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Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that the game's tone and content is consistent with the movies that inspired it. Players may kill dozens of pirate zombies, Spanish sailors, and rival pirates, but no blood is spilled, and the game retains a sense of humor throughout. Captain Jack Sparrow is his rummy self, and characters reference past pillagings.
What's it about?
Players control the pirate Jack Sparrow, his sidekick Will, and spirited Elizabeth Swann in a multicharacter cooperative trudge through the storyline (with some embellishments) of the original Pirates movie.
Gameplay features a collection of simple puzzles (of the "find the key to this door" variety), combat with dumb-as-dirt enemies, and the occasional boss battle. Players can switch between characters while battling hordes of mindless enemies.
Is it any good?
Interspersed cut scenes prop up some semblance of a story, but even the voice work of Oscar-nominated Johnny Depp can't infuse drama into the listless unfolding of the game. Players wander through an incredibly limited, linear game experience with little to discover and nothing to surprise. On top of all this, the game suffers from several technical shortcomings, including painfully slow frame rates (resulting in irritating slowdowns), imprecise controls, terrible artificial intelligence, and glitches that leave enemies trapped behind scenery.
While filled with swordplay and killing, THE PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE LEGEND OF JACK SPARROW features no blood or gore. It's easy to see why families who are fond of the movies would be drawn to this game. But there's no treasure to be found in this uninspired title.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the role a video game plays in the marketing of a summer blockbuster movie. Should a video game augment or reproduce your movie viewing experience? Does the participation of a celebrity (in this case, ) attract you to a video game the same way movie stars attract people to the cinema? Also, why are these games often so lackluster? Why don't video game makers put more time into them?