Lego Pirates of the Caribbean Quick Review

Lego Pirates has beautiful levels and captures the feel of the movies.

Lego Pirates of the Caribbean, which covers all of the Pirates movies including the fourth, came out last Tuesday at a great time for us.  We had just finished Lego Star Wars 3 (100%) and were itching to get back into Harry Potter after not getting 100%, so the mood was already set to dive into another Lego title.  We finished Pirates a couple of days ago and earned 100% as well as all Xbox 360 achievements.

In the wake of Lego Clone Wars we were expecting at least the same if not greater level of content and impressiveness from Pirates but sadly it did not quite live up. Clone Wars introduced a massive hub in the form of two big space ships that you could actually leave and fly between and Pirates left you on a dock with a pub. The biggest downside for us was that the game felt rushed and many opportunities were missed to create extra content or fun activities; it’s clear that either they chose not to do these things or that the game was actually developed before Clone Wars.

While it doesn’t live up to its recent Lego namesake, Lego Pirates is still fun. We were doubled over laughing on more than one occasion at the humor and the game kept us constantly smiling with the Lego charm’s method of capturing the appeal of characters and situations. It’s perhaps more crucial than ever to see the movies before playing the game. You might even do yourself a favor and rewatch them, as the game assumes you know a great deal already. If you have to choose between this one or Clone Wars, get Clone Wars.

Our current order of Favorite to Least Favorite Lego game: Star Wars 3, Harry Potter yrs. 1-4, Star Wars 1 & 2, Pirates, Batman, Indiana Jones (all).

The Goods
* Excellent sword fighting. Characters actually engage in active sword fighting animations while you press the A button and swing. It’s so good that we wish it would be in all games, even MMO’s.
* Water graphics are amazing. For a game about Pirates this is necessary and does not disappoint.
* Beautiful scenery/scenes/levels.
* Very nice job capturing the feel of the movies.

The Bads
* The ‘hub’ was not impressive enough.  It’s a small island/port and lacks exploration and secrets. Our faces dropped when we realized ‘this was it’.
* There’s only one short secret level compared to the oodles of extra content in Star Wars 3.
* Pirates feels rushed like they wanted to get it out before the movie. Lack of extras, lack of a good hub, a step back in level design, and…
* Enormous missed opportunities introduced by Clone Wars such as the planet battles that could have been adapted to the Pirates theme of ship battles.

  • The water is amazing.

    My daughter and I haven’t gotten very far into the game, but I will say that one of my worries about it stems from the fact that I think we got more than 5 minutes into the game and all we had seen were cut scenes. Cute cut scenes, granted, and amusing takes on the movies, but after a while my daughter started saying, “Can we play the game already?”

  • Yeah, the movies don’t lend themselves very well to Lego levels so the devs had to find the memorable areas that might. Add the fact that there are 5 levels per movie and you have a lot of skipping around with cutscenes to try and fill in the holes.

  • Keen, I wonder if you could elaborate on how the sword fighting system works?

  • It’s really simple. You approach another character that uses a melee weapon and begin pressing ‘A’. The character you swing at then automatically begins to animate back and sword fight against you. The swords collide, the characters feel connected in a way. It looks really, really good yet it is so simple.

    I found a video showing some fighting. Go to 5:38 and watch the sword fighting for a minute or so.