One Piece is one of the most popular manga and anime series of all time and has maintained a huge following around the world for an extended period of time. As such, One Piece World Seeker, which brings the franchise's impressive writing, humor, and wackiness to an open-world video game setting, is a title that fans were hoping would be amazing. Unfortunately, the final game is anything but amazing.

In fact, it would be more accurate to say that it seems like One Piece World Seeker tries to bore, frustrate, or downright anger the player at every opportunity, thanks to its bland open-world, clunky controls, and repetitive gameplay design. Like the source material it's derived from, World Seeker's writing is solid and its humor is enjoyable, but that's pretty much where the fun stops.

Explore Prison island

One Piece World Seeker

A shockingly disappointing experience

Despite good writing and quality presentation, One Piece World Seeker's abysmal mechanics and uninteresting world hinder the experience extremely.

Wide as oceans, deep as puddles

One Piece World Seeker puts the player in the shoes of Monkey D. "Straw Hat" Luffy, the main character of the franchise. Luffy is defined by his special powers that allow him to stretch his body like rubber in order to attack, dodge, and move around. The game takes place in a location called Prison Island where criminals are kept under lock-and-key by a militaristic force known as the Navy. Due to Luffy's own background as a pirate, the Navy is hostile towards him and his treasure-seeking. Without spoiling the plot much, the majority of One Piece World Seeker is about exploring Prison Island, discovering its secrets, and interacting with its inhabitants — all while dodging Navy capture.

The story, overall, is quite good. The characters are great, the narrative (surprisingly) tugs on the heart strings, and the humor got several laughs out of me. Unfortunately, the wonderful writing is completely juxtaposed by the abysmal gameplay experience. The giant open world feels devoid of life, with every location giving off a feel of emptiness due to a lack of busy NPCs. On top of that, there's very little worth exploring in the open-world; the only things you'll find are generic enemy camps with treasure chests that contain useless items.

Combat is lacking, too. Despite being almost exclusively melee-focused, One Piece World Seeker only has a small handful of combo moves to pull off, which means that the majority of the time you'll just be mashing the attack button without any thought. Enemy artificial intelligence is terrible and extremely easy to exploit, and there's barely any notable enemy variety. Overall, the game is simply not fun to play, and that's a massive shame.

At least it's pretty

Despite the terrible gameplay, it's impossible to deny that One Piece World Seeker is a great looking game that faithfully brings the franchise's manga style into a video game format. The cel shading look is perfect for the series' trademark exaggerated expressions and vibrant environments, and there's a surprising amount of detail on the models for foliage, buildings, and characters. Without a doubt, this One Piece game looks the part.

Performance could be better

When it comes to how One Piece World Seeker performs, it's a bit of a mixed bag. From the perspective of frame rate, the title is perfect, and there wasn't a single time during my gameplay experience where I experienced any stuttering or other complications. However, the controls are extremely clunky, and you'll often find that your inputs don't end up matching with what Luffy does in-game. Considering the combat experience is painfully easy and one-dimensional, these issues won't ever get you killed, but that doesn't change the fact that it's frustrating when your character doesn't do what you told them to do.

Should you buy One Piece World Seeker?

There is no good reason to buy this game unless you're a die-hard One Piece fan that cares about the characters enough to slog through the awful gameplay. The story and visuals, while great, simply aren't enough to make this one worth your time.

Pros:

  • Awesome story.
  • Great visuals.
  • No FPS drops.

Cons:

  • Bland, empty open-world.
  • Terrible combat.
  • Poor control responsiveness.

2 out of 5

The fact that it costs a full $60 is just salt in the wound, as I'd probably still give it a low score at half that price. If you must get the game, then wait for a big sale. Otherwise, you're wasting your money. If a wacky and humorous open-world experience is what you're after, then I highly recommend choosing either Just Cause 4 or Far Cry 5 over One Piece World Seeker.

One Piece World Seeker is available now for $60 on Xbox One, and for $51 on PC through Green Man Gaming as part of a small sale. You can also buy it directly from Steam for $60.

Explore Prison island

One Piece World Seeker

A shockingly disappointing experience

Despite good writing and quality presentation, One Piece World Seeker's abysmal mechanics and uninteresting world hinder the experience extremely.

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