It's almost hard to believe in this day and age of movie and game tie-ins, but other than a couple of handheld games, the last Pirates of the Caribbean movie didn't have a companion game on consoles. Disney Interactive Studios is making up for lost time with Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, which features plotlines from both the second and third Pirates movies. While the game does a solid job of capturing the look and humor of the movies, it fails to emulate the films' action sequences very well. The combat is extremely simple, and you'll grow tired of mashing on the attack button well before you reach the end of the game.
The first half of the game follows the events of Dead Man's Chest, specifically Captain Jack Sparrow's attempt to recover the heart of Davy Jones to avoid becoming a member of his crew, and it culminates with Jack's encounter with the Kraken. The second portion of the game sees Sparrow and his not-so-merry band of misfits joining together to take on Lord Beckett and retrieve the heart of Davy Jones once and for all. Even if you've seen the second film, the story is quite difficult to follow since it's told by way of short, disjointed cutscenes. You'll recognize several scenarios and locations from the movies, but there are many things you'll do that aren't in the movies.
Most of your time in At World's End is spent as Jack Sparrow, though you'll also get to play as Elizabeth, Will, and a few other characters along the way. You'll sword fight your way from Tortuga to Singapore, which may sound exciting, but it's really not. You have both light and heavy attacks, as well as a close attack, and you can perform combos by stringing the attacks together. You have the same attacks on the Wii, but they're performed by waving the Wii Remote up and down or left and right. Note to developers: The Wii Remote doesn't make a good sword--it's imprecise, tiring, and, well, kind of dumb. Enemies literally appear out of thin air and put up little resistance as you pound the attack buttons or wave your arms like a madman. You earn new combos as you progress, but they don't look much (if any) different than the other combos; they're no more effective, and because the game does a poor job of registering movement, they're nearly impossible to pull off on the Wii. There's also a block button, but it's of little use because generally most of your damage will come from enemies who attack you from behind when you're dealing with a foe in front of you. If you turn and confront the person stabbing you in the back, you'll end up getting plunked by the guy you were originally dealing with. There are a handful of weapons, such as guns, grenades, and knives, which are scattered throughout for you to use. Unfortunately, they're not very useful. The grenades work OK, but guns and knives are particularly difficult to aim. If you mix up your attacks, you can raise your notoriety. The game makes a big deal about notoriety, but it's utterly pointless.
A basic level is set up with a cutscene, and then you're given your objective. From there, you'll run around, fighting seemingly endless hordes of enemies who appear from out of the ground or just simply appear. You'll be trapped in an area by an invisible wall until you defeat the enemies. Once you beat them, you'll travel a short distance and then start the whole process over again. Sometimes there are brief scenarios where you must quickly press the button or direction that appears onscreen. They're not much fun, and you're too focused on the corner of the screen waiting for an icon to appear to actually watch the cool action sequence that's taking place, but at least it's something different than swinging your sword. These are much harder on the PC because you'll see a sword icon and have to remember not only what action it represents, but also what button you've mapped that action to.