LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean
A Pirate’s Life Awaits You in this Funny Adventure
What It Is
The latest Pirates of the Caribbean movie, On Stranger Tides, arrived in theaters over the weekend and I went to see it last night. While waiting for the movie to start, it occurred to me that I had no idea how the last two movies ended but I was pretty sure that Captain Barbossa died at the end of the first movie? So how was Barbossa in the new movie and why does he appear to be very alive? Rather than watching a Pirates marathon of all three movies, I decided to find the answers to my questions by playing through the new LEGO video game, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean.
LEGO Pirates recreates the familiar settings and scenes of the four Pirates of the Caribbean movies using LEGO bricks and allows players to play through all four movies, including On Stranger Tides. The game is an adventure game filled with battles, exploration and puzzle-solving elements. Players begin each level with two playable characters (also from the Pirates movies) that they can switch back and forth from on the fly. As the levels progress, we meet other familiar characters who are added to our posse of playable figures.
Why It’s Fun
I love seeing the familiar scenes from the movies recreated in LEGO brick styles. Those tactile bumps on LEGO pieces are visible on everything from furniture to animals and the buildable play pattern of the real world toys figures heavily into the game. In addition to the creative look and style, the LEGO video games have become known and loved because they are so funny. The characters (LEGO Minifigure versions of the movie characters) don’t speak so all the humor and story-telling is done through whimsical and funny gestures, movements, and noises. The cut scenes between levels and chapters are also very amusing and the whole game is like playing through satirical versions of the movies. One particularly funny cut scene shows a boozy beach party with Captain Jack and Elizabeth Swan having fun. Don’t worry, the drinks are just LEGO glasses with umbrellas in them so there isn’t any overt drinking, but adults will get it and it’s a funny scene for them and kids.
The game play is fast-paced and plays like a good book that you can’t put down. You can run through the game trying to get from start to finish as quickly as possible but the real fun comes from exploring the highly interactive 3D environments that make up each level. Almost all the objects scattered around each level can be smashed, picked up or utilized, and you have to figure out how to interact with an element in order to progress through the level.
At the time I’m writing this review, I have played my way through the first movie, The Curse of the Black Pearl, and I’m in the middle of Dead Man’s Chest. As I thought, Barbossa died in the end of Black Pearl so I can’t wait to keep playing to find out how he returns and why he looks so alive in the fourth film.
Who’s Going To Love It
After the last LEGO video game, LEGO Battles: Ninjago, was released I heard from several people that the kids in their lives didn’t like the game. After talking to these people, it became apparent that they were expecting a game similar to the LEGO Star Wars or Batman games, which is not what the LEGO Battles line of games set out to be. Anyone that falls into that category can get excited because LEGO Pirates is a lot like LEGO Star Wars and the other LEGO console games that players of all ages love.
As for the difficulty of the game; it is challenging and kids younger than eight might have a hard time playing through the Story Mode on their own or without occasionally referring to a walkthrough guide.
What To Be Aware Of
In the main mode, Story Mode, the game is divided into chapters, and each chapter has multiple levels. You can play through each movie in order or jump from movie to movie, however, the chapters in each movie start at one and you play through them in order.
LEGO Pirates is the latest LEGO video game released on all game systems as opposed to one of the LEGO Battle games that are typically released as handheld exclusives.
The game features a two-player cooperative system that allows a second player to jump into and out of the game at any time during player one’s game.
Even if you take your time and explore this game it still feels like there is a treasure trove of unplayed experiences to return to and dig up. There are hidden areas and objects scattered throughout the game that don’t appear to be integral to advancing but curiosity might have you return to a level already cleared to try to figure out what they mean.
As I mentioned earlier, the game is divided into chapters with multiple levels in each chapter. Each of the four movies contains five chapters which makes this a very long game giving you a great bang for your buck.
5 out of 5
It has to be fun or it wouldn’t be on Time to Play. But some games are more fun than others so here’s our scale: 1 is fun, 2 is a lot of fun, 3 is great, 4 is awesome and 5 is out-of-this-world!
Video Game Information
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean
Publisher: Disney Interactive Studios
System: All Systems
Players: 1 - 2
SRP: $29.99 (DS, PSP), $39.99 (3DS), $49.99 (PS3, Wii, Xbox 360)
Launch Date: May 10, 2011
Date of Review: May 24, 2011