Thursday, January 16, 2014

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Review

The new Assassin's Creed was surrounded by doubt and bad expectations, coming mainly from its resemblance of the third game, its non-assassin friendly Carribean setting, and the fact, that it's hard to insert new, fresh, exciting things into a well-established franchise.

But, after playing through the campaign and trying out the multiplayer, I must say; Ubisoft has outdone themselves yet again. 

The Golden Age of Piracy. The thundering cannons, relentless waves and songs of fame and fortune. The portrayal of Carribean in this game is beautiful, with tons of small islands to discover and search; on these, you can open chests, brawl with thugs, hunt wildlife, and many other things, that will take a good chunk of time in the actual gameplay. While I think these side activities are a nice way to relax after the story missions, they're quite repetitive, and on many of these locations, the things you're going to do are practically the same.

But there is much more content on the side of the main storyline than that, to be fair: there are templar hunt missions, assassin and naval contracts, hunting sealife, or exploring sunken shipwrecks with the company of nobody but silent rocks and ravenous sharks.

You do almost all of these activities to achieve one goal: to make money. The game economy is much better implemented than in previous titles; it's simple, but functional. You make money by doing side jobs and you can spend it on upgrading yourself, your home, or your ship.

Your ship is the Jackdaw, and although I didn't develop any relation to it in the end, I liked the sense of progress that it is presenting. As you progress further into the story (and more towards the bottom of the map) the enemy ships get bigger, stronger, and more resource-loaded, so you always have something to plunder.

But you have to ask at some point: Does this game fit in the Assassin's Creed universe? Does pirate life, plundering ships, and exploring sunny islands really acheive the political, dark story, and the silent, dextrous, and fun assassinations, which made previous AC games so good?

The answer is no, it doesn't mostly; but it doesn't need to. This game is in the end more a pirate game than an AC game – of course there is a conflict of Assassins and Templars, but it is not as focal as in previous games. The game has a different feel than the previous titles – but innovation was needed, and being a pirate is just tremendously fun.

Main story doesn't reach the level of Assassin's Creed II or III, but it is still on very good level. It doesn't follow a pattern of assassinating towards the main rival, but focuses more on certain bits of pirate history and develops a story of a captain, interested only in prize and plunder, who in time grows wiser and wiser, only to join the Assassins and their cause. Edward is one of the most interesting characters in AC universe, on par with Ezio and leaving his grandson, Connor, far behind.

Multiplayer isn't anything special or interesting, and it's pretty much the same as in good old Brotherhood. The only new addition was the game lab, which, although quite comprehensive, would work only if someone cared about the multiplayer so much that the basic modes weren't enough for him. That's not me, though. Ubisoft could have done better in that area.

Verdict: 9/10

The Assassin's Creed brand still rocks, which Ubisoft only confirmed. The beatiful atmosphere of sunny beaches and jungles of Carribean immerses you fully and doesn't let you go till the very end, with a large variety of ways, how to spend your time in it. The only things I would criticize are the not-so-perfect story, and the already boring multiplayer. To summarize, if you were doubting the new sequel, do not anymore.

As always, let me know in the comments what you think; and if you like this article, share it on any sharing site you like.

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5 comments:

  1. I came here from Gamespot. It looks like you can start to become a great reviewer. Keep working hard buddy! You are going places! And great review for AC4. I definitely agree with the 9.

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  2. Thanks a lot, mate! I am glad that you like my blog. Be sure to come again for more posts!

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  3. Pretty good review, I do not agree with it but it certainly makes me understand your point of view.

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    1. Everyone has a different opinion and I am glad you are praising this post's usefulness. Be sure to come back for more!

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  4. Man you have a long way to go!

    Everything is designed perfectly and i think 9 for AC4 is the best!

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