Publisher: Buena Vista Games
Developer: 10tacle Studios
Release Date: Q2 2007
Pirates of the Caribbean Online is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game based on the Disney franchise of the same name. The goal here is to undertake enough adventure quests and gather enough treasure to become the Caribbean's most legendary pirate. You'll learn tactics and skills from Jack Sparrow, which will teach you how to battle evil undead forces, forge alliances, and hunt for buried treasure.
PotCO promises to be enjoyable by all ages and a treat for any serious fans of the movies. Players should expect to see frequent cameos from the various film stars, which is just what we all need – a drunken, effeminate pirate to tell us what to do. There is a heavy focus on accessibility here, as it currently has an "E" rating and was designed to run on a PC with a Pentium III 800 MHz, almost guaranteeing that it will work on the rig that everyone already has in their home.
One of the more emphasized features is the character creation, which provides a large number of customizations. Players will be able to design their character to look like a variety of stereotypical and not-so-stereotypical pirates, anything from the short and fat to the tall and lean, helping to ensure that most players won't look like one another in either the face or the build. The NPCs will also be using a similar build system – possibly even the same one – to create a unified yet diverse world appearance.
Like any good pirate-based entertainment, PotCO is very ocean-centric, offering any and all players the chance to test their sea legs. From the very start, a player should be able to explore the seas with their very own small, rickety vessel. By leveling up and earning money, players will be able to purchase bigger, better and more cannon-y ships. Ships will confer ship-to-ship and ship-to-monster combat via a real-time FPS-style cannon system, which looks to be one of the coolest portions of the title. The cannon combat will have various ammo types, from burning balls of fire and regular cannon balls to strange voodoo-inspired weapons intended to affect the enemies in less obvious ways, such as sending a large number of moths to attack their sails.
Land-based combat is a different beast that has the players using guns, swords and even voodoo – you know, stuff that pirates use. It was suggested that there will be very few weapons in the game, but each weapon will feature a large variety of special attacks that will be accessible as a player gains skill with the weapon in question. Voodoo attacks will allow players to attack others in mystical ways; "simply" tear a bit of hair from your opponent's head, attach it to your voodoo doll, and run away while gleefully burning, poking and otherwise torturing your doll and opponent. However, if you would rather not risk having your hair pulled on, let alone being lit on fire from afar, you are in good hands, as PotCO will only allow consensual player versus player combat.
One of the other intentions behind PotCO is to create a strong social environment where people can log on, join their friends almost instantly and have fun or just hang out. In order to accomplish this, the developers are including a system for teleportation, which removes much of the timesink travel from the game. Where other MMO games might make a player spend as much as 50% of their time doing nothing more than traveling, this will let players go wherever they want, whenever they want.
There are even promises to allow players to sign up to be informed via e-mail when their friends log in, or when a game or fight they want to join is about to start up, allowing you to sign on only when something you want to do is going on. With this queue system, even the most casual player should still be able to play Pirates of the Caribbean Online with friends, have fun and still have a normal life as well. This is just another measure used to keep the title accessible to all ages and all types of players. With an expected release date in early 2007, check back towards the end of the year for more information.
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