A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this is a video game tie-in to the second and third Pirates of the Caribbean movies. It's Teen-rated for alcohol and violence, the latter prevalent throughout the game. Players will kill hundreds of enemies and get infamy points based on how an enemy is dispatched. There's no blood, but plenty of fighting with swords, pistols, bombs, and miscellaneous projectiles. If your kids can handle the subject matter of the movies, they'll probably be fine with the game as well. The game's cut scenes don't do a great job of explaining an already complicated plot, so knowledge of the movies is helpful.
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What's it about?
Although named after the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie, this game actually roughly follows the storylines of both the second and third movies, Dead Man's Chest and At World's End. Gameplay is mostly from the point of view of the pirate Jack Sparrow, whose tipsy swagger is perfectly re-created. With the help of Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann, and a few other playable characters, Jack must convince each of the Pirate Lords to take a stand against their enemies: the East India Trading Company and the monstrous Davy Jones, captain of the cursed Flying Dutchman ship. Suffice it to say, the game contains a whole lot of fighting with swords, pistols, bombs, and miscellaneous projectiles against enemies both monstrous and human.
Is it any good?
The plot of PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: AT WORLD'S END is even more confusing than the movies and will likely be incomprehensible to anyone who hasn't already seen the films. The characters bear strong resemblances to their film counterparts both in appearance and movement, with Sparrow and Davy Jones being particularly impressive. Unfortunately the same can't be said of the voice acting, where studio-hired guns impersonate Johnny Depp, Geoffrey Rush, et al., with varying degrees of success. The stirring musical score is taken straight from the movie, so no complaints there.
The weakest part of At World's End is probably the combat. The enemies are all pretty dumb, controls are sluggish, and the limited number of moves at your disposal means gameplay gets repetitive fast. There are no significant differences between the fighting styles of each character, so even though some scenarios let you switch between characters on the fly, it doesn't really change the experience. Still, in terms of polish and playability, At World's End is a huge improvement over Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow.