Pirates. Who doesn’t love pirates? Well fictional and historical ones at least. Real modern pirates aren’t really loved because ,you know, they are pirates. Now that I rambled on about pirates for a couple of seconds, lets talk about what may be the best pirate game I have ever played. This is Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.
After the VERY mixed reception to Assassin’s Creed III, Ubisoft had to set the series back on track. So this game focuses on the best part of the last game: The Ship. Add in some pirates and you got yourself a pretty fun game. The playable character of this game is Edward Kenway who is actually the grandfather of Connor, the playable character from Assassin’s Creed III but this game stands on it’s own story wise. The plot revolves Edward getting involved in typical Assassins and Templars shenanigans involving a place called Observatory. Unlike the other protagonists in this series, Edward is only interested in gold and plunder which brings a new side of the story as a neutral protagonist who doesn’t really pick sides at first. Thankfully Edward is a more likeable protagonist than Connor ever was with charisma to spare and genuine character change through the game’s events. If I had to nit pick a bit, the game’s villains still doesn’t match up to the Borgia family from previous games since most of the villains here are made to look sympathetic and not truly evil. This is one of the few good/bad things that exist in this series that has to be brought up every time the series is discussed. Now if you want a spoiler filled discussion/analysis then don’t worry you will get it from me soon (self-promoting for the win) but for now lets move on to gameplay.
The new gameplay around this game revolves around ships and naval combat. Like Assassin’s Creed III, you have your very own ship to use and upgrade using cargo. How do you get cargo? By stealing it of course! Around the game’s world(Caribbean), there are ships which you can attack and plunder for goodies and money. Metal, wood and cloth being important for upgrading while sugar and rum is sold for money. There also shipwrecks to explore, forts to conquer, legendary ships to fight and naval contracts to complete along with typical Assassin’s Creed side missions like assassination contracts and Templar hunts. AKA a lot of stuff to do. Not adding in the main story missions that are a mixture of new naval gameplay with old style ground missions. All this works for the most part, except for the eavesdropping missions, no crouch button and ship stealth. The eavesdropping missions are no fun and frustrating. The absence of a crouch button in this game really pushed my buttons(ha) at times since you do have a crouch when you walk into bushes but with no bush, no crouch. Try to make sense of that. Finally the ship stealth parts of the game are dumb and don’t make a lick of sense. Controls are identical to the other games of the series so except some wall running where you don’t want to. The graphics and sound are very good with the world being vibrant and colorful while the sound has shanties. Seriously the shanties are so fun to listen to while looking for ships to plunder. You know what’s not that fun? Modern part of the game. During brief moments of the game, you exist the animus(not even going to bother to explain it really) and hack some computers. Also there is a modern story line but this game barely moves it forwards so….. Now for the best part. ACHIEVEMENTS
The achievements are a mixture of story missions, side missions and multiplayer (ugh) achievements. The side missions achievements are time consuming so expect to invest a lot of time and effort into getting those. Also prepare for exploring everything that the game has with 100% if you want to get all the achievements. Doable but extremely time consuming. Now for the summary. The game is incredibly fun while there are small hiccups in the gameplay and glitches happen from time to time it doesn’t hamper the fun you can get from this game. So go get it already and plunder to your heart’s desire. Or not. I’m not the boss of you.