Review: One Piece: World Seeker
One Piece is one of the longest-running manga ever, if the franchise isn't number 1 by now. It's hard to make a game with an original story, did Bandai Namco succeed in making it a success? Read it in our review!
One Piece has already seen several games, including Burning Blood and the Pirate Warriors series. All those titles were therefore quite successful. Multiple One Piece characters made appearances in games such as Jump Force and J-Stars . World Seeker, on the other hand, will tell an original story in an open world. But how does this work out? First of all, check out the trailer!
A story of your own
World Seeker is off to a good start. The opening cinematic scene above made a good first impression. The cinematics look fantastic throughout the game. The story is set on Jail Island, where Luffy was captured. He soon manages to escape and learns that this island holds more secrets than he could ever have anticipated. As we all know Luffy, it's rescue time! Thus begins the story to expose all the secrets and negate the power of the villain.
The story is one of the better aspects. It's nice to see familiar characters, the scenes and dialogues work well and there is also a high level of One Piece humor. This humor does not always come across well, you have to really know the characters to understand certain insiders. The same goes for the rest of the game. Characters like Zoro, Nami and Chopper have grown all the way in the anime itself to what they look like in the game now. So the weight behind it is hidden from the newcomers.
An 'open' world?
The game introduces for the first time an open world for Luffy to fully explore. But that's where the first problem starts. Unfortunately, you can only play as Luffy and there is absolutely no option to delve into the other characters and their potential play styles. The world, on the other hand, looks wonderfully good. The world is filled with unique buildings, naval towers and so on. Graphically the game is top, but also really top. Unfortunately, this aspect is completely destroyed again when you look at how alive the world feels.
I say this because the world feels even deadlier than the Black Sea. You hardly run into people, there are no running NPCs or anything to make for a breathing, lively and happy world. NPCs not only stand still, but almost everyone has the same design. These people have at most different hair colors. All the women have the same design and the same money for the men, as well as the Marines. This is such a shame, given that the world shows so much potential in the field of graphics. Then why be lazy to bring the field to life in an open world?
Can the combat make it?
The quick answer to this is immediately 'no'. The combat consists of three buttons. Strike, aim and 'shoot'. There are special attacks to perform and unlock, these make it more fun but there is a lot more to get out of it. The same goes for exploring the world. Just like Spider-Man, you can swing at buildings. Whereas with Spider-Man this feels like a mini-game full of freedom and therapeutic swinging, with One Piece it is unfortunately pushing one button and making the same movements over and over. It just feels clumsy and outdated. I had hoped this would look more like our spider friend, but alas. You can't swing to every ditch either. You can go to some ledges and trees and some buildings, otherwise flying around doesn't really feel like flying.
As with all anime titles making their first debut, World Seeker is no exception to the lazy developer syndrome. But, there is potential. Despite the fact that World Seeker is not a success story, a foundation has been laid for a sequel, hopefully then! The game looks fantastic, as do the cinematics and voice acting, where there is nothing to complain about. Unfortunately, the game falls short on a lot of other aspects. Let's hope that when there's a sequel, Namco gets these things picked up for the developers to make for the complete open world One Piece experience! For now I can't recommend the game and I would wait until it is on sale. Let's hope a possible sequel addresses these flaws!
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