There have been more than a few One Piece games over the years so let's see how Luffy's first open world adventure holds up.
One Piece: World Seeker has you control Luffy as he explores the expansive Jail Island in order to rescue his friends and complete plenty of quests. As you traverse this large island, you'll occasionally battle enemies and wander around so you can find certain characters. Other than that, you basically just run from point A to point B while using an impressive array of abilities to get around. Luffy can dash, jump and double-jump against cliff sides, extend his arm to leap to high ledges, and even swing around cities like Spider-Man. You'll also learn skills that allow you to float after jumping, propel yourself after grappling to a ledge, and much more. These traversal abilities are where One Piece: World Seeker shines brightest as flinging Luffy around the island with its surprising amount of verticality is a blast.
Unfortunately, the combat isn't as exciting as the exploration component. The best part about it is that you can stealthily take down enemies in various ways which is very satisfying, especially after sneakily moving around in a barrel just like Solid Snake does in his trusty cardboard boxes. That being said, combat is so simplistic and easy that sneaking around isn't really necessary. All you essentially do is mash the attack button then launch a few long-range attacks whenever your foes are too far to hit. There are a few complexities such as being able to dodge, enter sharpshooter mode, perform special attacks, and change between a couple of attack modes. The coolest aspect of battle is transforming into the powerful Gear Fourth mode but it doesn't add much variety to the fighting.
One of One Piece: World Seeker's best attributes is its presentation. The graphics are very colourful and each character is extremely well animated which makes watching them fight and interact a treat for the eyes. Meanwhile, a fantastic orchestral score plays throughout. For whatever reason, I wasn't expecting the music to be as good as it is. The Japanese voice cast does a great job of breathing life into the characters and the sound effects are spot-on, too. It really is a great looking and sounding game.
Anyway, there's a lot to do within Jail Island. As you run around, you'll collect plenty of treasures and materials that you can use to craft accessories. You'll also meet plenty of NPCs who have side missions to master that award you with useful stuff. In the pause menu, you can view a list of all of your crewmates and your karma level with each one which can be increased by completing certain criteria. As you fight and explore, you'll acquire SP that you can redeem to learn and upgrade passive and active skills as well.
Although there is a lot to do in One Piece: World Seeker, it begins to get rather monotonous after a few hours. Specifically, after you uncover the entire island, you'll find yourself working through the same environments and types of missions and it gets repetitive fast. Speaking of monotony, a lot of the missions require you to aimlessly wander around while searching for a specific character. While these are fairly simple early on, you'll eventually reach one where the search area is more than half of the whole world map. I don't know about you but wandering around large areas while getting the occasional clue of where to go from an NPC just isn't fun for me.
One Piece: World Seeker features impressively rewarding exploration that'll have you immersed in its beautiful and expansive world. That being said, the combat falls flat and tedium will rear its ugly head much sooner than you'd expect.
- + Addictive exploration complete with very cool traversal abilities
- + Lovely orchestral score and colourful visuals
- + Lots of quests and content to master
- - Campaign gets tedious upon uncovering the entire map which doesn't take long
- - Combat is pretty basic and uninspired
- - Aimlessly wandering around isn't fun