Pirate games should be brilliant. Pirates have vicious sword battles, search for gold and jewels and generally faff around on the high seas, knocking back rum and having a grand old time. But not here. For while it's riveting to follow the adventures of Jack Sparrow in the movie, it's not in the game.
Even though Johnny Depp has lent his vocal talents, and his digital incarnation certainly looks a bit likey, there's very little to treasure here. Pirates of the Caribbean forces you into a world where monotony rules the waves. Swinging, leaping and sword-stabbing your way through the movie's environments soon falls into a dull routine: hit baddies, solve puzzle, watch cut-scene. Repeat until stale.
The fighting is fairly solid as you chop down foes with simple combos or dole out an equalising kick to the spuds. You can even use bottles and guns to fell an enemy. But the bad guys all look the same, and duffing up identical gangs of swordwielding maniacs soon becomes tedious.
The action is interspersed with an assortment of puzzles which would be OK, if it wasn't for some glitchy camera angles and clipping. Sadly, transferring a barrel of gunpowder from one side of a lava pit to the other is trickier than it would be in real life. And the problems don't stop there.
UNORIGINAL PIRATE MATERIAL
Jack Sparrow must be the only pirate in history who can't swim. That's right, touch the water and you'll sink like a cement-smeared dinghy. If the checkpoints weren't so agonisingly far apart this wouldn't be a problem but, at one point, we'd stormed through hours of a level, only to topple into the drink and be sent right back to the start. Then there's the shoddy animation which has Jack stumbling about like a drunk tramp rather than reeling in pain when burnt by spouts of flame. And so on.
Despite these flaws, Pirates of the Caribbean just about offers enough if you're hooked on the film. Swinging on ropes and slicing zombies can be fun, plus there's a Wi-Fi mode, which sees up to four captains firing cannons at each other's ships. Ultimately, it's one of those games. It isn't awful by any stretch, but it could have been so much better.
Overall While the swordslashing provides a bit of fun, glitchy graphics and repetitive action sever any lasting appeal.