Mixed or average reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 24
  2. Negative: 1 out of 24
  1. The kind of product Westwood is largely known for--complete, compelling, full of great little touches, and just generally elegant (which is a funny thing to say about a game of pirates, pillage and plunder, but so be it).
  2. Has all the makings of the great sleeper hit of 2002.
  3. 90
    It was hard enough to put the game down long enough to write this review, if that tells you anything. Pirates might lack graphical “oomph,” but it’s fun.
  4. 89
    Pirates' great mix of excellent control, superb presentation, fun third-person action, and ship combat make it far more interesting than most of the third-person adventures hitting next gen systems.
  5. I recommend Pirates for those that are looking for something more than a straightforward hack and slash game – something a little more engaging.
  6. Offers a freewheeling world, fuzzy-but-attractive graphics, overall elegant production values and a main character you can root for, making it one of the best things to happen to the pirate genre in a long time.
  7. Even if a pirate tale doesn’t shiver your timbers, the Lara Croft–like design of Kat will surely raise your mast.
  8. 80
    Pirates is an excellent game in one regard; it allows you a great deal of freedom to explore and to complete the game at your own pace.
  9. Though it isn't totally remarkable from a technical standpoint, Pirates is an endearing and well-thought-out game.
  10. I wished the visuals and audio were better but they do the job. An effective blend of two genres that as far as I know have never been melded together, and truth be told, I like this game.
  11. 73
    A neat combination of gameplay aspects. But it's clear that the adventure aspect takes the spotlight over the ship combat, and unfortunately, it's average stuff.
  12. The pirate theme is just dressing, cleverly hiding the fact that this is yet another generic action game that could have been transformed into any conceivable concept. [Mar 2002, p.79]
  13. It's likely to really impress strict adventure fans - but perhaps feel a little dull to faster paced gamers.
  14. Whilst it has no major failings there is nothing to mark Pirates: Legend of Black Kat out from the crowd other than the merging of the two styles of play.
  15. The surprisingly solid two-player mode allows you to wage war on a friend in sea-battle form, which proves highly addictive and competitive. [Apr 2002, p.105]
  16. For a game so short on looks and character, Black Kat is surprisingly engaging. [May 2002, p.109]
  17. There's still fun to be had, but we're hoping for more innovation and greater variety of gameplay. [Apr 2002]
  18. There’s nothing terribly wrong with the game but there’s also nothing terribly special either.
  19. Black Kat is like me first marriage, aye - fun for a few hours, and then as slow a death as you never want to witness, matey.
  20. What makes the game worth recommending is that the mixture of so-so adventuring with so-so combat makes for a pretty good game that's addictive and more strategic than games that are strictly focused on adventure or fighting.
  21. 60
    Featuring an interesting story line and fresh spin on classic gameplay, it may just barely make its way onto the short list of great pirate-themed titles to hit videogame consoles.
  22. Pirates works as a kiddie game, but has no real redeeming qualities for a tougher audience. It just lacks any attention to detail.
  23. There is enough here to use as a jumping point for a potentially exciting new series.
  24. The game is in serious need of some diversity – namely, some platforming and/or puzzle elements. [Apr 2002, p.59]

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