The LEGO games may have the most stubbornly rigid template around, but there’s no denying that it works. The simplicity in which it undertakes recreating mega-franchises in yellow brick form can often lead to a spoof-like joy of feverish adventuring that turns out better than its fleshy counterpart.
That’s partly why Pirates Of The Caribbean proves a perfect licence. Spanning the original trilogy and the recently released fourth instalment, it takes the cinematic highlights and makes them a joy to relive, while successfully cutting through and untangling the series’ dreary segments into something wholly bearable. Captain Jack is recreated with all the swagger and none of the incessant quips of his celluloid counterpart and everyone down to the key-holding dog gets a decent look-in on the action.
You know exactly what to expect by now: a cutesy display of treasure hoarding, brick-smashing action and clever scripting. Traveller’s Tales has improved the visuals and have also emphasised a greater dependence on each characters’ abilities to continue solving the puzzles. However, while most of these enigmas remain child-friendly and approachable, there are a few that appear groundlessly perplexing.
Most of the hefty baggage is dropped (violence, incomprehensible plotting) and replaced with a colourful and jaunty romp. Co-op play amplifies the enjoyment of adventuring and searching out all the hidden treasures, but the lack of online options remains a continued disappointment for the series.
Aimed at kids, it's unashamedly a blast for adults. It’s testament to the simple thrill of breaking, building and searching, matched with genuinely hilarious storytelling that keeps the wind blowing through the LEGO series’ sails. It’s not exactly building on its solid foundations but then neither franchise has been known for doing that in quite a while.
Reviewed by David Scarborough