The player takes the role of Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, and Elizabeth Swann in a generic action-adventure video game. Each character learns new skills or unlocks new weapons which will help him to defeat each boss. Each level has a number of puzzles to solve. The game allows for a second character.
The game begins two days after the events of the first film with Jack Sparrow and Will Turner trying to steal an object from a Portuguese fortress in Panama. They are double-crossed and captured. While facing the gallows (and while Jack looks for an escape route as always), he begins to retell some of his stories to Will Turner, albeit exaggerated and not completely honestly; for instance, he always claims that either Will Turner or Elizabeth Swann was with him, even when they insist they have no idea what he's talking about. These stories include how Jack sacked Nassau Port without firing a shot; how he escaped from the desert island on the backs of sea turtles (when he was marooned with Elizabeth, the second time, he confesses to the true events, that he was rescued by rum smugglers that were long gone); how he fought a Chinese sorceress named Madame Tang; encountered a legion of frozen Norse warriors; visited the Arctic; The game is not only a sequel to the first film and a prequel to the othet films but is also a retelling of Curse of the Black Pearl, complete with sequences that never happened and lines that were never said.