What the heck happened to One Piece: World Seeker? Was the developer short on time? Short on budget? Or was it just an awful idea to make an open world setting your one and only gimmick in 2019? We would genuinely love to know, because the game feels completely unfinished in almost every possible way. Even for the relatively low standards of anime-based action titles the game's bad, but compared to any half-decent open world game released this generation, it's a disaster.
One Piece: World Seeker is a full price game with nothing in it. The open world itself is one of the most barren, lifeless virtual lands that we've explored on PlayStation 4, quickly reminding us of the days when the genre was in its infancy back in the PS2 era. There are gigantic cities and huge towns in World Seeker, but barely anyone lives in them. The streets are empty, and the few non-playable characters that actually do exist simply stand in place or walk the exact same path over and over again. What year is this?
At times, World Seeker has to be seen to be believed -- it's just that desolate. It feels like some kind of test area for developers to play around in, rather than an actual product that people are expected to pay for. And when it comes down to it, the game isn't even that big. You can uncover most of the map in about 20 minutes if you do a lap of the main islands.
To make matters worse, this isn't an open world that you can ignore. Main story missions force you to traverse large swathes of land on a regular basis, with some missions even having the gall to make you run to the other side of the map and back again just to see one measly cutscene. On top of that, the game seems to think that fetch quests are all the rage, so if you want to beef main character Luffy up with some nice new equipment, you're going to have to venture out into the nothingness and bring back a few flowers or a couple of special rocks.
But hey, at least Luffy has a variety of traversal tools at his disposal -- it's just a shame that you have to unlock them all through the title's skill tree. The enthusiastic pirate captain can latch onto objects with his rubbery arms and propel himself forward, and if you can stomach playing the game long enough, you can unlock additional moves like a gliding technique and a more powerful launch that rockets Luffy farther into the air. World Seeker wants to be the next Marvel's Spider-Man, and while it's nowhere near as fluid or as enjoyable as Insomniac's web-swinging masterclass, it's a distraction from how shoddy the rest of World Seeker is.
In fact, Luffy seems like the only thing that the developer had the time and money to finish. He's quite well animated and the aforementioned, rather robust skill tree eventually grants him an impressive amount of versatility, both in and out of combat. The kicker, though, is that you need to spend hours and hours with the game if you want to save up enough skill points to purchase all of this relatively cool stuff. It's essentially asking you to trudge through god-knows-how-many tedious quests before you can actually make the game fun to play.
Given Luffy's gum-gum powers, combat could have been one of World Seeker's saving graces, but the enemy design puts a swift stop to that pipe dream. When you're not up against incredibly annoying grunts armed with automatic guns and pinpoint accuracy, you're fighting big bruisers who shrug off attacks and knock you on your arse if you dare to get too close. Failing at the game's borderline broken stealth system usually results in fighting off whole groups of foes, and as you can imagine, being hit from all sides -- stunlocked into submission -- can be immensely frustrating. Boss battles generally fare a lot better, but they're infrequent and not nearly exciting enough to shoulder the weight of what is a fundamentally boring combat system.
Is it possible to just push all of World Seeker's problems to one side and simply blast through the story as a gigantic fan of all things One Piece? Well, you can, but the source material deserves so much better than this woefully presented plot. The story itself is pretty standard -- Luffy gets separated from his crew and he has to find them before taking down a big baddie Marine commander -- but the way that it's told is embarrassingly bad.
Aside from a few choice cutscenes that are fully animated (is this where all the budget went?) the story is relayed through voiceless dialogue. That's right, the vast majority of World Seeker's narrative is delivered in total silence as characters stare blankly at one another. It's the absolute minimum that you expect from a game with a story in 2019, but it somehow sinks even lower. Instead of having any kind of direction, these dialogue scenes cut to black whenever something happens. A character leaves the scene? Cut to black and have them magically disappear instead of showing them walk away. Someone has to turn around in order to join the conversation? Cut to black instead of just giving them the most basic of animations. It's laughable.
We could be here all day writing about all of the little things that clearly earmark One Piece: World Seeker as an unfinished product, but it's the silence that really seals the deal. On top of the voiceless dialogue, there's a distinct lack of music as you explore the open world -- it's eerily quiet to the point where it takes you out of the experience. There are a couple of battle tracks and a handful of jingles, but overall, it's uncomfortably devoid of audio.
One Piece: World Seeker is an unfinished game. Its open world is shockingly barren, its gameplay is clearly undercooked, and its presentation is placeholder. Eventually, Luffy's skill tree does allow for a little more fun, but the title still ends up feeling like an in-house development build that's used for playtesting, not a full price retail release. As a One Piece game it's bad enough, but as an open world title in 2019, it's borderline unacceptable.
If anyone's got any questions let me know.
Oh and if you really want a One Piece game on PS4, go buy Pirate Warriors 3. The game's super cheap and infinitely better than World Seeker.
This is why reviews dont mean much nowadays
@fabisputza00 It's just opinions, innit.
Frankly I find it absolutely baffling that anyone could score this game an 8, but again, opinions.
Here lies the difference between someone who really likes a game and someone else being objective.
I know for a fact that Star Wars: Masters of Teras Kasi is not a good game, but I loved it and could write you a brilliant review for it.
