Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest

Jack Sparrow buckles some swash and we take a few ships for a spin in this movie-licensed adventure

After picking from one of five different ship classes, you'll have to outgun and out-navigate up to three other players in a watery 3D battleground. Like in Pirates!, the goal is to draw up alongside your opponents, load your guns with grape shot or cannonballs and give 'em the broadsides until they sink (or until you can board them and slaughter their crew). Unlike Pirates!, though, you can collect power-ups that do things like making your ship invisible. The mode seems to be geared for quick matches, with fast ships and cannons that take almost no time to reload.

Above: OK, so we don't have any shots of the ship battles yet. Here's a picture of Jack spazzing out instead

Because this isa multiplayer game, it'll feature different match types - traditional deathmatch, last-man-standing and capture-the-pirate-flag, for example - across 10 different aquatic environments (ship-to-ship only, folks - on-foot multiplayer is for other games). Even better, three of those stages will be playable with just one copy of the game, thanks to the PSP's game-sharing capability.

Developed specifically for the PSP (instead of trimmed down from a console version), Dead Man's Chest looks to take the handheld's advantages and limitations into full account. The camera - too often a clumsy irritation in PSP games - follows Jack around automatically, and the visuals look great and animate well. And while the game won't feature the movie's actors, the developers were able to score the voice talent from Kingdom Hearts II (remember the Pirates of the Caribbean level?). We won't know until June if this will be a solid adventure or just a hollow cash grab, but as licensed games go, Dead Man's Chest looks promising.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

After graduating from college in 2000 with a BA in journalism, I worked for five years as a copy editor, page designer and videogame-review columnist at a couple of mid-sized newspapers you've never heard of. My column eventually got me a freelancing gig with GMR magazine, which folded a few months later. I was hired on full-time by GamesRadar in late 2005, and have since been paid actual money to write silly articles about lovable blobs.
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