Freeview: LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean

Welcome to Freeview, where we review the games you get in your digital mailbox every month but never bother to try. Rather than evaluating games on a traditional scale, we’ll be assessing them as “free” experiences first and foremost, and will let you know if it’s worth devoting time away from the new games you actually paid for.

This week we’re talking about the Xbox 360 title, LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean. This game doesn’t need much explanation. It’s a LEGO game…where you play through scenes from the first four Pirates movies.

This was one of the last LEGO games to exclude dialogue during cutscenes, meaning characters mime through the semi-iconic scenes from Pirates of the Caribbean. Admittedly it had been a while since I’d watched those movies, but I was surprised how little I understood what was going on. It didn’t help that you can’t skip cutscenes the first time you watch them, so there was plenty of time spent on my phone, waiting for the LEGO people to stop uttering noises at each other.

Gameplay-wise, it’s a LEGO game. This is where LEGO Pirates really shines as a free game, as it’s the perfect level of difficulty where you can turn your brain off and just solve puzzles. If you want a game that you can play while talking to friends, not having to worry about paying attention to the story, this is perfect.

Like every LEGO game, there are a few puzzles where you’ll be stumbling around the level, not sure if the game is glitched, or you’re just an idiot. It’s a wonder that this game is made for kids, because there were a few sections that I had to look up a walkthrough for.

There are too many level-breaking bugs to trust that you’re truly stumped by a puzzle. On two levels I had to restart and lost all progress, while in the hub world, the application would regularly crash every 15-20 minutes. To clarify, I’m playing this game through the Xbox One backward compatibility, so it’s difficult to point the finger at who’s at fault. It still sucks.

Yet even with these numerous glitches, my biggest gripe for this game is its achievement list. After completing the first level, you unlock an achievement for 12 Gamerscore, which turned my achievement total into a hideous train wreck. To boot, the complementing achievement is for collecting 888,888,888 studs, which realistically cannot be completed until you beat every level at least once. So just beware that if you care about how aesthetically pleasing your Gamerscore looks, you’ll be in this game for the long haul.

VERDICT: Try it.

As long as you’re aware of the potential glitches/crashes, LEGO games are perfect for passively playing and problem solving. LEGO Pirates is no different. Turn your brain off and just play (although your Gamerscore may hate you for it).

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