SET FULL SAIL!!
The atmosphere is excellent. You'll really believe you are sailing down the Spanish Main in your ship, rather than just sitting at home in front of your computer. The sound is excellent, from "ARRR" and the boom of cannons to a sea shanty etc.The graphics are also top notch, with richly textured models and realistic particle effects. The game is also full of replay value, with several difficulty levels, several eras, tons of ship types, artifacts, quests etc. for you to take on once you begin the game. The atmosphere also is excellent, with the classic "swashbuckler" theme such as Monkey Island, rather than a more serious theme.
Unfortunately, while the models and textures are good, they are re-used and re-used constantly. The English commander you fight will look the same the next English ship you board etc. The governor's daughters are also a disappointment. Although an improvement from the original, they lack depth. The ladies are rated on attractiveness with three levels, plain, attractive, and beautiful.
Problem is, each level from each nationality is almost always the same. The "plain" women are the same except for skin tone, the "attractive" women look the same except for different skin tone etc. Also, the romance is, while better than the original, lame. According to this game, women love a good dancer and riches and a rank. That's it. It would be more interesting to see perhaps individual personality traits for each woman etc.
Also, although the other game had you believe the sea was crawling with pirates, in this game, there are only 9 other pirates that are named. These guys are incredibly lame!! They are easy to take down, even the "most feared" pirate, and they barely seem to do anything. You begin the game with ridiculously powerful skills. A system where you would gradually get better at pirate stuff would have bee better.
The Bottom Line
Except for some minor problems, a great game!!