape level is used to introduce you to the games controls and a good job it does too. From there the story of Dead Mans Chest is retold, albeit in an abridged form! Some scenes you will recognise some have just been butchered beyond belief!
Each level is set up with a cut scene that gives you the basic idea of what you need to do. Progression is very linear, Just a case of go from A to B and hack down anyone in your way. Some maps offer slightly more freedom, especially town based ones. You get the occasional side mission, for instance you may be asked to distract a bar keeper whilst all of his rum is stolen.
Possibly the films are so good that our expectations of the game are too high
Combat is a simple affair. Using the face buttons you are able to execute blocks, hard attacks and soft attacks. As is the norm for this style of game, various combinations can be used to create more interesting attacks. These combos can be added to by completing tasks in each level. Really it is not all that interesting. The combat quickly descends into just hammering one button until the screen is clear. At certain points in the game you will have to perform a Jakanism. Commands will be shown on screen that you must follow whilst a set piece unfolds. In theory this is a fun idea, but in practice is doesn’t really work. The problem is you are watching the on screen commands and miss the action that is taking place!
The graphics are not too bad for the PSP. One thing that is noticeable is a lack of facial animations when characters talk, but overall not much to complain about. All of the sets are there and the main cast are recognisable.
Sonically Pirates 3 does shine for the most part. The soundtrack is intact and as emotive as it is in the movies! Voice acting is not done by the original cast. However, whoever voiced Jack really captured the character perfectly. Unfortunately the same can not be said of Will and Elizabeth! Generally speaking the script is well produced and captures the humour of the films very well.
Pirates of the Caribbean 3 is, at its heart, a by the book movie tie in. For the first 30 minutes it is actually quite enjoyable, but that’s as long as it lasts. The combat is repetitive, the Jakanisms are annoying and the general feel is just not right. Yes the voice acting is good, but the game itself fails to capture the adventure of the films. There is nothing epic about it. No doubt some will absolutely love this game, it does fulfil the “Pick up and Play” attitude missing form many PSP games
Pirates are exciting and fun and this is neither! Maybe we have been spoiled by Sid Meier’s Pirates! Possibly the films are so good that our expectations of the game are too high, but this just misses the mark. There just seems to be something lazy about churning out such a generic movie tie in!
*Screen shots are from PS3 version