After a long absence (of work, gaming, and writing) I have another review for all of you! Now, I’m sure all of you have heard of the largely successful pirate themed movie saga, Pirates of the Caribbean; however, it might surprise you that before that, there weren’t many successful pirate themed movies or games out there. There was a game, called Sea Dogs, that was developed by Akella and published by Bethesda, that actually wasn’t so bad that they made a sequel in 2000, whose name was changed from Sea Dogs 2 to PotC to fit with the up and coming disney franchise. For clarity, I’m going to call it Pirates of the Caribbean, and for brevity, shorten the name to PotC.
The world of PotC is set in a time period before the popular movie series. You play as Captain Nathanial Hawk (not a man with another avian name), who, after an unfortunate storm called a Plot Device, finds himself on the Island of Oxbay. Without a ship and a first mate, because the old one quit as soon as you arrive in Oxbay (likely because his Captain drove them through a Freakin’ Storm), you have to find yourself a new ship and first mate. You work with the Governor of Oxbay to help win the war against France and then the Black Pearl makes an appearance to wipe out your hope of ever surviving. Just to make this clear, the Black Pearl is the only PotC movie cameo you’re going to get, sure Keira Knightley narrates the intro, but that doesn’t count as a cameo, but more of a tease. So, no, there will be no Captain Jack in this game or post.
This game features your classic Action RPG features of exploration and customization. Not customization in the way of how your character looks, unless you got the same glitch I did that turned Capt. Hawk into Capt. Marshmallow Man, but you get your choice of weapons, and skills to focus in like in any RPG. Not making PotC any more special than all of it’s RPG contemporaries. It’s a simple system, and it supplies you with the means to beat things up, but honestly it’s just giving the player a bigger and bigger club to mash people with than making the game clever and skillful.
Now that’s not a lot of character customization, but where this game really shines is in it’s ship combat and exploration. This is the part of the game that really shines, because it’s so unique to this game franchise. Once I bought my first ship, I knew that I had a whole sea to explore, new islands to visit, and goods to trade from island to island.
BULL SHIT. As any 7 year old who plays Halo online can tell you, Gamers are Assholes. Power Hungry Assholes. Don’t believe me? Check out this Cracked Article. I immediately took to the seas and started boarding and taking any ship large than myself. Working my up the piracy ladder until Blackbeard was licking my boots. I no longer cared about the Black Pearl or the French. I wanted to be the Pirate King and be able to decimate a sea fort, because it’s Fucking there and annoying as hell to get past when you pissed off the locals. I had enough loot to fill each ship to the brim with ammo, and no navy could stop me. Minus the Black Pearl, because that thing is a Main Character in a movie, so I was basically whipped, like Orlando Bloom’s character in PotC.
Now, while I can extol the virtues of this mechanic to no end, I can’t quite extol the virtues of the man to man combat. I don’t mind third person games, but I don’t like the feeling of repeatedly mashing the buttons to beat the hell out of something. It’s like being a caveman feebly whacking a piece of meat over an over again, tedious, repetitive, and gross. My process was basically, shoot until out of ammo, then keep slicing. Usually shooting was all I needed. Maybe my pirating led me to breaking the game, but that can’t be right? Right?!?
But to clear the waters on this game, I definitely think it’s worth a play through. The story is quite worth it, but when you can set yourself a personal goal and take to the seas, who cares? I DO! This story is really boring. I really don’t recall anything from it, and that’s bad. RPG games are supposed to be narratives, something that grasps your attention, and therefore this game failed at that objective. However, I can not stop telling you how fun the sea combat and exploration of this game was. I truly hope Bethesda returns to this idea at some time. And if the Pirates online game is anything like this, maybe I should give that a test and a review, but for now, I’d say this wraps up this review.
Things that Sucked About this Game:
- Ground combat is awkward and kinda flail like
- Storms at sea are cool, but have no challenge after you exploit the sails “cheat”
- Story wasn’t memorable
- Sea Combat, it made me feel like Poseidon’s Avatar
- Exploration and secret goods (THE SUPER BADASS SWORD)
- Keira Knightley’S Voice