One Piece: World Seeker Review

Richard Walker

One Piece World Seeker is the One Piece game that fans have been waiting for, transporting Monkey D. Luffy and his loyal Straw Hat Crew to a lush open world, ripe with potential for epic pirate adventures and derring-do. Except, One Piece World Seeker doesn't really have very much of that, instead opting mainly for dull and repetitive fetch quests that are more like thankless busywork than high adventure.

There's no escaping that World Seeker's open world of Prison Island is a verdant land, imbued with a magical, colourful quality that's faithful to the Shonen Jump manga and anime series, and indeed there's ample fan service with a story penned by original author Eiichiro Oda. Said story revolves around Luffy being dumped on Prison Island, a once prosperous place now ruled over by the Navy, whose militant presence is evident in the naval bases and camps spread across the land.


You'll fall afoul of the Navy and violent pirates often in One Piece World Seeker, but thankfully, there's a pretty solid combat system to make battle encounters the best part of the game. Bouts against the villainous Germa 66 and other Navy generals like Smoker prove incredibly good fun, as you break out Luffy's variety of stretchy Gum Gum abilities that can be expanded and upgraded via the game's skill tree.

Not the best combat mechanics we've ever come across, fighting in World Seeker throws in a plethora of moves and skills, including the devastating Red Hawk, Elephant Gatling Gun and Eagle Storm Gum Gum abilities. These can be unleashed once you've filled your Tension Gauge, which can also be used up to transform into Luffy's intense Gear Fourth guise, granting you a temporary burst of speed and strength, as you let loose a volley of Gum Gum punishment upon your foes. The camera can occasionally get a little lost when the action gets frantic, and sometimes it's easy to forget that the lock-on is on the d-pad (for some reason), but overall, World Seeker's combat is fast, frantic and fun.

The quality of the combat isn't an issue in One Piece World Seeker, then, it's practically everything else around it. While there's no shortage of exuberance and energy in the game's delivery, Prison Island's towns and villages are surrounded by vast stretches of lovely wavy grass – and not much else. The majority of side quests involve gathering specific materials for characters, and main missions all too often boil down to boring fetch quests dressed up in different ways.

When World Seeker has a go at a different mission type, it falls flat on its face. Standout examples include the odd stealth mission with instant fail states, or battles restricted to a circle on the map that will also throw a fail screen at you if you dare venture outside of said circle. These missions are completely and utterly infuriating, and something I thought wasn't a thing anymore. Tailing missions with instant failure are also alive and well in One Piece World Seeker.

So while you might get a kick out of hooking up with Usopp, Franky, Nami, Zoro, Brook, Robin, Sanji, Chopper, and Luffy's older brother Sabo, the repetitive missions will quickly drive you to distraction as you're constantly fast travelling from town to town in a bid to avoid running through the open expanses of nothing. Not that the traversal isn't good, mind you, as you can catapult yourself through the air and hover around the place using Luffy's Gum Gum UFO ability. It's fun.


There are other distractions beyond boring side quests and the constant objective of fetching stuff, like liaising with Sanji to send your crew off on errands to grab you valuable materials, or picking up resources for Franky or Usopp to fabricate some new equipment or a new outfit for you. Once you've rounded them all up, you'll find the whole Straw Hat Crew on your ship, the Thousand Sunny, so you can easily make new items or initiate expeditions for materials in one place.

Treasure Hunts are also enjoyable, with maps to decipher and hidden treasure to be unearthed, and the world is peppered with materials and chests to crack open. There's a lot to like in One Piece World Seeker, from its colourful world and cast of energetic characters, to it's enjoyable fighting mechanics and story full of killer robots, outlandish boss battles and plenty of nods for fans of Luffy and the gang.

Yet following Jeanne around Prison Island and being caught up in the war between Pro-Navy and Anti-Navy factions doesn't prove nearly as compelling as it could have been. Even Isaac is a bit of a rubbish villain. The majority of missions are lazily cobbled together, simplistic fetch quests, and even the Karma System does little to add variety – beyond presenting you with even more objectives to complete for specific characters. Despite its vibrant art style and pretty open world, One Piece World Seeker unfortunately emerges as a rather bland and one-note adventure that quickly becomes rather tedious.

One Piece: World Seeker

Fans of Monkey D. Luffy and the rest of the Straw Hat Crew will undoubtedly find something to like in World Seeker, but that doesn't hide the game's poor mission structure, the lack of variety and overall dullness. This ship's sunk.

Form widget
50%
Audio
70%

Very pleasant music and what little voice acting there is proves marvellous. All the thwacks and pows during combat are exactly as they should be.

Visuals
75%

A vibrant world full of lush greenery, World Seeker apes the look of the anime series beautifully. Characters are energetic and colourful too, which is nice.

Playability
60%

Running around and using Luffy's Gum Gum Rocket to zip around the place is enjoyable, as are the fighting bits, despite the flaws. Sadly, mission objectives are enormously dull and repetitive.

Delivery
40%

Despite boasting an expansive island environment to explore, there isn't really a lot to do in it. Collect materials, fetch stuff, fight. That's about the long and short of it. Combat is the best part, but as an open-world game, World Seeker falls completely flat.

Achievements
70%

A decent enough list that encourages you to be good at the combat stuff, and poke around gathering resources too. There are progression and Karma based tasks too, so all in all, not too bad.

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