One Piece Odyssey Review (PS5)
Staff, 2023-01-11 09:00:00,
If you ignore the One Piece: Pirate Warriors sub-series for a second, the last title fans of Luffy and his eccentric crew had to look forward to was One Piece: World Seeker. A disaster of an open world game, it felt unfinished with horrible gameplay and visuals — enough to make any enthusiast sceptical of future projects. However, nearly four years later, with a new genre and developer backing it, the One Piece franchise makes its debut on PS5 with something to be proud of. One Piece Odyssey is fantastic.
Rather than have the Straw Hat Pirates explore another open world, studio ILCA (best known for its Pokémon Brilliant Diamond and Shining Pearl remakes) has taken a much more focused approach in the form of a JRPG ala Dragon Quest XI: Echoes of an Elusive Age. Turn-based battles are aplenty, hub-based areas only allow for so much exploration, and the story naturally guides you from point to point, introducing set pieces and plot points along the way. It’s not entirely linear — you’re free to fight and complete side quests as you please — but the game feels a lot more purposefully crafted with genuine intrigue and an immediate purpose to progress.
You see, while the gang hasn’t been hit with amnesia, they have lost most of their powers. After the Thousand Sunny ship crash lands on a mysterious island, its inhabitants agree to help the crew regain their abilities. To do this, they must enter other dimensions known as Memoria which re-enact events from the history…
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