@fabisputza00 This is why comments dont mean much nowadays
Great review, @ShogunRok
Sigh. Why am I not surprised. Can someone just take the licences off Bandai Namco already?
They deserve so much better.
I’ve been catching up with One Piece lately & it’s back to its best (just got to Germa 66 arc).
Thanks for the review. Staying well clear.
Watching some youtube vids, I think his laughter deserves a 10.
If it's an openworld game that @ShogunRok doesn't like, you know it's bad. He can't get enough of them usually. He even thinks The Witcher is good!!
@Fight_Sora_Fight For me that's the disappointing thing. Bandai Namco has proven that it can publish good anime games. FighterZ, Pirate Warriors 3, Naruto Storm 4... Then we get stuff like Jump Force and this. The highs and lows in terms of quality are ridiculous!
@kyleforrester87 Dammit Kyle!
So it matches the quality of the source material? Maybe if it will fail bad enough and we’ll stop getting One Piece games. Good review and entertaining as well.
@KalofKrypton All reviews are subjective. EDF would always get 3’s and 4’s if we tried to keep it “objective” despite that fact that people generally enjoy playing those games.
Well... to say this is disappointing would be an understatement. Ah well, we still have Pirate Warriors 3 and, to a lesser degree, Unlimited World Red.
@ShogunRok Namco Bandai is killing it but not in a good way.
It's very telling that after almost 20 years, the best One Piece game to date is a Dynasty Warriors spinoff.
@KALofKRYPTON Oh man, Teras Kasi was hilarious. It was stupid but fun to play ironically, a bit like watching TPM. That being said, the reference to it in Solo made me chuckle. It's odd being nostalgic for a generally bad game.
@Jaz007 This is a great example of an objective review, actually. there's no particular display of love or loathing for the source material and good design elements are called out when present in an otherwise poorly delivered game.
EDF games are generally reviewed subjectively by people who enjoy them. They are also reviewed objectively as the budget (low cost, 'low quality') titles that they used to be.
Huge fan of One Piece, but I think the writing has been on the wall for this game for some time now. A definite skip.
@Gatatog atleast the animated cut scenes in this game are nicely done unlike say, Jump Force or Seven Deadly Sins.
Bandai Namco has been dropping the ball so much in the past few years. What's happening? Are anime fans just buying the games anyway and they don't put the effort to make a good one? Geez. FighterZ is the one exception in the last 3 years, and that's because of ArcSystems
From what I've seen of the game, it feels like an unfinished PS3 game.
Somehow I knew this was gonna be garbage
@KALofKRYPTON Ha, I'm glad I'm not the only one who likes that turd of a game X3
Too bad! 😞 I hope this has no implications for Dragonball Project Z.
Seen a lot more lower scores for this , they might be right but I'm not taking the risk when majority say it's bad. Will wait till it's under £10
Glad I decided to cancel this and went for dark souls trilogy.
I said this before, I usually don’t play games based on manga/anime. Some of the them I can get down with like Fist of the North Star. But come on Namco, what are guys doing? Jump Force now this?
It sounds like what really kills it is the empty world. When you look at the other open world titles available on PS4, something like this is really going to suffer in comparison.
One site gives it a 8.5. Another gives it a 3. Better give this a miss.
Don't hold back😂
The empty world was a glaring flaw since they first showed it. It's a shame they didn't do anything about it.
As was said above, Pirate Warriors 3 is great, I liked it so much I platinumed it, and I'd also recommend Unlimited World Red. Not as good but it's more of a narrative experience with its own original story, which sounds like what World Seeker was going for.
@fabisputza00 they reviewed on Xbox so it's not like they have much to hold it up against. Lol
Doesn't put much faith into the dragonball RPG later this year from them...
Sony needs to secure more anime game deal imo. They own Funimation, one of the largest anime distribution platform and PlayStation. To gain a competitive advantage, Sony PlayStation should be looking into licensing deals with some of the hottest animes in Japan and make quality games out of them. It would give them a huge competitive edge against Western consoles, and would also allow them to gain some ground on Nintendo on the home market. Bandai Namco is a garbage company
@ShogunRok who knows? Maybe there is a way for them to download new versions? It could be a work in progress you know
Besides the game feels finished. Minor/major issues I had were some minor lags in Luffy’s stop running/walking after you stop it on the controller. The other is music stops instead of being on repeat so you’re left without music until you click on the different songs in the tone dial. The other thing is more NPCs are needed in the city... also the fact that it is hard to read some text (should have had a black semi translucent box around some text)
You don’t know how long it takes to animate things: such as cutting the scenes to avoid them walking away (literally an eight step walking cycle takes anywhere from 8 hours to 4 days depending on the type of animation and the quality -flat is actually the least time consuming and this game is quality 3D animation)
A friend told me that the game everyone wanted: the “complete” world seeker open world adventure game it would take the PS4 longer to load each scene and will lag way more which would frustrate people more than a game that is finished for what our current tech can handle. If there was a PS5 we probably might get the tech needed for a game like what we wanted
I don’t find it fair that almost everyone in the comment section is targeting and insulting Bandai Namco for things they can’t even do themselves. I like to see all of you make a game like this but is better like you all want. I’m not hating opinions to dislike a game, that’s fine, but don’t insult the company unless you, yourself, can do better.
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