THERE MAY BE MINOR SPOILERS, CAN’T BE SURE.
I know I know, “Another Assassins Creed game, here we go again.” Those were my same thoughts exactly. Between Altaïr Ibn-La’Ahad being the best assassin to ever live, Ezio Auditore da Firenze being an annoying little prick until he got older, Conner Kenway being an absolute forgettable character, and who was that scrub in present day? I thought how the hell could I possibly enjoy playing through another game since the first one.
That’s where Ubisoft dropped the curtain on Black Flag.
Halo had Reach to redeem the franchise, and Assassins Creed has Blackflag. Let’s take a closer look at my unpopular opinion.
First up is the main character. Who I instantly soaked up with interest and enjoyed throughout the entire game. Edward Kenway is such a breath of fresh air. ignoring the obvious fact that he’s a bad-ass pirate, which is the only real argument I would need, this character actually has a personality and character development. For most of the game, you play as a pirate who is just out for some gold, Edwards dream is to be a “man of quality” and live in luxury for the rest of his life. Unfortunately, the sound of two coins grinding together keeps him in piracy for a very long time, which we don’t mind, because pirates. Yes he starts off kicking ass, but at least he has a back story for being skilled with a blade unlike others in a previous game, you know, that Conner guy. Who was just “best at everything the day he popped out of his mother”.
Edward served as a privateer during a war in the West Indies, then was a pirate for some time before we even meet him. Of course the man has some explainable talent. Don’t get me wrong there were things that I really did enjoy in Assassins Creed 3, and we see some of those things reintroduced in AC4. Combat is still very fun and can get tricky if you’re not on your toes. Even if you bring your big guns to a fight, you can still get kicked to the curb if you’re not careful. Sometimes, it is just best to run.
When in doubt, just cap a fool in the knee with your pirate boom stick and tell him to sit.
But one of the things that DIDN’T come over, was that punk Desmond Miles, because hes dead. Forever. That fact can never be undone. Ubisoft recognizes the mistake they made with Desmond so much, that they go to the point of emphasizing the fact that he is in fact dead and will never return, and they show you his dead body in an attempt to say “We are sorry for that mistake. Please forgive us, here’s some pirates.” The game also does not constantly kick you out of the animus for you to see that sad meat bag, instead, the game forces you out of your animus roughly three times during the entire game to take the role as an Abstergo employee. Which puts you in a first person view to partake in some good side story, which also ties in an upcoming game title in the same universe as Assassins Creed, but i’ll leave you to find out what that is. Other then the minor interrupts and choosing to leave the animus to explore, you get to plunder and sink ships to your hearts content.
Speaking of sinking ships, you get your own. You know because you can’t really be a pirate unless you have a ship. It’s no big deal really, it’s just called the Jackdaw and is it’s f***ing awesome. “What can we do to allow the player to explore an open world where he only has to load when he ports in major cities, give them a ship.” You can get off your ship at any point. You could be in the middle of no where, spot an island miles out, and say “I COULD sail closer and drop anchor, or I could throw myself off the side of my ship and swim like a shark forever beating up whales(that doesn’t happen) and punching holes into the hulls of ships(also a lie) till I get to that sandy beach. The game allows you to explore the open world, finding aquatic animals to hunt, search for uncharted islands, discover underwater treasures on top of adventure. I cannot emphasize the amount of freedom they give you in this title to explore a beautiful world.
What was that thing I mentioned before? Adventure? Oh, you mean UNDERWATER TREASURES. Yeah they give you this thing called a Diving Bell that allows you to dive into the deep blue to wrestle bull sharks. This is a thing that exists, and I wish they had more of it. What’s down there you might ask? Oh just some beautiful scenery, sharks, other pirates, schematics for upgrades, and TREASURE CHESTS.
I have to pull myself away from the great content and wipe my mouth of drool to talk about the story. Which I can’t really go into depth without spoiling it. It’s gripping and fun. They introduce you to some pirates of legend, such as Calico Jack, Mary Read, Anne Bonny, and an unforgettable Blackbeard. All the while throwing you into a war between the English and Spanish, and the Templar and Assassins. DLC is also available, which I was personally pleased with. Edward starts off as just being a guy out for coin and personal gain, then slowly develops into something more. Did I mention pirates?
The story takes you from the open sea to open rich mainlands. Where you get to take out Redcoats, and Spanish Conquistadors on top of doing assassin contracts and dishing out bowls of justice to those under the Templar banner. What more could you ask for.
A better multiplayer mayhaps? The only way they could really improve the multiplayer, when it actually works, would be to just take the single player campaign and throw in a buddy to go cause mischief with. Other then that I’ve found myself staying up till 3:00AM playing the multiplayer, because it’s fun as hell.
Overall, i’d have to give the game an 8/10. There’s just so much good in the game that overshadows the little bad that exists. Between a good story, great game play, and a free roaming rich world full of easter eggs and secrets, i’m happy with the purchase. Keep in mind this is the third Assassins Creed that I was willing to purchase, one of which I got tricked into buying and regretted.
That’s all for now you damn fantastic people you.