Lego Pirates Caribbean Guide« Education « Downloads
|Updated||September 25, 2013|
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After the slight disappointment of Lego Star Wars III: Clone Wars, the brick people (and Traveller's Tales) bounce back in some style. There is arguably one small flaw, which is: a) perhaps a very personal one; and b) probably the same reason that Clone Wars underwhelmed – a lack of familiarity with the source material.
There are, no doubt, people who remember every nuance of everything George Lucas has ever written. There are also, one assumes, people who can remember every twist in the increasingly drawn–out Pirates of the Caribbean series, all four of which appear here. But show me a person who watched the third Pirates movie more than once and I'll show you someone with way too much time on their hands.
Regardless, launched to coincide with the release of the fourth movie, Lego Pirates… is a more-encouraging-than-usual take on the film tie-in. It's just that you won't necessarily understand (or remember) the plot details of any of the films from the cut scenes here. That said, they're generally colourful and witty, and aren't massively essential in order to still enjoy the puzzle-solving/scenery destroying pleasures of the game itself.
Complete one level of the first game – Curse of the Black Pearl – and you'll unlock the other three titles: Dead Man's Chest, At World's End and the new one, On Stranger Tides. Complete all of these and you'll still only be around 50% of the way through the game.
As with previous Lego titles, the main appeal is to the “completist” – those willing to go back and explore the huge amount of unlockable content in order to complete all the side challenges and find every collectible. The usual Lego rules apply, such as silver objects needing an explosive weapon to get through them. That's relatively easy to obtain. You'll have to wait until the end of On Stranger Tides, however, to get a siren (whose voice can break glass) and beyond that before you get Blackbeard's sword and the ability to open yet more areas and content.
Puzzles are possibly more challenging than before, which may frustrate the younger player, but the scenery and visuals are much improved, gameplay is varied, the two-player option is superb and the expected humour and neatly observed character detail are as good as ever.
Captain Jack Sparrow sounds and moves like Johnny Depp – a remarkable achievement from a brick avatar that never forms a real word – and throwaway gags abound (the miniscule Tom Hollander/Cutler Beckett character is particularly funny). It's not their best film-themed moment, but Lego Pirates of the Caribbean is still a hugely enjoyable, family-pleasing diversion.