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As soon as the original Lego Star Wars video game came out (way back in 2005), I said that Pirates of the Caribbean would make a great branded Lego game and as a HUGE fan of both Lego (sets and previous video games) and Pirates of the Caribbean I was praying for it to happen. But at the time Disney had a contract with Mega Bloks, so it looked very unlikely. But in 2009, Mega Bloks lost this contract and Lego took it up - looks like my prayers were going to be answered. Later that year Disney announced that a fourth Pirates of the Caribbean film was to be made, and in May 2010, Traveller's Tales announced that they would be making a Lego game that would be based on all four of the films and would be released to coincide with the release of both On Stranger Tides in cinemas and Lego sets based on this film. I think I maybe cried at this point I was so excited. And I was not disappointed.
The game follows the same formula, slap stick comedy and silent characters conveying the story points while you build, destroy and collect your way through the Bricky Caribbean. The Pirates films have some of these slap stick type moments anyway and they play off greatly with the Lego characters enhancing them. There are some moments that differ from the films, making it more kid friendly - remember the Pirates series are not kids films, or because they simply don't fit with the pacing of the game. Each film has five chapters, each focusing on one area from scenes in the films. Each chapter is a good length, allowing for a little pick up and play for an hour here or there and being able to save conveniently. Lego games all break one of the golden rules of video gaming "Video games based on films are garbage, don't play them", and it's great!
The game play is the same as all other Lego games, beat up everything made of Lego to collect studs, build bouncing piles of Lego to create helpful objects, solve puzzles or collect "Ship in the bottle"s and make your way to the end of the level. The sword fighting combat is quite fun with the characters doing little flourishes to end with, and there are different ones depending on what character you are using. I'd say the game took about 16 hours to complete story mode and 24 hours to complete the game to 100%, standard length for these kinds of Lego games.
Traveller's Tales spent a great deal of time making Lego Captain Jack Sparrow walk like real Captain Jack, and they nailed it, from his creep to his lizard run. Nearly every character you can think of from the films is unlockable (and some that you maybe not have known the names of, especially pirates in crews such as Barbossa's or Davy Jones whose names aren't even spoken in the films), and you'll need the to grab all those collectables to complete the game to 100% (and when you do there's a neat little surprise unlocked, which I absolutely adored). Although purchasing the characters can be a chore, having find them in the Hub areas, beat them up and break them, then chase after them when they respawn to purchase them in time and you've got to be quick to get to them because you don't get long to buy them before you have to beat them up again. A very poor decision to choose this format, hasn't been seen before and I doubt they'll do it again.
The game runs on the same engine as all other Lego games, giving the same good graphics, but also suffers from the same kinds of bugs we've seen before (rumour is that the engine is actually pretty broken and Traveller's Tales do a good job keeping the final games as bug free as they do, but until they build the engine from the ground up these bugs are going to persist through their games). The friendly AI is once again pretty dumb, falling off cliffs or repeatedly pushing you off a ledge. There are freezes that are confined to a few levels or area of a level, which can lead to a level being played three or four times in story mode before it doesn't freeze and you can complete the level. There's some texture clipping and frame rate drops on the Playstation 3 version, but nothing that makes the game unplayable (and nothing that isn't standard for multiplatform games that's ported to PS3 form the optimisation for Xbox 360).
Offline co-op once again features split screen so you can wander off and not be dragged down by your partner not moving and confining you to the area in a fixed camera. Now my big problem with the majority of Lego games - a lack of online co-op. Lego Star Wars: The Complete Saga feature online play, and although buggy, it was fun to play online with family member who live too far to come over and play for a while, like all other games. Traveller's Tales have said something along the lines of 'it's more fun to play with someone on the sofa beside you, you don't need online play'. Excuses. They just don't want to admit that they don't want to spend money on running and maintaining online play servers; this kind of offhand comment and falseness annoys me from games companies.
Overall I really, really like this game, but this may be rose tinted glasses because I utterly adore the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise and the Lego games. But I feel quite strongly that Traveller's Tales need to go back to the beginning and rebuild their engine for future games (which sadly it seems they haven't so far).
This is a brilliant game for children and adults its my 6 year olds favourite game as i play for hours with her on on it. I always think games make for wonderful family time and this is just a game for all ages.
The game does state 7+ but my daughter really can get to grips with this game and we have almost completed it.
its a really good two player game and the second player can drop out any time to go and check on the dinner cooking etc, then you can just go straight back into the game.
There is lots of solving in this game which is great to get young minds thinking and i really have enjoyed helping her on this game and when she starts playing shes knows i can't resist and stop what I'm doing to have a game.My daughter really gets excited when we unlock new characters after each level. The game auto saves after you complete each level so there is no saving in the middle of the level.
The game covers all four chapters of the film.
It is beautifully animated especial the cut scenes.
