Budgets can be a positive and negative thing. Even if they add certain limits to a game, to the point where they can’t possibly be good, it can prevent titles from being overly ambitious. I don’t think I’ve ever said the latter about an anime game, nor am I saying One Piece World Seekeris in any way ambitious, just that everything comes at a price. Given the spacious world, new characters and more, is One Piece World Seekera good open world game or is it the best it could possibly be?
Unlike most One Piece games, World Seeker does not require knowledge of the series to enjoy the story. Given that it stars a new villain, on a never before seen island, it can be enjoyed by anyone, at the cost of spoilers and needing a little context here and there. The downside is, since it’s a new story, it has to be good on its own merits.
One Piece World Seekerseems to grasp the core ideas that go into a One Piece arc and tries to paint by those numbers. The crew gets separated, the villain is a hostile force, people are oppressed and you need to go through these things to reach the conclusion. This doesn’t make the story bad, if anything it’s just forgettable, it’s just the least compelling part of the adventure.
Between story segments are various gameplay tasks. Most of them rely on the ever popular fetch mission. Whether it’s going to a specific place or finding a predetermined item in some quantity, it doesn’t take long before it feels like One Piece World Seeker is going through the motions.
This is especially true when you’re told to go to a specific spot and then have to figure out the right place to go. Most times you can use observation haki and a bit of common sense and get it down, though it can make the early parts of the story really drag. Not like anyone wants to run around a base looking for the single door that has a person waiting behind it, yet that is an actual objective.
Even if the quests could be better, combat isn’t that much better. Lower difficulties are entirely too easy, with something like a Red Hawk almost defeating a boss on the second lowest difficulty, with the highest simply making things tedious. When push comes to shove, the combat is little more than repeatedly pushing attack and the occasional dodge or special attack. Most of the fun actually comes from trying to be stealthy or quickly dispatch enemies.
Since Luffy is made of rubber, he is able to grab high up ledges and propel himself up. This makes it easy to perform a stealth take down or at least bring the action to whomever you wish to fight. The only real downside is consistency.
While not as bad as Left Alive, One Piece World Seekerconsistency and stealth, for lack of a better explanation, fits Luffy. As long as you don’t outright run at an enemy, you’ll likely get the option to stealth take down. Where the inconsistency comes into play is, you could be slightly out of their line of sight and catch them off guard, where as other times you’ll get seen by someone across the map and have to fight. Overcoming this obstacle, even on the highest difficulty, isn’t too bad, just less fun than it really should be.
Despite some rough patches, One Piece World Seekermanages to find fun in the simpler tasks. When I wasn’t obsessed trying to follow the dreadful waypoint or get a ton of stealth takedowns for a trophy, I managed to have a lot of fun. Peons die about as fast as they do in the story, characters have a faith amount of charm and figuring out how to collect materials or get out of trouble is, if nothing else, amusing.
Heck, the world itself looks pretty good all things considered. Sure, it isn’t the best graphics, but the art style and approach fits the series in a way that is satisfying. Different locations also manage to have their own approach and feel, giving the world more life than you’d expect, especially given how hollow character interactions and the world feels.
The best way to look at One Piece World Seekeris that it’s an anime game that is trying to be slightly better than the usual anime game. In this aspect the game succeeds, it just comes at a hefty price. Nice visuals and a new story don’t completely make up for lackluster combat and empty world, but they do help. So, if you just want a fairly easy open world game set in the world of One Piece, then this should meet your expectations. But, if you want deep or complicated journey through the world of One Piece, you might want to keep looking.