Oh, for the want of a decent game to tie in with the summer's blockbuster movie releases. So far this year, the line-up's been pretty shoddy - Spider-Man 3 was terrible and Turtles was worse. So what's a gamer to do? If you said "dress up like Johnny Depp and act like a pirate", you'd be right although sadly, even that turns out to be far less fun than you'd think.
Spread across the last two films in the series, this new Pirates Of The Caribbean game certainly does what it sets out to do. It not only manages to capture the flavour of the movies, but also gives you a taste of swashbuckling with the Wii's controls.
Sadly though, that's about all it does do right, short of making you laugh on the odd occasion thanks to the antics of Jack Sparrow (which, to be fair, have been captured fairly well). Oh sure, we'll concede that it has a few nice ideas in it, such as the quicktime action events known as Jackanisms, which work far better than their Spider-Man 3 counterparts. But ultimately, they're just not enough to cover up the game's numerous shortcomings.
The biggest of these, not surprisingly, are the visuals, which are a perfect example of how cross-platform development of games (specifically on the PS2) continues to short-change Wii owners. Suffice to say, Eurocom's creation is low-end PS2 at best and while Jack Sparrow's animation is relatively close to the real thing, everything else looks downright terrible. The Wii deserves better than this.
The gameplay, too, is somewhat lacklustre despite being initially appealing. Combat, for instance, is a fairly hit and miss affair thanks to the Wii controls not being as responsive as they should be (waving the Remote like mad is just as effective as trying to time your strikes), while the overall action - made up mainly of fighting but also of non-descript sub-missions that all involve standing on a glowing marker and pressing C - gets incredibly boring after only a short while.
It's a shame because of all the film licenses out there, Pirates clearly has the most character and, as a result, At World's End turns out to be the best of a very bad bunch merely by proxy. It's worth a rental at best... and that's only if you really are desperate.