It has lovely cheeky humour we expect from Lego games.
Lego - Pirates of the Caribbean on the PS3 is a fantastic game, especially for kids. I purchased this game for my 9 year old daughter and I can honestly say she was on it non stop and thoroughly enjoyed it throughout.
The story of LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean covers all four of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man's Chest, At World's End, and the new On Stranger Tides. You can navigate through each of the stories at the Port Royale, which has separate maps marking each chapter of the various stories. There are five chapters for each, making the game 20 levels long. You can work your way through the story either solo or with a friend. Like other games in the Lego series, the second player can drop in and out of the action at any time, which is particularly convenient when playing with kids who might have a short attention span. The multiplayer aspect plays out with both players being shown on the same screen as long as they are close to each other. If one player wanders off a bit, the screen splits so that players can work and explore however they like. As the players approach each other and as they wander around, the split screen actually turns and pivots, rather than being a stationary vertical or horizontal split. At first glance, this seemed kind of cool but as you play and wander it is actually quite distracting; even a bit dizzying at times.
While kids will definitely find it enjoyable (it's Legos!), it has a lot to offer in actual gameplay. The puzzles are interesting, and there's a lot of going back and forth to find the right tools and people for different tasks. Lego Pirates of the Caribbean has over 70 different characters, and most of them have unique abilities. Jack Sparrow has a compass to point the way, female characters can jump higher, dogs can dig, zombies can swim with getting air. Not only do you have to use the right character for the right job, you'll often have to find him first.
All in all this game is a great value for money game seeing as you get 4 games for the price of 1 with the whole film saga being rolled out into this game. I love the quirky Lego characters and how Lego put their own distinctive brand on the films characters. I would recommend this game to any family for some fun times.
Games based on movies almost never work. A decent title is released every so often but mostly movie tie-ins tend to be below average. The same can't be said for the LEGO games however which have been a delight over the years. They have a rare charm rarely seen in games now. It's not about tactics or graphics or difficulty, but fun. It's a game that puts a smile on your face that won't disappear until the credits role.
This time round you'll be playing as various characters through the Pirates of the Caribbean (PotC) series. The cutscenes are played out in LEGO form with no voices used, which means progression of the story comes through character actions, not dialogue. For many scenes it works; the arrival of Jack Sparrow to Port Royale is brilliantly repeated in LEGO and the introduction of Davy Jones really shows the sense of humour the developers have tried to input into the game. However, at times it doesn't work so well and for those who don't know the PotC story, you may be left feeling a little confused with parts of the At World's End and On Stranger Tides storylines. The strength of the game however isn't in the story but the charm, and there is plenty of that.
Remake anything in LEGO form and it's going to look magical and the scenery is no exception. From Tortuga and Port Royale to the black Pearl and Singapore, everything is recreated in fantastic detail, managing to retain the atmosphere of the film set but with the playful feel of a LEGO game. As in the movies, Jack Sparrow stands out as the star, running about the levels in a drunken swagger and killing enemies in humorous ways. The charm of the characters extends to LEGO form. As with the previous games the characters can be grouped by abilities. If you are treasure hunting for example you will require the help of Jack Sparrow, though you'll have to switch to a different character if you want to shoot a distant target or walk on the sea bed. As those familiar with the LEGO game series will know, this allows for some brilliant replay value. Once you have finished the level in story mode, you can then go back and play it in 'Free Play', which allows you to play as any unlocked character. Different characters can unlock different areas, so if you couldn't play as Jack in story mode, you can play as him in Free Play to find all the hidden treasure, or play as a female character that can double jump and reach new places. It's the type of game that has a huge amount of replay value if you are interested in 100% completing the game as you will have to play through each level multiple times to find all of the unlockables.
Most of the gameplay is puzzle based. Once you are used to destroying as much scenery as possible, few puzzles will catch you out. Many puzzles merely require you to smash enough scenery up in order to get the LEGO blocks to build new objects, though this is made interesting by the clever use of multiple characters. Several puzzles will require the use of multiple characters with their different abilities for example, though the game still can't be classed as hard. Dying has little impact on gameplay - you will lose a bit of the currency you have collected and reform. The game isn't about difficulty, but fun. It's about running around and exploring, smashing scenery and finding secret unlockables.
The game isn't entirely puzzle based though - as would be expected in a pirate game, there is some combat. Most enemies will be beaten with the swing of a sword, and with dying being pretty much inconsequential, the enemies seem to be there more for the atmosphere than anything else. The fantastic PotC music blares as you jump about taking a swing at different enemies whilst trying to work out where to go to next. Bosses however are a different issue. They provide a great mix of puzzles and combat as you whack the enemy and then chase him around, solving various puzzles to get to his new location just to whack him again. They generally follow the same formula though this doesn't detract from the fun.
