Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest review

All the monotony of the console version - now portable

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Fair amount of moves

  • +

    Sound quality's decent

  • +

    Co-op's there if you care


  • -

    Repetition from hell

  • -

    Bland minigames

  • -

    Snore-worthy presentation

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It was a glorious day when developers realized they shouldn't try to cram console versions of games onto the comparatively underpowered DS. Action games with 3D graphics just don't translate well (Splinter Cell, for one), and even though Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest manages to emulate the PS2 game well enough, it's still a sleep-inducing trial of lever pulling and button mashing.

Gameplay never changes from the very first level - run from room to room, sword at the ready, and slice away at anything that moves. Once there are no more things that move, head to the glowing doorway that signifies a new room with more stuff in that, wouldn't you know it, is moving. Sometimes it's pirates, others it's natives or British soldiers... either way, it's all boring. Just kill 'em and keep advancing.

Along the way you'll unlock new moves, either by collecting hidden gems or simply beating bosses. The acquired combos throw in a couple of extra attack buttons to break up the monotony, and magically enough, the three playable characters (Jack, Will Turner and Elizabeth Swann) handle somewhat differently too, complete with signature moves that usually clear out the room.

The pirate and his posse don't have to stick to their standard swords, either - there are several pickups to be had (by breaking crates open, of course), like axes, parasols and even the femur of some unlucky traveler. But, after hours of doing nothing but beating people over the head with slow, plodding attacks, you'll start to wonder how much better your time would be spent gnawing your own femurs out of their meaty prison.

More info

Franchise namePirates of the Caribbean
UK franchise namePirates of the Caribbean
US censor rating"Teen","Teen","Teen"
UK censor rating"","",""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Brett Elston

A fomer Executive Editor at GamesRadar, Brett also contributed content to many other Future gaming publications including Nintendo Power, PC Gamer and Official Xbox Magazine. Brett has worked at Capcom in several senior roles, is an experienced podcaster, and now works as a Senior Manager of Content Communications at PlayStation SIE.