Besides the tremendous amount of destructible LEGO objects that can be whacked into a shower of bits, the light puzzle elements return. Generally speaking, the puzzles are easy and the game points you in the right direction. Adult gamers may find them a bit tedious, but the intended audience, kids, will certainly not mind. From time to time, a puzzle comes along that is a bit more difficult, but these are few and far between.
In contrast to the simplistic puzzles, the platforming sections are at times very frustrating. It's not so much that they are too difficult, but more that the quirky camera angle and very loose control mechanics combine to make things far tougher than they should be. This has been a drawback to the LEGO series for a long time, and even in this latest game, these issues remain. Perhaps more frustrating are the bugs that crop up, ranging from merely frustrating (getting stuck in the environment) to rage-inducing (total lock-ups or drowning death loops). It really is a shame that such a beloved series is still buggy at all so many iterations later.
The cooperative elements of LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean are pretty much what you'd expect. The controversial split-screen local co-op has returned, allowing two co-op buddies to wander far, far away from each other through the at-times large levels. I am of mixed feelings about the split, which often spins at a dizzying rate. More options are great, but you lose the sense of teamwork when you are so far removed from your partner. Online co-op, sadly, is missing once again. This is something fans have been begging for for years, and the continued omission is perplexing.
Overall, LEGO Pirates is a solid game, and pretty much exactly what you'd expect. The series continues to be popular, and for good reason; however, there are several weaknesses in the formula that have never really been addressed. LEGO Pirates is still enjoyable, though, and is one of the better LEGO games in the series, especially with that rascally Captain Sparrow aboard.
The Co-Op Experience: the game will span the stories of the first three films (The Curse of the Black Pearl, Dead Man's Chest and At World's End), as well as the fourth film (On Stranger Tides) and will feature over 70 characters from the franchise. The game will also feature its flagship drop-in, drop-out co-op gameplay mechanic.
Co-Optimus game reviews focus on the cooperative experience of a game, our final score graphic represents this experience along with an average score for the game overall. For an explanation of our scores please check our Review Score Explanation Guide.