I admit being perturbed at the name change. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVED the movie Pirates of the Caribbean. But I also loved that Seadogs was made by a small company I’d never heard of. I loved that they were making a sequel. But I didn’t love that Disney came along and bought that sequel and slapped their logo on it.
That being said Pirates of the Caribbean (originally Seadogs 2) is in almost every way a significant improvement over the original. MUCH less buggy, and better graphics – but these are to be expected. More noteworthy is the improved interaction with the locals, and the fact that you can now sword fight on land side by side with your officers, which is pretty slick. Actually the shore-based aspects of the game have improved all around, and have become a much more involved part of the action. It’s also worth mentioning that the story lines are much easier to follow.
So what’s not improved? First, the glorious music from Seadogs 1 is sadly missing. When I walk into a pirate town, I wanna hear pirate music, dang it! Also, the piratey acknowledgements of your orders are gone – no more “Aye aye, cap’n” when you tell them to hoist sails. But these are quibbles – it’s a fun, fun game. Easily the best of its kind to date.
UPDATE: Having finally played the primary storyline through to completion, I’ve now seen the truly dark side of the Disney buy-out – namely the rush job that was done to get this game into stores to meet Disney’s schedule, as well as the sloppy addition of the Black Pearl, which really has little to no place in this game. The larger storyline falls apart later in the game, and then suddenly concludes with no real resolution. This may also explain the other unfortunate changes in the game, such as the less interesting music and such. It’s still a very fun game, and still an improvement over the original in most ways. But sadly I don’t think it’s nearly where it would have been had Disney kept their mitts off.