Players:1 - 2
Platform(s):PS2 (Xbox 360, PS3, PSP, Wii, PC, DS)
Publisher:Disney Interactive Studios
Now you know us here at CB Games...the games we review are games we want to like, but if the game just isn’t liking us back, then there’s bound to be problems. With PotC, first of all, the story – if that’s what you wish to call it – is barely based on the movies. Snippets of the story are taken from certain aspects of the second and third film and tossed together to make up a jumbled incoherent mess. From beginning to end, if you haven’t seen the latest movie, you’ll be left confused, dazed and frustrated. Maybe it was done this way so people would go out and watch the movie. Heck, after playing this game you might hate the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise altogether.
The general gameplay is a lot like a toned-down version of Dynasty Warriors; it’s mostly hacking and slashing, repetitively. There are some fun moments interspersed between the constant fighting – for instance players can engage in small dice and card mini-games, or the short but fun segments called Jackanisms. They’re basically one-chance ways to get bonus items, and it’s a cinematic version of Dance Dance Revolution. Players must follow the on-screen buttons in correlation to the cinematic action events, and one slip-up and the segment ends. Small aspects like this and the one-on-one dueling save a little bit of face for this game, but not by much. I admit, the windmill fight scene between the Commodore (Norrington) and Jack Sparrow is very impressive (and fun) and the same goes for the entire ending fight sequence between Jack, Will and Davy Jones.
However, to participate in the rare and few fun aspects of the game you have to play through the not-so-fun, boring, repetitive, atrociously bad aspects of the game. There's sub-misisons scattered through each level, but most of them are variations of the same thing: kill X amount of guys, find X amount of loot, interact with X amount of items, or perform X amount of combos. The combos are the hardest sub-missions simply because the game seemed to be designed for more one-on-one battles.
If you honestly still aren’t convinced that this isn’t a great game (you may need help), it doesn’t take a genius to realize that, graphically, Pirates of the Caribbean is far below the standards of even the PS2. The character models look like really, really low-poly alpha versions of the 360/PS3's PotC game and the sound isn’t much better. In fact, I despised the sound more than I did the graphics (where was Hans Zimmer’s original Pirates theme?!) Instead of the original Pirates of the Caribbean theme song, we get bits and pieces of symphonic similarities of the PotC soundtrack and it’s just annoying. Added to that, the same tune seems to keep repeating – or a very bland variation of the same tune keeps repeating. Regardless, the soundtrack was tacked on obviously so the game would have music, but there’s nothing orchestrally aesthetic about the audio in this game.
There is one saving-grace and that's the included two-player mode. At least characters from within the challenge mode can be unlocked and used in any other mode in the game. I admit, it does add a little bit of flavor to what could have been a masterpiece of buncombe. In a way, all the features and items to unlock are mirrored to the likes of Rockstar’s The Warriors. But since the comparison was made, I have to go on and say that you do better getting The Warriors or Dynasty Warriors if you want a game of that sort.
Overall, though, if you really want to see Cap’n Jack Sparrow and crew, you do better going to your local movie theater. Otherwise Pirates of the Caribbean for the PlayStation 2, will do nothing more than put a hole in your wallet that you’ll soon quickly regret.