It's a pirate game based in the late 17th-century Caribbean Islands where the player starts out as a young teenage boy and can assume one of several roles. You can be a plundering rogue taking treasure from any ship in your path and sacking ports, or dedicate your life to avenging your family.
- Excellent open ended adventure. You can either exclusively complete quests that guide to the rogue who kidnapped your family, sail around and pillage and plunder as you want, be a privateer for a specific country and target only the enemies of that country, or a combination of these, with a bit of trade strategy thrown in for flavor.
- Mixture of mini-games, story lines, and game play elements maintains interest level. Various quests abound to move the story along, or you can take your chances and just capture ships at your leisure.
- Several styles of gameplay are included, such as: turn-based strategy, stealth, real-time ship-to-ship combat, duels with swords, even a rhythm based dance game
- Addictive gameplay keeps one playing just a little while longer, which in turn becomes hours
- Whimsical approach to subject keeps the game from taking itself too seriously. What violence is here is cartoon-like, at it's absolute worst.
- Minimal resource management makes the game approachable without sacrificing gameplay or strategy. Icons indicate crew morale and food supplies, and hints abound in various pause menus.
- Interface and controls adapted well for the Xbox. The world map overlays nicely onto to the screen during gameplay, avoiding the need to constantly switch from map to gameplay.
- Serious Bugs/Quality Control Issues: At one point in the middle of a quest central to the story, my ship "flew" over to the Pacific Ocean side of Central America, an area you can't get to through "normal" gameplay. I stayed there for about 4 years in game time, letting the crew run out of food and mutiny, hoping that either one would at least toss me back into my last port. Unfortunately, that never happened, forcing me to restart the game. To add to the frustration, the save points didn't record my last few conquests and quest accomplishments up to that point, forcing me to redo them all over again. My fault for not saving more often, but the game shouldn't throw the player into non-navigable areas either.
- Odd save points: It lets you save at any point on the open sea, but it neither saves the game nor allows you to save when you pull into a port. Having the ability to save while in port would have been nice as ports make good landmarks.
- Some repetitive gameplay: It can get a bit repetitive at times, having to do the same types of actions repeatedly to move the story along or progress on a given quest.
All in all, a solid, entertaining game. The various styles, gameplay modes, and difficulty levels give the game good replay value overall. While repetitive in some places, and buggy in others, it easily entertains more in a few minutes of playing than other games do in an hour.