The summer blockbuster movie (and movie game) season is in full swing now, and Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is the latest movie licensed game to hit store shelves. The graphics are surprisingly good, but the gameplay is too simple and repetitive to really hold you for too long. It isn’t bad, it isn’t good, it is merely average. It makes for a decent rental, but not a purchase unless you are a huge Pirates fan.
- Title: Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End
- Platform:Xbox 360
- Publisher: Disney Interactive
- Developer: Eurocom
- ESRB Rating: “T” For Teen
- Genre: Action/swordfighting
- Pros: Impressive graphics; decent sound; 1-on-1 duels are fun
- Cons: Gameplay is limited and gets repetitive after a while; all of the characters play the same way; AI is moronic
Features and Modes
At World’s End doesn’t just cover the latest Pirates movie, but Dead Man’s Chest as well. The first half of the game covers the events in Dead Man’s Chest, right up to the fight with the Kraken, and the second half of the game follows the events in At World’s End. The main game will take you 5-6 hours to play through, but each level holds hidden items and chests you can hunt down for achievements. You get to play as Jack, Elizabeth, Will, and a handful of other characters to live out all of your swordfighting and pirating fantasies. There is also a multiplayer mode where you can play co-op or competitively against enemies in timed challenges, but it isn’t all that fun since the gameplay is so limited (more on that below). You can do one-on-one duels in multiplayer, which is interesting for a while. There is no online play, but there are online leaderboards that compare your progress through the single player game against others around the world.
The gameplay is broken into a handful of different parts, but none of them are all that stellar. The basic combat is just mashing the A and X buttons to swing your sword or punch until your enemies are dead. You also build up a little finishing move gauge as you fight that you can use to defeat tougher enemies. Occasionally, you’ll be in a fight with a couple of other friendly characters with you and you can switch control over to them with the D-pad. These sections are incredibly annoying because your AI partners don’t ever really fight back, so you have to constantly switch back and forth to make sure no one dies. When you aren’t fighting, you run around looking for hidden chests and items and climbing ropes and shimmying along ledges Prince of Persia-style. There are some puzzles here and there where you have to mix a pirate a drink or play some music on an organ, but they are pretty easy. The final gameplay element is one-on-one duels in the boss battles. Three dots on the screen light up to tell you where you need to defend by pushing either up, down, or backwards on the left analog stick. Combos are fast and furious and can have six or seven parts, so you have to pay attention and move the stick quickly to defend. Then it is your turn to attack by moving the left stick. Even though the basics are pretty simple, the duels are easily the best part of the game.
All in all, the gameplay can only be described as simple. And even though you have a few different playable characters, they all play exactly the same so it gets repetitive pretty quickly.
Graphics and Sound
The most impressive aspect of the game, though, is the graphics. The character models are crazy good looking and look just like their real life counterparts. The levels also look pretty good, with some standing out more than others. From the opening cutscene to when the credits roll, At World’s End will impress you with its graphics.
The sound is also pretty good, but uses sound-alikes rather than the real actors and you can tell. Sound effects for combat are generic, which is unfortunate since you’ll hear the same moans and groans and clashes of swords a thousand times by the end of the game. The music is good since it is the same soundtrack as the movies.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End is a flawed game, but there is still fun to be had here. The gameplay is pretty simple and gets repetitive after a while, but jumps around between the different aspects enough that it manages to be just barely fun and interesting enough to keep you playing to the end. You probably won’t want to play through it again unless you are an Achievement junkie, but it makes a decent rental to play through it once. I also can’t stress enough just how nice the game looks. It will impress you. Overall, PotC: At World’s End is an okay game that fans of the movies will enjoy, but it is more of a weekend rental than a must own.