The thought of a popular anime like One Piece getting a game piqued my interest. I was ready to explore the vast world of an open sea pirate’s life with wild goose chases here and there and an action-packed adventure. I was prepared for what this world could have offered. What I didn’t expect was how it was going to turn out.
One Piece: World Seeker is an open world action RPG. The main place you get to explore is in the world of Prison Island. You traverse the world by pretty much stretching your arms so you can grab on higher places. But that doesn’t mean though that it’s going to be fun. I do like the idea that you can traverse this way because it is Luffy after all. But I didn’t think the controls would be this bad. It’s one thing that you’re trying to land that right corner so you can grab onto it but there are times that you can’t really find that sweet spot. It was very frustrating how you know it’s a ledge that he can climb but you have to find the right camera angle so you can latch onto it. This was severely annoying especially since the camera controls would just swerve out of control when you try to let the indicator to grab the ledge come out. It happens in most games where the camera would try to pan out to position itself better which just makes you get dizzy because of it.
The world is filled with things to explore and enemies to fight. The minimap is pretty handy in showing you collectibles all over the world. But don’t be fooled, some items may be way higher than it seems. In terms of enemies to fight, there will be places that will have enemies roaming about. You can either take them head on or go stealth mode and execute them in just one kick. If you went the stealth route, Luffy has this ability to scan the area and tag the enemies so you know where they move and when to get in for that stealth kill. But this is probably the only interesting part of the combat. There is really not that much of diversity with his moves and most of the cool moves you can do with Luffy can only be unlocked after you’ve collected a certain number of skill points. The skill points which you can get by killing enemies. I find it weird that you have to collect skill points rather than earning a certain amount when you level up. You would say that this happens in other games too but the fact that the said skill points will drop randomly makes it a tedious grind just so you can access higher tier moves.
Speaking of music though, you would think that a game that’s based on a very popular anime would be alive with the sound of music. But then when I was exploring the world, I noticed that there was no music when you are just walking about and this just made me feel like there’s no life in the game. Music only usually kicks in when you’re fighting enemies but other than that the world feels really boring. I do love the music during combat but I also wished they would provide music while you were exploring.
One thing I do like about this game is that they brought in the Japanese voice actors to voice the characters during the cutscenes. It’s really like watching the anime and the story is even as good as what the anime delivers. It’s been a while since I’ve really followed One Piece but I am familiar with the characters. It is a shame though that you can’t play any of the other characters which would have been a fun thing to do. It would have been nice if you can have them as support NPCs but alas you are stuck with Luffy and Luffy alone. It is interesting to note that aligned with his character’s inability to swim that they also incorporated this in the game. At first, I thought this was a flaw in the game because I really don’t like the fact that game characters don’t know how to swim but then I remembered that Luffy can’t swim because of the effect of the devil fruit he ate.
Overall, One Piece Worldseeker is a game that is best enjoyed as an anime rather than a game. There are just too many factors that make me not want to continue playing it or even dream of playing it. But I’m sure One Piece fans would disagree. The game really has a lot of potential but it seems like it was too shortsighted with its dream.
Disclosure: This review is based on a review code provided by Bandai Namco Entertainment. Read our review policy to know how we go with our game reviews. Tested on: PS4
We want to emphasize that 5 will always be the “average” number, not 7. So by far, it’s 50% great and it’s also 50% bad.