At times the game can get a little messy. Occasionally your LEGO allies will get in the way, which can be frustrating, and some gameplay elements don't work out the best. The rolling-wheel fight of the second movie felt clumsy to say the least, though it would have been a crime to not have tried such a fight, even though it could never be anything but clumsy. For the most part however the gameplay remains fantastic.
As with all LEGO games, co-op is a big highlight. Get a friend round and he can drop-in or out of any level and take charge of one of the characters to aid you in your quest. The simple, relaxed gameplay is perfect for offline co-op and though the split-screen can be awkward at times (with the screen going from one picture to a split screen if you get too far away from each other) though the game is far better with two people playing.
The game rarely has time to show its graphical power but when it does (such as with water and lighting), it looks fantastic when contrasted with the simplicity of the LEGO block scenery.
It's certainly not a game for everyone, but for those looking for something a little bit different, something that will put a smile on your face or something to play in co-op, this could be the game for you. It's the type of game that will leave you smiling from start to finish as the game just oozes charm. It isn't flawless but can keep you occupied for hours if you like collectables. The main story will take about 10-15 hours to complete, though getting to 100% will take a few hours longer.
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean can currently be purchased on the PS3 for around £34 on Amazon (New), and is also available on the 360 for the same price. It is also available for the PC, Wii, PSP, DS and 3DS.
Having played my well through pretty well all the Lego games in the series, when the Pirates of the Caribbean Lego game became available for purchase in May this year, I was keen to see how game developer "Traveller's Tales" would have approached the pirate theme in this their latest release. If you haven't played any Lego games before, they are normally pretty fun and playable in one or two player mode -though not online. They are, I suppose, classic adventure platform games which see you advancing through the story (in this case that of all four Pirates of the Caribbean Films), whilst collecting lego studs, solving puzzles and building virtual Lego models.
Like all the Lego games this game is played in Story mode first, and going back through in Free Play will enable you to find treasures you missed or unlock hidden areas. It's a formula which, in general, works well and is high in interest and challenge, whilst being playable by even the very youngest gamer. To cut to the chase, this particular title is, in some ways, worth the purchase for anyone who has enjoyed the previous games, but in other ways is less satisfying than other Lego Games and, in my opinion, is more of the same rather than a development in the series. It's good, but it's starting to look a little tired, and though this game hasn't disappointed me and my 7 year old side kick as such, playing it has been a little less short lived and bug filled than previous experience would suggest. The other title we spent hours completing earlier this year, Harry Potter was better executed and arguably a superior game to this new release.
Game Play and Story:
The Pirate theme is the cue for plenty of nautical twists. I have to admit to not having watched all of the Pirates of the Caribbean films, but Jack Sparrow is a memorable enough character who works well here a the lynch pin to the game, and fits in well with the typical Lego humour that you will find in the various cut scenes the actors of the film having been transformed into mini-figures for the purpose of the game.
Progress within the story is, to say the least, a little frustratingly slow at first and the aforementioned cut scenes are rather over done in my opinion, graphically interesting as they are, and beautiful to look at in full HD as, to be fair you would expect from a PS3 game, they slow down load times and can't unfortunately be by-passed. This becomes relevant when the game freezes and falls over, when you re-start a level you have to watch the scene complete with the atypical lego character grunting and touches of humour.... again. We found that right from the first few hours of playing this game we were having to replay levels with rather too much frequency as game play froze, often towards the end of a level, which seeing as some of them are at least half an hour in length of play first time around with no cheating and looking at walkthroughs, is annoying to say the least. Other levels seemed to pass in the blink of an eye - there's no continuity to the length of the levels at all. Throughout the whole shebang the puzzles were, in the main pretty solvable, particularly if you are familiar with the genre. It's the normal mix of bash things, hit things and if in doubt try a combination of both.
In all there are 5 levels for each of the 4 films, and, as far as I can judge, the levels do follow the films' stories well - there's a whole cast of characters with varied abilities or add-ons, such as a hammer for forging molten lego, guns or even the ability to swim underwater. To anyone familiar with the films I am sure the character names will be familiar, there are a bewildering number of them. Jack Sparrow has a compass for treasure seeking, which is a nice twist - there are various hidden treasures on each level to be found as well as the hidden lego pieces to build a model which feature in every game. In this title you are looking for Lego ships in bottles, with the bottles being pretty well hidden and quite satisfying to collect when you work out that a mermaid's scream will release one or that one is hidden cunningly behind a barrel. The central area where you can access the story for all 4 films - no need to play one before starting the story of another - is a Port here. In the port you will find that you can spend your studs to buy characters for free playing, you can free play (ie switch freely between characters) any level once completed. There are also a number of red lego bricks, in pirate hat form, hidden in the various parts of the port which unlock "extras", such as 2x treasure or disguise mode for your little lego pirate men. This is a nice touch, it's an improvement hiding these extras in the central area rather than throughout the game as in other titles.
