One thing that I have always hoped for in the video games industry is that developers go for themes other than the tired and rehashed futuristic and historical war settings. This world has so much history behind it there has to be more then just World War II. So when I heard about Sid Meier’s Pirates coming to the Xbox, I was actually very pleased because the pirate genre is one that we haven’t seen much of in the video game world. So do these Pirates have what it takes to pry away the cash from your wallet? Read our full review to find out!
For those of you who think you have heard of this game before in the past, well you’re correct as it was released a year ago on the PC and actually got very favorable results. But as many of us gamers know the transition from PC to console can be a very tough move, especially for a strategy title such as Pirates. So does the switch make for a welcome surprise?
Of course how could you play a pirate game without having a pirate-like story? Let me tell you, Sid Meier’s has exactly what I think most people will expect when it comes to the story. In the game you play as a pirate who is off to undo the wrongs that have been done to his family by the evil Spaniard named Marquis de la Montalban. So from there you are shipped off to decide what exactly your character will be good at, and then are really put into the game left to decide exactly what you want to do. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this game, it is very open ended, so you can decide what path you want to take in the game and just go with it with nothing stopping you from doing it.
One of the biggest things you will be doing in Sid Meier’s Pirates is fighting, and that mainly happens at sea. The battles at sea in my opinion were the most fun to play in the game probably because they were the more intense scenes throughout the game. It is during these battles that you will find yourself circling other neighboring ships in hope of getting some great valuables that will help you get bigger and better ships. The game allows you to choose where to shoot your cannons and what type of shots to go for. This is very critical for mounting a good attack. This part of the game will seem hard at first, as the controls can be a little tough to get a hold of. But once you get the hang of the at sea battles, they become a lot of fun and really test your mind, as you have to really pay attention to what you’re doing. One wrong move could be your last.
Sea battles aren’t all you will be doing in Sid Meier’s, as you also will have plenty of dancing and dueling. Yes you read that correctly - there is dancing in the game, and that is mainly to try and find yourself the perfect wife. Also there is plenty of dueling too, which sounds a lot more fun then it actually is. Both Dueling and Dancing relies heavily on reflexes, so you’re going to need very fast reflexes in order to complete this portion of the game.
What I liked about Sid Meier’s Pirates is that there are so many different things to do in the game. Whether you want to go find a wife, or steal food to make your crew happy, the choice is yours. You have so many different options of what to do, that it is a very compelling game to play. However not everything in this game is all that fun. Dueling, for me, was really disappointing because I just never felt part of the action. The game does include some interesting Xbox Live support that has four player ship battles, but even those really never gave me full satisfaction.
Overall Sid Meier’s is a solid game, no doubt about that. But with that being said, I think the developers could have done a much better job in making more interesting dueling. This feature could have been the highlight of the game - now is something that I really never really wanted to engage in.
One of my favorite parts of Sid Meier’s Pirates is the visuals, because of the great use of the color the game has. This game nails the pirate look down to a tee, using very bright and vibrant colors that just make the game all that more entertaining. The character models in the game do have a different look then most other games but to me I liked the style and I thought it suited the game quite well.
The animation in this game is very smooth sailing that has great amount of detail and just makes the whole look of this game very desirable. There aren’t really any major problems to speak of in the graphical section of the game as they have a very distinct and unique look that I think works perfectly for the game.
Sid Meier’s Pirates has a lot of great things going for it and it all starts with the amount of options that the game gives you and the ability to really decide what you want to do and when you want to do it. Sid Meier’s Pirates has great sea battles and online they play out pretty nicely as well. However it just really bothered me that the dueling in the game was so predictable and that it really just didn’t give you that "wow" feel that a lot of other things in the game.
Sid Meier’s Pirates is a great game that has some minor flaws that really hold it back from being in that elite category. Here we finally have a game that does justice to the pirate theme, translating it into a very fun and enjoyable video game experience. The game isn’t perfect, but if you’re looking for a Pirate game, this game will not let you down.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.