Metascore
88

Generally favorable reviews - based on 50 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 163 Ratings

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  • Summary: An entirely new game engine delivers updated gameplay, stunning new features, spectacular 3D graphics and enhanced surround sound, so players can fully experience the intrigue, adventure and danger of life as a pirate on the Spanish Main. In Pirates! you take the leading role of a PirateAn entirely new game engine delivers updated gameplay, stunning new features, spectacular 3D graphics and enhanced surround sound, so players can fully experience the intrigue, adventure and danger of life as a pirate on the Spanish Main. In Pirates! you take the leading role of a Pirate Captain in the 17th century Caribbean amassing fortune and fame in an attempt to seize your rightful place as one of the most revered (and feared!) pirates in history. Test your skills as a sea captain exploring the high seas and exotic ports in a richly detailed 3D world. Overtake the enemy and seize valuable booty. Exchange plank-shattering broadsides in fierce naval battles, and engage in duels with worthy opposing captains. As your reputation and skills grow, so will the size and quality of your crew, and your ability to take on larger enemy ships, raid and plunder heavily fortified ports, and locate ancient treasure. There?s a whole cast of interesting and dangerous characters to meet, mysteries to solve, exotic island destinations to discover, and powerful alliances to forge! [Firaxis] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 50
  2. Negative: 0 out of 50
  1. An evocative gem of a game, one all Long John Silver or Johnny Depp wannabes should thoroughly enjoy.
  2. An exciting gaming experience, its versatility makes it accessible to a variety of gamers, and it possesses dynamic game play that eliminates the monotony plaguing so many single-player games.
  3. One of those rare games that can engage you for hours each day while never getting old.
  4. Its huge open-endedness does an excellent job of establishing the proper atmosphere while the balance of combat and economy produces a quality strategy title. It does, however, have its problems. Open-ended gameplay can lead to a lack of focus, and this game is very light on tutorial, how-to material which creates a somewhat larger than average learning curve; preventing me from recommending Pirate's to all gamers as a whole.
  5. It's that kind of freedom and pressure-free atmosphere that makes Pirates! as good as it is. Now, if only it would be so nice as to make dancing less important in courtship - or at least less difficult - we'd have a completely enjoyable game.
  6. A little like a tavern wench you met in Trinidad - certainly pretty, very broad, but ultimately a tiny bit shallow. [Jan 2005, p.88]
  7. Elements such as marching onto an island, or talking to a governor, seem flat and underdeveloped. Islands are sparse and awkward experiences, while their governors are often illogical and nonsensical in their responses. [Jan 2005, p.88]

See all 50 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 40
  2. Negative: 7 out of 40
  1. EricW.
    Jan 7, 2008
    10
    Great remake of the original. Updated with better gfx, and more fights and quests. Really really fun game!
  2. TimK.
    Dec 7, 2004
    10
    Excellent remake of the original Pirates! The world "fun" sums up this treasure. If you play games for "fun", you will like this game. Excellent remake of the original Pirates! The world "fun" sums up this treasure. If you play games for "fun", you will like this game. Actually, I like this game even better than the original. How many remakes can you say that about? Expand
  3. S-P
    Oct 1, 2012
    10
    Having just finished my umpteenth playthrough, I figure it's a good time to write a short review about this underrated gem.

    I've been a
    Having just finished my umpteenth playthrough, I figure it's a good time to write a short review about this underrated gem.

    I've been a gamer for over 20 years. A relatively passionate one, and not one to generally like strategic games as much as the more action-y titles. The first time I was introduced to Sid Meier's Pirates was with this 2004 remake, in 2004/2005. Played through it, loved it, and sort of forgot about it. Since then, though, I've felt the urge to play it again and again. Sometimes it's after a year, sometimes a year and a half. But it always happens. That is a rare quality in a game, as most titles you beat once and forget about afterwards.

    It rarely happens with any game, and almost never with games that are this flawed. Pirates is repetitive, relatively shallow for a strategic game, and because it's rated E, it can be obnoxiously childish in tone as well. Plus some of the minigames are just downright tedious, the worst offender being ballroom dancing, that can luckily be skipped with a trainer.

    But none of the flaws overshadow the fact that Sid Meier's Pirates is FUN. Bringing criminals to justice, forcing that one unfortunate nation off the face of earth (for me it's usually Spain or France), plundering ships and towns, creating the strongest pirate army the world has ever seen, and retiring a legend.. With a bit of imagination, your journey truly becomes legendary -- if not for anyone else, then at least for you. And that's what counts. You start playing, and suddenly, nine hours have passed, and you have to fight against speaking in a pirate "slang" if you manage to somehow exit the game and actually venture outside your apartment for long enough to actually meet real humans. Actual humans, who never seem to have appreciation the struggles us pirates go through during the days after the game again draws you back for a new playthrough.

    And it will, faults and all. For me, Sid Meier's Pirates wasn't all THAT special when I first played it. But during the years, it's slowly brought itself up from behind, and joined the five games that I can honestly say I've loved during the 20-some years I've been around video games. A feat that almost rivals my latest career as a pirate, having retired as a 36 year old Governor of Campeche, with 180640 gold pieces, 37650 acres of land and a beautiful wife.

    I did everything that can be done in the game.. Except I only found eight hidden treasures. Which is undoubtedly something I will have to surpass on my next playthrough, in a year or so.
    Expand
  4. John
    Feb 5, 2007
    9
    I just bought the game, installed it and jumped right in. Easy to play, fun and addicting. Before I knew it, midnight came around and had to I just bought the game, installed it and jumped right in. Easy to play, fun and addicting. Before I knew it, midnight came around and had to stop playing it. Fun game Expand
  5. Eddie
    Apr 17, 2005
    7
    I have played the original a lot back in the 90s, and I must say that when I first started playing it I loved it. Now I have the game for a I have played the original a lot back in the 90s, and I must say that when I first started playing it I loved it. Now I have the game for a week and I think its way to easy. In the original Pirates! it was realy hard to get a good end ranking, but in this new version it is far too easy. I played it once on the 3rd difficulty setting and made it to Bishop (only Governor is better) already. Presentation is nice but it becomes a little repetitve after a while. I am glad I didn't spend 45 dollars on it and got it through ebay for 14 dollars including shipping. Expand
  6. MarekM
    Nov 18, 2009
    5
    For first 6-8 hours this game is a real fun! Taking galleons with small sloop is experience easy to like :) But afer this time it gets too For first 6-8 hours this game is a real fun! Taking galleons with small sloop is experience easy to like :) But afer this time it gets too repetitive. Still it's not bad - it's just average. Expand
  7. Jun 21, 2011
    0
    Total Rubbish, boring, poor visuals, repetitive. Totally overrated, I just don't know how they give it 88, a score similar to half-life 2! ITotal Rubbish, boring, poor visuals, repetitive. Totally overrated, I just don't know how they give it 88, a score similar to half-life 2! I Would not finish this gave if you paid me too, 0 / 10. Expand

See all 40 User Reviews