Traveler's Tales has once again taken a popular film franchise and those colorful Danish building blocks, and thrown them into a videogame blender. This time, its dart board of pop-culture has Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean franchise set firmly in the bullseye. And oh, wouldn't it be great if they timed the release of the game to coincide with the fourth film in the series?
Seems like they just did this two months ago, but who's keeping track?
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean: The Video Game (Xbox 360 [reviewed], Playstation 3, Wii, PSP, DS, 3DS, PC)
It helps that the characters they've adapted are already charismatic, which only serves to amplify the silliness of the game. I'm sure the recipe wouldn't work as well with LEGO Requiem For A Dream or LEGO Ishtar, no matter how many times I demand they make them. The LEGO humor is especially prevalent here, which is nice considering the last LEGO title (LEGO Star Wars III) was surprisingly humorless; the fun of the Pirates movies is only enhanced in its non-verbal retelling by each LEGO character. In fact, despite his dialogue is only grunts and hums, you'd swear Captain Jack Sparrow was actually voiced by Johnny Depp, which says quite a bit for the character adaptations.
However, in the face of all the cool movie backdrops and improved graphics (keeping a similar pseudo-CG look to the last LEGO title), it does run into the same issues from the previous games. Mission objectives aren't clearly defined, and you'll often find yourself running around a level trying to figure out just what to do next. Also, while its intention may be helpful, the dynamic split screen that starts once the characters start to wander away from each other only serves to cause confusion, as invariably, one player's screen reduces in size and the view becomes obscured by the other player's end of the quest.
The only problem is, sometimes it's not nearby. See, the treasures only show up on the compass when Jack is near them, but some treasures will show up when you're near... but not near enough. For example, when trying to find a trapped crab, the tracks led into the water, and an arrow appeared to pointed my attention upwards. Upon further investigation, I couldn't swim anywhere near where it was assumed the treasure was. After dying a number of times, I gave up and moved on to the next screen of the level. There, I discovered the treasure was on the opposite side of the dock, blocking my path on the previous screen. The treasure was only accessible once I ventured further into the level, despite it showing up on the compass on an earlier screen.
LEGO: Pirates of the Caribbean doesn't break any new ground that hasn't been explored in any LEGO game before, and will probably be just the same as any forthcoming LEGO title, as well.
THE VERDICT - LEGO: Pirates of the Caribbean
Reviewed by Ian Bonds
|12:00 PM on 06.15.2013|
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