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For as long as video games have existed as consumer products, there have been games based on non-gaming franchises. Movies, television series, music, plays, and many more have all found their way into the medium of games – and while some go on to become coveted pieces of the video game industry’s landscape, most quickly recede into the background. A lack of time, talent, and creative freedom condemns them to mediocrity – or worse.
The Pirates of the Caribbean franchise was no exception. While far from the worst that the world of licensed games has to offer, the Pirates of the Caribbean video games, designed to quickly and cheaply cash in on the movies’ releases, consistently failed to move the needle. While the 2007 video game tie-in for Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End offered surprisingly engaging voice performances and – for its time – decent graphics, its core gameplay had little to offer.
But then, in 2009 a Vancouver-based development studio known as Propaganda Games would announce the development of a new Pirates of the Caribbean game, one without the star power of Johnny Depp or Keira Knightly. An ambitious project that would use the Pirates of the Caribbean universe as the canvas for an original set of characters, scenarios and mechanics unfettered by the franchises’ normal stalwarts. A swashbuckling adventure that, had it ever been released, might have stood toe-to-toe with the best that the video game industry had to offer.
This is the story of Pirates of the Caribbean: Armada of the Damned.
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