The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was the birth child of an opportunistic Disney who turned a theme park ride into a movie. I’ve never exactly been sure how that could have come about. I’ve been on the ride more than a decade ago and I couldn’t see any semblance of a story to draw from except the’ yo ho ho’ pirate songs. However, all the doubts are cast away as the final episode of the trilogy hits the theaters.
Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End is the single player game of the Pirates franchise on mobile phones. Disney rolled out a multiplayer wireless version of the game last year which is being expanded upon. At World’s End is the more traditional game with you taking up Will Turner or Jack Sparrow as you slice and dice away at 21 levels of mobile fun. The game is split up between Will and Jack. Will starts out in the Far East trying to locate Jack. For both characters, most of the levels are designed rather like Contra in that you can opt to use an above or bottom path to get to your objective. Each path lets you trade one danger for another.
Like most typical platform titles, At World’s End lets you crack open barrels and chests to collect things. It lets you do Prince of Persia style jumping to get to these things. And it lets you beat up on your enemies because they drop behind gold you can add to your booty collection. Hording enough gold will open up mini games although these types of sequences are scattered regularly throughout the game. You’ll still get a chance to play them if you’re the type who speeds through a game like Sonic just to get to the end and you ignore collecting all the rings. The best one is the cannon battle where you take control of the ship’s cannon and you have to outduel The Flying Dutchman’s gun battery. Don’t worry – it’s not as menacing as the movie makes it out to be.
The controls for the game are definitely simplified to cater to the most common denominator. You don’t have to smash your cell phone keys to beat up on your enemies. Walking up to them does the job. I often found myself wishing this was a toggled function to let a person switch from basic and advanced controls much like racing titles lets you change between automatic and manual because sometimes I might want to make an abrupt 180 and hit the guy coming at me from the back than the one in front of me. But then it wouldn’t be possible to advertise that you can play the entire game in one hand (good for when you’re holding on to something in a subway). However, I think most people will either love or hate the controls. It’ll take you awhile to get through the 20+ levels so if you can try the game out on your carrier, do that before you buy it outright.
The cannon battles, which are accessible by itself outside of the story, are good for those two or three minute playing sessions. Because of the sheer amount of levels, the game does a good job taking you through the various locales in the theatrical movie. You don’t have a feeling that it’s rushed, nor is too much time spent at any one particular place (I dread thinking of the generic city that plagued the Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, you name it franchises). You’ll find yourself fighting pirates, then British soldiers and the minions of Davey Jones. I liked the variety, special effects and level design. Ultimately, At World’s End is the best Pirates game out there amongst all the platforms and manages to steer clear of the hazards that plagued the console and handheld versions of the game.