Release Date: October 29th,2013
Platform: [Reviewed: PlayStation 3], PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Wii U, & PC
Genre: Action Adventure
Rated: M for Mature
It’s that time of year again. Time to equip your hidden blade, hood, cape and get your snacks ready for the countless hours of gaming you are going to get on. Well, maybe I’m the only one who likes to get in character, but no matter your poison it is time!
Just like with the other Assassin Creed titles, Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag features two separate stories that are intertwined together. You have the present day story in which you play a man hired to explore the memories of a historical figure using the Animus. And then you have the world within the Animus. This new world in Black Flag is not unlike the other worlds within the other titles in the series. As a matter of fact it is very similar. In the first city you explore, Havanna, you will get a very similar feel to the other cities you explored in the other Assassins Creed games. However, you will also get some other types of areas to explore as well.
When you first start Assassin Creed IV: Black Flag you will find yourself in the mist of a battle way out at sea. It is up to you to guide your ship and destroy all the other ships before they destroy you. Or so you’d think. Until you find yourself swimming in the debri of multiple destroyed and burning ships. And once you make your way to land your true journey actually begins.
Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag continues on from the story in Assassins Creed III. However, you find yourself playing a new character this time around as Desmund died previous to this title. This is only possible as his DNA was saved allowing others to continue exploring the memories within his genetic ancestry. So who exactly is this genetic ancestor? Well this time around you get to play a pirate named Edward Kenway! You have been informed you are searching Edwards memories for material to make an Animus-powered film, but this isn’t actually so.
On the Island you will notice that the newly introduced hunting, from Assassins Creed III has made it’s returned. This is not my favourite feature but it does come in handy if not for anything else at leats you will get some extra money. So make sure you take the time to kill some wild animals and skin them so you can sell their hides at a later time. There are plenty of boars roaming around and they make some pretty easy kills, but if you want a little bit of a challenge there are also monkeys and wild cats lurky in the palms too.
The gameplay in Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag is the same as all previous titles. You will spend the majority of your time running around, climbing buildings, looting treasure chest, assassinating enemies, syncronzing view points and collecting every single last one of the collectibles. And if you are partial to sailing your own ship and partaking in Naval battles your in for a real treat. Not only is this probably the most exciting addition to the Assassins Creed series it was executed extremely well. You can easily manouver the ship, aim the cannons and fire onto your enemies.
Let’s not forget about collectibles. This is the part of the game that keeps me coming back. A little obsessive compulisive maybe, but I must have every single item. And since this Assassins Creed title is Pirate themed I have the perfect excuse. So what kind of collectibles should you keep your eye out for? Well there is actually quiet a few things as simple as Animus Fragments to the newly added Shanty. All in all you will want to look for Animus Fragments, Letter’s in bottles, Manuscript’s, Treasure Maps, Shanty’s, Templar Keys, Mayan Stones and finally a few collectibles which can be found in the present day around your office.
The controls, just like the gameplay, are the same as previous titles. They are super easy to learn and master. The only downside I noticed, which again is the same issue I had when playing ALL the other Assassin Creed’s, is the “accidental run up the side of the building” when trying to escape your enemies. This happens because you use R1 when climbing as well as spriniting. If you do not guide your assassin perfectly around the buildings, crates or other objects you will find yourself, very often I might add, hanging from the side of a building you were simply trying to get around. Although this is super annoying and will likely cause a few F bombs to fly out your mouth, it in no way will effect your opinion of the game.
Visually Assassin Creed IV is about as good as it gets, when it comes to current generation consoles that is. I honestly don’t think it could get much better. I never saw any graphical bugs or choppiness. It plays smoothly and is beautiful, especially when you find yourself in the jungle environments. How much of a graphical difference will we see between current gen and next gen consoles? We will still have to wait a couple days for PS4 and a little over a week for the Xbox One to find out.
I never thought I’d say it, but Ubisoft has reached the same point Activision has with the Call of Duty series. Now this isn’t necessarily a bad thing as Call of Duty is the highest grossing gaming series to date. And still continues to break records year after year. The problem is there really is no surprises. You never get that same feeling,excitment, anticipation or curiousty of playing a bran new game. Of course there are few changes each year but really it is still the same thing. Assassins Creed is Assassins Creed, no matter the console. It is the same game over and over. It does have different environments but they all feel the same. Even with a few newly added features, like hunting adn naval batltles, and the new story with new characters, it is still same game.
Despite the repetition, Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag is awesome, just like all the other Assassin creed titles. It is old faithful. That one friend you can always count on when you are having a bad day. It won’t let you down. It is the most confident you could be spending $60 and even if you don’t get that rush of a brand new title you won’t enjoy this one any less. And for all of you getting a Next Generation system, the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4, you will be able to pay a measly 10 bucks to upgrade your game to the new console.
Overall Rating: 4.5/5