Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow review

Slash through endless waves of pirates (or don't) as Captain Jack spins an acceptably adventuresome yarn

GamesRadar+ Verdict


  • +

    Brilliant story

  • +

    Nice variety of attacks

  • +

    Mostly stellar voice acting


  • -

    Crummy visuals

  • -

    Stupid computer-controlled everything

  • -

    Restarting levels is no fun

Why you can trust GamesRadar+ Our experts review games, movies and tech over countless hours, so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about our reviews policy.

Time was, when game developers got hold of a movie license, they'd rewrite the plot with impunity (which is how we got Keanu fighting a 40-foot Tom Waits in Bram Stoker's Dracula). But today’s game-buying audiences are a little more sophisticated. So how do you pad out a Pirates of the Caribbean hack-and-slasher with stuff like Chinese sorceresses and Vikings made of ice?

Simple: you have a liar tell the story.

Pirates of the Caribbean: The Legend of Jack Sparrow begins with its title character and his straight-man sidekick, Will Turner, captured while raiding a Spanish fort. As they're waiting to be hanged, Jack tries to stall the execution by telling a highly fictionalized version of the first movie's events (which you'll then play through). It’s actually a pretty clever plot device, allowing for all sorts of deviation as Jack starts telling stories to the characters in his story.

It's all genuinely funny and fairly well-acted, which is kind of a shame, because most players likely won't have the patience to wade through the game in order to see it all.

Legend of Jack Sparrow starts out as an acceptably fun slash-'em-up, with players solving simple puzzles, opening treasure chests and slicing their way through hordes of pirates, Spanish soldiers and other assorted thugs and monsters. You'll play as both Captain Jack and Will, switching between them on the fly while the computer controls the other character.

More info

DescriptionThe Legend of Jack Sparrow is bogged down by a host of flaws, but in the end, it's still a passably entertaining sword-brawler.
Franchise namePirates of the Caribbean
UK franchise namePirates of the Caribbean
US censor rating"Teen","Teen"
UK censor rating"",""
Release date1 January 1970 (US), 1 January 1970 (UK)
Mikel Reparaz
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.