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June 18 2007
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End - PSP Review
Release Date Distributor Publisher Developer
31/5/2007FuntasticDisney InteractiveEurocom
Save Size Difficulty Players Rating
416KBMedium1-4PG

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Jack and Will side by side...
If you're reading this review then one would have to assume that you're a fan of Disney's 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. 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).

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Battle with the natives.
As previously mentioned, and despite the name 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 the game you'll play as Captain Jack Sparrow as he travels from location to location defeating numerous enemies.

As well as the main game there are a couple of mini-games to enjoy including Poker, Pirate Dice and Davy's Hearts which are accessible through he main menu for single or multi-player fun. Sure, there isn't much we haven't seen before, but it will likely chew up a couple more hours of your life if you're in the mood.

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The Kraken makes an appearance.
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. With that in mind it soon becomes rather tiresome and the game lacks variety to keep you interested in combat. 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.

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Playing a game of poker.
Graphically I was fairly impressed with this game. Certainly the developers have captured the look and feel of the movies with many locations we've come to know and love faithfully reproduced for this game. Animation is fairly solid and there's a wide range of moves and actions on offer however there are no facial animations or lip synching which makes the characters look rather old-school when they're talking but their mouths aren't moving. Unfortunately where the game is let down a bit is in the character models. On the PSP they certainly look blocky and poorly textured - possibly due to limitations of the hardware, but we have seen much better then this in other games.

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Captain Jack sneaking around.
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. Unfortunately my 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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Battle on top of the wheel.
Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End is not the game we hoped it to be - and certainly doesn't fare too well compared to the PS3 version which we are enjoying a bit more. If you are a fan of the movies then you should get some enjoyment out of this PSP game (or indeed the game on the many other platforms - with more reviews to come soon). The developers have kept to the second and third movies storyline and added in a few neat locations to explore and fill in some events not seen on the silver screen. Sadly unlike the brilliant movies this game is quite average.

Review By: Dave Warner

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GRAPHICSCharacter models and textures needed improving, but the locations and animations are fairly good.
65%
SOUNDMusic from the movies, voice actors are solid in recreating characters.
70%
GAMEPLAYSadly, the one area that should shine, the combat, degenerates into a button mashing affair.
57%
VALUEBasically two movie tie-ins within the one game. Not overly long, but plenty to keep you entertained.
68%
OVERALLIf you like the movies, as I did, then you'll get some enjoyment from this game - as long as your expectations aren't too high. Yes, it should have been much better though.
59%

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