Lego Pirates of the Caribbean

I knew a few months back when I took a trip to Disney’s offices to play Lego Pirates of the Caribbean with the game’s producer, Jonathan Smith,  that it was something special. It could have been the pirate themed office we were in, the larger than life Captain Jack Sparrow replica looming over us or Jonathan’s never ending enthusiasm and passion for the Lego games he has laboured over through the years. It could have been those things but having now completed the game I can say that what makes Lego Pirates special is that it’s just so much fun to play. The simplicity that is but a mask of a deeper game of collect ’em all completest heaven, the sunny lush locations of beaches and coves, the incredible draw distances that make the series for the first time feel truly epic in scale, the perfectly animated characters that bring the whole experience to life, it’s just so, so… utterly charming.

Of course not everyone is quite as au fait with the Pirates movies as they might be with Star Wars or Indiana Jones. In fact many of you may well not have bothered to go see the last movie and be unwilling to make the trip to the cinema for the upcoming flick that this game coincides with; the game is still very much worth a punt. There’s a few new gameplay mechanisms such as more complex climbing and balancing that we haven’t seen previously in these titles. Combat too involves a lot more swashing of buckles with close quarters fighting. One of the best features is Captain Jack’s compass, which if you’ve seen the movies you’ll know leads him to his heart’s desire. In Lego Pirates of the Caribbean his heart’s desire can range from key building blocks needed to progress through levels to a fish with which to slap people in the face for no reason whatsoever. As usual it’s making your way back through the levels to collect every last thing that proves to be the meat of the game, even more so this time around with the story mode feeling a little light despite covering all four of the movies. The replay value though is as always incredibly high, with every level in freeplay mode offering up a plethora of extras. If you’ve had your fill of Lego titles but think this is one your kids might enjoy I’d certainly recommend it. Ready Up Junior, Max, raced through the game content and was collecting the last gold bricks within days. That’s not to say the game is particularly short, he’s just played a lot of Lego games.

As always it’s the little touches that make these games special and with Lego Pirates, despite the vast levels and atmospheric backdrops it is in fact the character animations that win the prize. While characters like Davey Jones and Will Turner are adorably well observed, Captain Jack is just hilarious. The brilliantly mimicked sun stroke stagger is totally genius and shows the dedication of the developers to get everything just right whilst seeming not to be taking anything remotely serious. Like every Lego game, Pirates is a pleasure to play and perfectly combines familiarity with a few new elements and a well known franchise. It’s a great summer game too and feels like a wee holiday in itself. It’s certainly a lot cheaper than a Caribbean cruise and you won’t have to worry about being boarded by cutlass-wielding jack tars and made to walk the plank.







One response to “Lego Pirates of the Caribbean”

  1. Paul avatar

    I would totally agree with the review. I love the little touches, like the way Jack Sparrow runs, so true to the films.
    I almost didn’t buy this Lego game after Lego Indy 2 & Lego Harry Potter because I didn’t like the feel of the games, but this is more of a return to the Lego Star Wars feel (however this might just be personal preference lol).
    Brilliant game and lots of little touches that you notice even after you’ve been playing the game for a few hours with the same character.
    Some minor irritations with it, such as when you have to jump to grab a ledge etc and you “just miss” even though you’re pretty much perfectly lined up. But this is a very minor annoyance in an otherwise great game.
    4.5 / 5 for me 🙂

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