More Flawed Lego Magic
Many of the films scenes are recreated well. There's a great stage fighting on the rolling wheel from Dead Man's Chest, and the madness of Davey Jones' locker is captured well. The storyline is stripped down to the basics, which makes the middle films seem less confusing. As expected for the Lego franchise, cut scenes are variations on moments from the films, with some very humorous touches.
There are 20 main levels, 5 for each film, which can be accessed from a beautifully created hub area. There's a tavern, and even a bonus level which is a great homage to Pirates of the Caribbean's original roots as a theme park attraction. There's an overwhelming amount of characters to select, from many versions of Jack Sparrow to obscure minor characters. One criticism regards the select option, which can take a long time to work, and sometimes returns completely the wrong character. It's a small problem, but one which delays play for several seconds.
Collectibles are Lego's specialty, and Pirates contains a large selection of hidden items and easter eggs. Finding 10 Mini Kits on any level unlocks a boat in the harbour at the main hub. Access to secret areas are usually character specific, and available when replaying the game in Free Play mode. These usually require the power of Blackbeard's sword or the singing talents of Philip or Syrena. Gameplay is nicely specific to the franchise, with cannon battles, explosives and boat rides. Jack Sparrows compass also uncovers hidden items throughout each level, which is a nice touch.
2 player mode is great fun, although the opportunity for online co-op is wasted. The game is also prone to freezes and glitches, which can require anything from restarting a level, to rebooting the console, which is a massive shame. Because otherwise, Lego Pirates of the Caribbean is the best Lego game in some time.