LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean

9.0 Overall Score

Written by on June 21, 2011 in

All hands on deck! Weigh anchor and hoist the mizzen! Raise the Jolly Roger! LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean has finally set sail for our living rooms. This latest entry into the LEGO franchise brings fun to kids and adults, challenging players with puzzles, hilarious cutscenes, and lovable moments from the Pirates of the Caribbean films.

The first thing my wife and I noticed when jumping into the first level was how Jack Sparrow’s LEGO character captured his essence perfectly in both the way he stumbled around the level with his arms flailing, and the way he interacted with other characters during cutscenes. The LEGO characters on the screen capture the traits and personalities of those in the movies perfectly, and it is really fun playing as each character with their own special ability. It is also uncanny how effectively simple facial gestures and utterances can portray so many emotions through the flat LEGO characters. I also found appealing how the game has a shiny glow to it and how detailed the levels are. The lush trees, remote islands, dark caves, and damaged buildings all shine unlike any LEGO game seen before. You are really missing out if you aren’t playing this game on a high-def television.

LEGO Pirates is split up into four sections, with each section representing one of the hit Disney movies. Starting with the original Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl all the way to Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, each film is summarized in five chapters. Just like previous LEGO games you play through the Story mode and then can go back and play Free Play, being able to pick to play as any character. Those of you who are familiar with LEGO games know that Free Play is where you will spend the majority of your time, searching for minikits and other items which net you gold bricks. Instead of collecting red bricks like in previous LEGO games, you now collect red hats which grant you special bonuses like being invincible, getting twice as much treasure, and being able to build structures at lightning speeds. These bonuses will also help you to earn achievements in the game, such as the “Pieces of Eight” achievement for collecting 888,888,888 studs. The achievements in the game are very easy to get and you will earn over half of them just by playing through the story mode. The rest can easily be finished in 1 playthrough of each level on Free Play after acquiring all the characters and red hats.

I had very few gripes with the game and felt like this was a great game other than the awkward jumping, co-op screen, and occasional glitches. The downside of playing co-op on the same screen is that both characters can’t wander too far away from each other. In LEGO Pirates, when two characters go beyond the screen border the game splits the screen into two triangles, allowing each character to explore without restricting them to a confined play area. While this is a great idea, I still felt like it was a hassle figuring out where I was going because my portion of the screen had been reduced so much. It also made reuniting with your partner to be a challenge as well, due to the fact that my partner and I had walked in opposite directions and I wasn’t sure which path would reunite us. I would have appreciated an arrow leading me back to my partner.

Some of the puzzles in the game were also very confusing and I would have appreciated a little bit more help figuring out what my objective was. This being a game marketed largely to younger kids I couldn’t imagine the confusion it would create for them. It took me 5 minutes and 20+ deaths to figure out how I was supposed to defeat the Kraken. I have had problems with LEGO games of the past and their tendency to freeze on me. I was really hoping this game would change that trend, but on 2 occasions my Xbox froze during gameplay and I had to restart my console to resume my game from the beginning of the level. These levels aren’t short and having to replay the same level can be taxing.

LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean is by far the best LEGO game of the series and is perfect for gamers of all ages. Its shiny level designs, comedic characters, and piratey feel are what makes Traveller’s Tales’ LEGO Pirates a welcome addition to the LEGO universe. So grab your cutlass, swab the deck, and get ready to walk the plank as LEGO Pirates pillages your living room out now on the Xbox 360, PS3, Wii, and the Nintendo 3DS.

A copy of LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean was provided to The Married Gamers for review and evaluation.

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Author: Loren Nikkel View all posts by
Hardcore Xbox and occasional PC gamer. I love to play multiplayer and co-op games where strategy is key.

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