Pirates of the Caribbean Impresssions
Bethesda's 3D pirate role-playing game may have recently changed names, but it's still as deep and as visually impressive as ever.
Bethesda Softworks has recently announced that it is producing a game tied into the upcoming Pirates of the Caribbean movie that takes its inspiration from the popular Disneyland ride. The game is not new, but instead just puts a new face on Sea Dogs II, the pirate game that Akella has been working on for more than two years. Bethesda's Todd Howard told us that the Disney deal gives the publisher a free hand to produce the game it envisioned, and only the gameworld content has been changed. Pirates of the Caribbean takes place in the historical glory days of buccaneers, but with the twist that old ghost stories have come to life.
Pirates of the Caribbean is a deep RPG that has you take the role of a pirate captain, whom you'll see from the third-person perspective when you walk through towns going to shops or looking for quests. You'll also control your character from the third-person when you venture into island quest areas or get into fencing duels when boarding another ship. But much of the rest of the time you'll play the game controlling what Howard calls a second character, your ship. Just as you can outfit yourself with swords, pistols, and spyglasses of increasing quality, getting better ships and crew members is another way you'll see development over the course of the game.
In addition to quests that you might find by talking to strangers in taverns, random encounters on the sea map can also keep you busy. As you sail in real time between the numerous islands owned by the game's six factions--the English, French, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, and pirates--ships may appear in close proximity with your own. But the best-looking part of the game is when you drop into the 3D ship combat view. The water effects look quite good, and the ships are generally rendered in incredible detail, with animated crew members climbing the rigging, and sails that blow in the wind and show the damage they might take from stormy weather. The game is generally quite free-form, but includes 20 side quests and plenty of main story-based quests that will eventually have you deal with a huge legendary ship full of undead pirates.
Pirates of the Caribbean is due to ship for the PC and Xbox this summer, just in time for the movie's release.
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