In this new series, I will gush about my love for the licensed LEGO games. I will cover all of the games that I have played, ranging from really good to not as good.
As opposed to the Lord of the Rings, I think that the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has potential to be a great LEGO game. There’s tons of action, memorable characters, a unique setting and a lot of creativity. I personally enjoy the first three movies, and I think that there can be a really good game based in this world. There are great pirate themed games in the world, and with a franchise as huge as this one mixed with a LEGO game, it should be a huge hit.
LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean is the biggest waste of potential that a game could have. With a movie franchise bursting at the seams with cool ideas and incredible visuals, the LEGO game really falls flat.
This game was released around the same time the fourth movie did, and thus includes that movie as playable levels. All the characters are there to play as, and all of them have noises like grunts and exclamations that seem to be taken right from the movie. The music, as always, is great and fits the game play that is given. However, the biggest flaw in this game is the one thing that should make the thrive given its source material.
The game play and level design does not really capture the essence that the theme is set out to do. I think that the structure that this game has with some of its levels do not feel like I am interacting with the environment, but more like doing chores in a pirate theme. Put this here, take that there, pull the switch, all to just watch things happen. The cut scenes do a lot of the pirate action, and although there are memorable scenes from the movie that are playable, they do not hold my attention at all. For example, the scene of Jack Sparrow and Will Turner fighting in the blacksmiths shop is one of the best scenes from the franchise, but in the game, the level is boiled down to hitting Jack Sparrow and solving a mild puzzle on repeat for three times. With this being the first level in the whole game, the stakes are low and the level is boring. I want to go toe to toe with Jack Sparrow, and if I have a friend with me, they can fight as Jack Sparrow against me. In this, my friend is an old guy who hits Jack Sparrow with a wrench a few times. This is not a way to start a game, and it really set the tone for the rest of the game.
When I said that the best stuff is in the cut scenes, I really mean it. The ending scene in the third movie where the Black Pearl and the Flying Dutchman go on either side of the Queen Mary and unload cannonballs onto the English ship is a cut scene. Jack Sparrow saving Elizabeth Swann at the beginning of the first movie is a cut scene too. It feels as if the developers picked the scenes that might have two people doing things, and molded it into a level that feels drawn out and incredibly boring. The scenes that are action packed are once again neutered to monotonous puzzle solving and terrible fights that feel meaningless.
I really wish I had more to say about this game, but I don’t think there is much. I will boil this game down into a single metaphor. LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean is like the world’s longest and easiest treasure map. The puzzles aren’t hard, the challenges are mild, but the marathon to the end is ultimately unsatisfactory. There are many other LEGO games to play instead of this one and many more pirate games to play instead of this.