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June 24, 2007
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - PS3 Review
Release Distributor Publisher Developer Offline Players Online Players
7/6/2007FuntasticDisney InteractiveEurocom1None
Media HDD Space Resolution Sound Format Tilt Controls OFLC Rating
Disc1635KB1080pDD5.1YesM
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The fight continues in water!
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Elizabeth Swann looking for a fight.

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Actors have been faithfully modelled for the game.
If you're reading this review then one would have to assume that you're a fan of Disney's Pirates of the Caribbean movie trilogy, the latter two thirds upon which this game is based. In the off chance that you are unaware of the movies then all you really need to know is that the movies, and this game, are set in an age when pirates ruled the seas, treasures were plundered and there's a power struggle for, ermm, power. The movie follows the fortunes and intertwining stories of dozens of characters, but the primary focus is on Elizabeth Swann (Keira Knightley), Will Turner (Orlando Bloom) and Captain Jack Sparrow (Johnny Depp). Indeed with the first two movies generating a box office of over $US1.7 billion dollars, and this latest movie already up to $US872 million and heading for well over $US1 billion. So here's the inevitable game tie-in.

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A good time to climb the mast.
As previously mentioned, and despite the name, At World's End, this game actually covers both the second and third movies in the trilogy. The first part of the game follows the events of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest before moving onto the latest movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End which just hit cinemas. For the majority of this third person action adventure title you'll play as Captain Jack Sparrow as he travels from location to location defeating numerous enemies. At times you do switch to other characters but they are certainly the minority. Given the popularity of Captain Jack, and the emphasis put on him in the films, it's not really a surprise. The locations in the game are also taken from the movie including ships such as The Black Pearl, and Port Royal and each location looks absolutely superb with solid texturing and impressive water.

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An in-game screenshot with HUD showing.
Sadly the game is let down by combat which becomes repetitive and boring after a while. While this aspect of the game had been touted as a strength, for the most part it boils down to a button mashing affair with little or no skill required to slay the enemies. It must be said that the combat in the PS3 version seems to be a little better then that on the PSP and PS2 versions of the games. With that in mind it soon becomes rather tiresome and the game lacks variety to keep you interested in combat in the long run. Where are some of the unique skills, escape methods or tricks that Jack Sparrow manages to pull off in the movies to get out of sticky situations?

Besides the combat other issues with the game include occasional times when the context sensitive actions aren't highlighted clearly enough on the screen and you'll go walking straight past them. Also disappointing is the linearity of many of the levels, with little chance of multiple pathways or exploration - certainly not compared to some other action games such as Jak & Daxter or Ratchet & Clank. Finally, despite having different characters to play with there is a lack of variety in their moves - change the character models and you'd be hard pressed to tell them apart by their moves. The Tilt mechanism in the Sixaxis controller has also been used when walking across narrow beams. Unfortunately I found this a bit unresponsive and would have preferred using the analogue stick to remedy the characters balance.

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The water is also pretty impressive.
With visuals up to 1080p I was quite impressed by the visuals in this game. Indeed with Industrial Light and Magic (the company that does the special effects in the movie) providing assistance with the models in the game the locations and characters are certainly up there with the best of them. As you can see the main characters including Jack Sparrow, Elizabeth Swann and Will Turner have all been rather superbly modeled on the real actors (Johnny Depp, Keira Knightly and Orlando Bloom) and certainly look the part. Animation is pretty good and the developers have used the same fight choreographer to ensure the fights look realistic - it's a shame they don't play so well. Where the game does falter is the frame rate which stutters a bit on the PS3.

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Locations really do look impressive.
As with other versions I was quite concerned for the audio in this game - most notably due to the fact that the main actors from the movie (Bloom, Knightley and Depp) haven't lent their voices for this game - of particular concern was how the developers would voice Jack Sparrow with Depp's rather unique take on the character. Fortunately the actors used are up to the task and many will have a hard time determining if they are the real actors or not so well done Disney Interactive on that part. Two actors, Mackenzie Crook and Lee Arenberg, have provided voiceovers for their roles in the game. Unfortunately as with other versions of the game my main gripe about the voice work isn't with the quality, but rather the lack of dialogue in the game! As expected music has been taken straight from the movies so it's of very high quality while the sound effects are also decent enough.

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Combat in the streets.
I know that there will be a lot of people disagreeing with me but in all honesty I didn't mind Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. It is certainly not the disaster that some publications make it out to be. The characters all look fantastic, while the background visuals are also quite polished. Admittedly the gameplay isn't the greatest we've ever seen - not by a long shot - but it isn't terrible either. While the PSP and PS2 versions should be left on the shelves this PS3 version is worth a look for fans of the movie. Not as good as expected, but not a total disaster either.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSThe visuals in this next-gen version are quite impressive actually. There are frame rate issues though.
73%
SOUNDNot the original voice actors, but pretty good replacements. Music from the movie.
69%
GAMEPLAYGreat locations, great characters, linear levels, average combat. Could have been better.
60%
VALUETwo movies in a single game. Plenty of items to discover and unlock. RRP is $AU99.95 however EB Games have it at half that already!
70%
OVERALLSo it's not a masterpiece, nor will it set new benchmarks, but if you're a fan of the movies then Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End may keep you entertained for a while.
65%

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