LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Review
Xbox 360 | PS3 | Wii
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Box Art
System: Xbox 360, PS3, PC, Wii, 3DS, PSP, DS
Dev: Traveller's Tales
Pub: Disney Interactive Studios
Release: May 10, 2011
Players: 1-2
Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p Comic Mischief, Cartoon Violence

Though much has been improved for LEGO Pirates and the experience certainly stands head and shoulders above the last few LEGO outings, there are still some issues that prevent this game from being as awesome as it could have been. Though combat and puzzle-solving work well, extensive platforming sections suffer from poor visual design and a camera that just doesn't like to cooperate. Running through hidden areas is particularly exhausting. The camera won't follow you in, and you'll frequently run up against objects you can't even see. And even when you can see, it's sometimes hard to judge jumping distance. This can result in a lot of frustration when you are trying to clear challenging areas and you have to go through the character reset over and over again.

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Screenshot

Another issue in LEGO Pirates is the A.I. Conventional wisdom says you should play this game with a friend, but the game doesn't have an online co-op mode. If you can't find somebody to sit next to you, you're out of luck. And that can be a deal-breaker in LEGO Pirates, as the A.I. is so bad it sometimes feels like it works against you. Need another character to pull a switch? They'll walk the other way. Trying to walk across a narrow ledge? All your A.I. characters will want to give you a hug and knock you right off. This is less of an issue if you are playing with a friend. (Occasionally a "third wheel" character will bump into you, but it doesn't happen that often.) If your only option is to play by yourself, however, prepare for some severe annoyances with the A.I. You may just want to grab a second controller and play as both characters, which is actually a lot less frustrating then waiting for the A.I. to trigger an event.

Visually, LEGO Pirates is on par with its immediate predecessors. The different environments have a very polished look, and the animated cutscenes feature extremely smooth animation with a great plastic look. Sound is also top-notch in LEGO Pirates, though hopefully you are ready to hear the Pirates' main theme quite a lot. Voiceovers, as usual, are minimal—with characters only making non-word vocalizations during animation sequences—but are still very entertaining.

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LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean is a great LEGO game, and certainly proves that the LEGO franchise is still capable of innovation. Though I was disappointed by last month's LEGO Star Wars III, LEGO Pirates has restored my faith in the series. And with four different movies to play through, as well as plenty of hidden areas and collection quests to complete, there's quite a bit of content to plunder in LEGO pirates. So if ye be lookin' for family-friendly fare, and ye ain't afraid of some treacherous waters, than you can procure yourself a copy of LEGO Pirates and have a rollicking good time! Savvy?

By Amanda L. Kondolojy
CCC Senior Contributing Writer

RATING OUT OF 5
RATING DESCRIPTION
4.2
Graphics
Animations are polished and in-game environments have lots to explore.
3.9
Control
Puzzle-platforming controls are easy to learn and are exactly what you've come to expect from a LEGO title.
3.8
Music / Sound FX / Voice Acting
Much of the music is recycled from the films, but to great effect. Vocalization-based voiceover is minimalistic but effective.
4.5
Play Value
Each of the four playable movies is expansive and features plenty of collection quests and hidden content. Re-plays are a must with unlockable characters.
4.2
Overall Rating - Great
Not an average. See Rating legend below for a final score breakdown.
Review Rating Legend
0.1 - 1.9 = Avoid 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 3.5 - 3.9 = Good 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair 4.0 - 4.4 = Great 5.0 = The Best

Game Features:

  • Exploration - Players will explore familiar locations filled with interactive LEGO objects. Prepare to encounter more than 70 memorable and new characters while making your way through more than 20 levels.
  • Combat - The LEGO Caribbean is full of danger! Intense sword fighting moves give the LEGO minifigures a brand new pirate flavor.
  • Unforgettable Cutscenes - Everyone's favorite scenes from the Pirates of the Caribbean films are re-rendered with LEGO minifigures in the humorous style synonymous with LEGO video games.
  • Puzzles - Players will need all their pirate cunning to find the hidden LEGO treasures and discover the game's many secrets.
  • Two-Player Co-op - Players can join a friend or family member in the same room for two-player "drop-in/drop-out" cooperative action.
  • Freeplay - Building a collection of characters throughout the game, players can use their distinctive abilities to gain access to previously unavailable areas.

  • Screenshots / Images
    LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Screenshot - click to enlarge LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean Screenshot - click to enlarge

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