I would estimate it took us around 15 hours to complete all the story levels (and collect 51.2% of all the objects), someone with more gaming ability and encountering less bugs than us would probably finish the story in around 10 hours. We have gone back to collect the hidden items since completing the game, however there's not quite as much interest in doing so as, say, in the Batman game which had hidden levels and more scope to it, and we've found that the game freezes on free play just as it did in story mode with equally annoying consequences, which will probably not make you want to play on until you have found everything in all honesty. As well as freezing the game seems to have an issue when you swap between characters in free play - often you will select one, it will take ages to load and then sometimes you will find that a totally different character to the one you thought you had selected has appeared. This is very strange.
That said, annoying glitches aside this game is undoubtedly fun - I liked the fact that you can open doors by walking barrels onto a hidden area, and the introduction of a handy little arrow pointing in the direction you should be going is a plus, but it can't be denied that the game did have its frustrations too. Bar the fact that as I have said, it falls over far more than is reasonable (did they not test it fully? Were they trying to rush it out with the fourth film?), the controls too in this title are, at times, bewildering and hard to manage. On the face of it, the game should be simple, bar X for jumping, you tend to use O to build lego and pick up things, with the odd use of the Square button to fire cannons (another nice pirate touch) and triangle to control the boats you row and horses you ride. Unfortunately, I found that sometimes when playing the controls were almost too simple, I had to repeatedly press O so that a character would drop one item and pick up the one I really wanted them to be carrying, and the 7 year old co-player seemed to have the knack of controlling Jack Sparrow and his compass which seemed to elude me and, online, seems to have been an issue for other players of the game too. At some points we spent far too long not advancing in the game because of these control issues, but also due to other areas where, in my opinion, the game struggled badly.
Multiplay and Multiple Characters:
This lego game has the "split screen" first introduced in the second Indiana Jones title. If you are playing in co-player mode and not switching between the various characters in one player mode, if you get too far from each other split screen will kick in, and a line across the screen, usually diagonal, will allow you to do your own thing. I am guessing they introduced this as in earlier games in the series if you wandered too far apart you were pulled back to each other or made to fall off things. The split screen does work in Pirates of the Carribean, but at some points there are just so many characters on the screen at one time that it can be really hard to work out what is going on, and who you are - you find yourself resorting to jumping up and down to work out where you are, some of the game screens are just too "busy" with far too much going on. Also, at some points, the level is so large that you can lose your co-player fairly easily and though you can pan the camera round to an extent it can be really hard to find each other.
In single player mode (I found myself in this mode quite a lot as my co-player would opt to "drop out" when the going got tough) I found that the AI of the other characters wasn't always great - often they made you drop off things or got in your way. For a platform game the developers really still haven't got to grips with the physics of this game either. There are points where you have to jump on things where the challenge was more in the limitations of the software than the ability of you as a player to control the characters. This is a problem I have found in earlier games and frankly there is little improvement here - when you are used to playing games such as Little Big Planet which run flawlessly to say this is seems lazy programming is an understatement. It's hard too to forgive the fact that at various points characters get "stuck" eg under barrels or at the front of a boat, I'm not a game tester, just a normal player, but surely with proper testing this is the kind that just shouldn't happen. It's not that the game is so vast that it's understandable either, after a while the game does get quite "samey" with different places and scenarios being re-visted - there's only so many times you can get excited about the prospect of assembling and firing cannons in different ways and there's probably a little too much sword fighting.
The sound effects and the film music which accompany this game are well done, and suitably piratey - (is that a word?)though it does grate slightly after a while, in the main the music and sound effects blend seamlessly into the game, which is always a good sign for me.
As I have already suggested longevity wise, this isn't in my opinion as good as other games such as Harry Potter or, indeed, star wars, it does seem a little like the game delivers the story of the 4 films and no more.
I would normally wait to buy a new release such as this, currently selling at £39.99 at most places. Thanks to a till voucher I actually paid £27 for this from Sainsbury's, often a surprisingly good place to buy new releases I find, which was good value. If you are a Lego Games fan you may well be tempted to buy it now, however personally I have concluded that it's not the best title they have ever released, I haven't heard talk of any patches being released, but in all honesty the game is in dire need of one.
It's a good game, which I have enjoyed, but it's not a great game and it does, in all honesty feel like an unfinished product that hasn't evolved as much as it should have done, as if the passion has gone out of the development and the game was released rather too early to coincide with the Disney film. It should, in theory be a 5 star game as it's quite an unusual game with a strong premise but I can't in all honesty give it more than 3 and a half stars, a combination of lazy programming, too many bugs and the feeling that this has become a money making machine really just won't let me be more generous.
I do recommend this - just - if you have liked the other games, but as a first lego game experience you would be better off trying an older, and cheaper title first.