Sid Meier's Pirates! - Xbox

Got packs, screens, info?
Sid Meier's Pirates! (Xbox)
Also for: PC, Wii, PSP
Viewed: 3D Combination Genre:
Media: DVD Arcade origin:No
Developer: Firaxis Soft. Co.: Firaxis
Publishers: 2K Games (GB)
Released: 22 Jul 2005 (GB)
Ratings: PEGI 12+, BBFC 15
Connectivity: Xbox Live


Celebrated gamesmith Sid Meier is probably most well known for his Civilization series. The enormously popular strategy title, first released at the beginning of the 90s, has since undergone two re-iterations. Praise was also heaped on his space civilisation sim Alpha Centauri. But well before the creation of Civilisation, Sid’s name was already inextricably linked with a game which to this day is still remembered fondly as an all-time classic: Sid Meier’s Pirates!

Quite apart from the fact that any game featuring ninjas or pirates will generally find a place in the hearts of many gamers, Pirates! really was deserving of its reputation. A flexible game layout saw players fighting sea battles, having swashbuckling swordfights, finding long lost family members, doing favours for the governors of Caribbean towns, amassing wealth and one day maybe retiring and settling down with a respectable title. Bearing in mind that the game was made in 1987, surely a re-make wouldn’t be too much to ask? PC owners already have been blessed with one this year and now lucky Xbox owners once more benefit from their machine’s port-encouraging similarity to a home computer.

Pirates!, whilst having a simplicity that is refreshing in a world of sometimes over complicated games, is highly addictive. All the features that made the original such a hoot are here, and more besides. Sail around the Caribbean of the 17th century. Attack ships for plunder and hole up in pirate-friendly town, or ally yourself as a privateer to the Dutch, French, Spanish and British forces in the area. Grateful governors will reward you by giving you titles, and maybe even introduce you to their daughters, who you can woo in a hilarious dance off. Swordfights and sea battles still feature, and are lent extra depth by updated, detailed 3D graphics. Non-linear gameplay gives you the freedom to strengthen or weaken the various factions in the Caribbean, and just as before, when you get too old for adventure on the high seas you can retire with your rank in a friendly town. Your entire career will then be satisfyingly broken down, into women wooed, riches plundered, ships sunk, rivals brought to their knees.

A fun, simple, but wonderfully fashioned game, the many different facets of gameplay available in Pirates! make this game worth a look in for everyone, not just strategy fans.