One Piece Pirate Warriors PS3 review – nothing stranger has happened at sea

Within the first two minutes of playing One Piece you’ve panned through a city made of disco balls that has massive bubbles floating around it, been attacked by Inspector Gadget’s giant brother, stretched your limbs 30 feet, and inflated yourself to the size of a zorb. And it only gets stranger.

One Piece Pirate Warriors PS3 review

This is a tie-in to commemorate the 15th anniversary of the hugely successful One Piece manga franchise, and if you’ve never seen the source material (maybe even if you have) you’ll spend 90% of your playtime with a serious case of WTFs. But this is largely a good thing, as the constant torrent of bizarre helps to distract from the fact that this is essentially a re-skinned Dynasty Warriors game.

And while the dev has made no secret of that, what it does mean is that gameplay largely consists of running from one open area to another, dealing with hordes of enemies using a fairly limited combo system. However, the abilities of your character, Monkey D Luffy, give the combat more heft than DW’s standard sword-slashing.

You see, Luffy – the silly little scamp that he is – accidentally ate the gum-gum fruit a while back, which gave his body the properties of rubber. This means that he can extend his limbs, Dhalsim-style, to clobber enemies from a distance. Or pump up his fist and sling it like a wrecking ball to cause serious damage.Or blow up his entire body and deflect cannonballs back at attackers. Or, on his off days, he can reach anything he drops behind the fridge with minimal effort.

The range of attacks this allows for, combined with the stylish cartoon visuals and predictably bonkers storyline, make One Piece an enjoyable place to be. Sadly the repetitiveness of the gameplay, despite team attacks and unlockable special moves, gets tiring long before the charms of the world. And so, ironically, Luffy just doesn’t quite have the legs.

Our Score

Score: 6