wouldn’t really consider myself a fan of the Lego series – after the last few games, I was beginning to worry that the quirky novelty of seeing my favourite films re-enacted with plastic bricks was wearing a little thin.
I love both the Harry Potter and Indiana Jones film series (yes, even Crystal Skull), but for some reason the Lego games just didn’t grab me as much as the Lego Star Wars games and then when Lego Rockband hit the market, my eyes rolled as I began to worry about Lego versions of Halo, Uncharted and Call of Duty.
Thankfully, developers Traveller’s Tales have mercifully left other established game franchises alone and gone back to their original inspiration, mainstream cinema.
Unlike Indiana Jones and Star Wars, Pirates of the Caribbean doesn’t really have the nostalgia factor to work in it’s a favour. Something that I found seriously lacking in Lego Harry Potter game. The series isn’t even 10 years old yet and it’s hardly had a chance to be dissected by film nerds like myself.
Needless to say, the Pirates of the Carribean series fits the Lego world like a glove and what I expected to be a rather drab tie-in with the recently released fourth Pirates film, was actually a rather charming and satisfying game.
Featuring campaigns from all four films, once again Traveller’s Tales have done their research and delivered a game that is as faithful to the source material as it is amusing.
There are little details scattered through that are sure to bring a smile to the face of even the mildest fan of the series and the developers have even go so far to include these details as in-game mechanics.
One example of this is Jack’s compass, something in the films that leads to the user to whatever they desire, in the game it is used to direct Jack to hidden objects that can help you progress.
Each character has their own skill that can help solve puzzles and complete levels – Will Turner has an axe that he can throw, Martin has a spanner that fixes things and Elizabeth Swan can perform double jumps, accessing areas that other characters can’t reach.
The level design is among the best I’ve seen in a Lego game, giving gamers several different environments within the same section. Never too taxing, the game clearing signals where you should go and while there is a certain amount of puzzle solving to do, it never becomes too tiresome.
The attention to detail with the characters is particularly impressive. Jack Sparrow runs and grunts like he should and while the rest of his crew are all present and correct.
Finishing all the campaigns is only 50% of the game, so like most Lego games, there is lots to explore and find. Clearly the game has been designed for both casual players and completists alike.
Visually, the game is vibrant and possibly the strongest a Lego title has even been. The audio also does it’s job in recreating the world.
If there is one thing missing, it’s the fact that the game offers no online play what-so-ever – a missed opportunity considering the amount fun that could be had with co-up.
But never the less, the game is a lot of fun and it does offer the traditional local two player.
Overall, the Lego Pirates of the Carribean is a treasure in the Lego series and only a scurvy dog would dare miss out.
Verdict: 8 out of 10
Great level design
No online play