on 6 November 2013
Avast ye scurvy land lubbing matey dogs, etc, etc.... If this game doesn't leave you talking like a pirate I don't know what would!
Assassin's Creed IV transports you into the world of 18th century pirates with a cast of colourful characters, stunning graphics and engaging game play. There have been a succession of rubbish pirate games released on the PS3 but finally here is one that really nails the whole genre and beats all competition hands down.
Having played through the whole series I was hugely dissapointed by Assassin's Creed III which seemed an ill conceived, poorly researched game, full of graphics bugs and a very restrictive campaign. It seems like Ubisoft have taken note of these failings and improved on them in every way. So much attention is paid to consumer critisicm that this new game comes with an option to vote for what you think of each chapter - presumably with further game improvements in mind.
In Assassin's Creed IV you play Edward Kenway, a novice pirate who learns the trade from the ground up. His connection to the Assassin's of previous games is tenuous, but this gives the game a fresh new feel. For the first time you are out for yourself, aiming to make your fortune on the high seas. More so even than any earlier game in the series this feels like a roleplaying game with a great deal of options as to how you want to play it.
The basic gameplay remains similar to earlier games with your character sneaking about in undergrowth and over rooftops, killing enemies by stealth or in open sword play. There are the usual collectables as well as many practical rewards to be found exploring the massively detailed and expansive environments. You also get to sail pirate ships, battle other ships and earn money to buy better equipment and upgrades. Shops sell a selection of weapons and for the first time a choice of clothing so you can equip your character as you want. The game also includes crafting rules to allow you to modify and adapt your equipment even further.
The environment you get to explore is simply stunning. There are numerous islands and towns to explore, all full of colourful characters going about their business, making the world look and feel alive. Its like stepping onto the set of "Pirates of the Carribean" and the next best thing to a time machine. Simply exploring and interacting with the world should keep anyone entertained for hours.
The main plot though provides an engaging story to keep you involved and introduce you to the world of pirates. Bit by bit the plot develops and you are shown how to fight, how to sail a ship and ideally how to make your fortune. All the scripting is first class and extremely entertaining. I was especially pleased to find the main character is Welsh, which makes a refreshing change from the usual American accents you get in games.
The whole Desmond Miles plot has thankfully finished which again gives AC IV the feel of a new begining. There is however still a plot taking place in the present (or the near future) which is similar. So far in what I've played though this plot is less intrusive than the Desmond Miles story and doesn't interrupt the flow of the main story as much. I wish Ubisoft would realise that most people given the choice would prefer to play in this fantastic historical setting they have created than wander around a modern day office playing detective. Still, at least the animus plot gives an excuse for this great series to keep on going!
In addition to the single player game there is also a multiplayer option which has been greatly expanded and developed. These games involve you choosing from a selection of characters and trying to assassinate other players while remaining undetected yourself. Unfortunately though Ubisoft have been tempted by the lure of easy money to be made from multiplayer games and any of the numerous upgrades you can obtain from in game experience can also be bought with cold hard real life cash. This means that within a very short time of the games release you can find yourself matched against opponents with all the best upgrades courtesy of a generous bank account. These are not just cosmetic changes either, buying upgrades can make your character much more powerful than others with weapons and skills it would otherwise take months of play to obtain. To me this makes the multiplayer a lot less appealing than it should be, and I'm dissapointed in Ubisoft for such an obvious money making scheme.
Despite this criticism of the multiplayer game though the single player game in Assassin's Creed IV is still worth 5 stars. It is an experience unlike any other where the size of the world and the quality of the action is still somehow realised with such detailed graphics it takes your breath away. Even if you have never played any of the Assassin's Creed games before this is the ideal place to start. The fact that it is part of a series takes second place to the sheer fun and enjoyment of playing a pirate in such a detailed and interesting world. This is probably the best Assassin's Creed game yet and one that suggests there is plenty of life still left in the series. I highly reccomend anyone with a PS3 to give this game a try, and if you don't like it........ I'll make ye walk the plank.
on 4 November 2013
I am a huge fan of the Assassins Creed franchise and have purchased all of their games, completing each one in their entirety. Black Flag has certainly added to the franchise with a much larger map and the alternative plain of the Caribbean seas for your assassin to master. The changing climate and varying size/ability of foes on the sea creates a more enjoyable arena than the frontier of Assassins Creed 3.
The storey line has the usual twist and turns to capture audiences, but I have yet to complete the storey as I have been distracted by hidden coves and treasure chests on the various islands I have stopped at. There also seems to be a wider range of side missions compared to other AC games.
Fighting style is unique in comparison to other assassins as Edward has a more swashbuckling cavalier approach which makes him similar to Connor in his unorthodox movements. The duel pistols and swords works really well, allowing you to create some excellent fighting cinematics.
As to be expected from Ubisoft - another great.
on 16 January 2014
I do actually like the game - I have clocked up a lot of hours playing this, but I always become frustrated by the annoying controls. Really, there is no reason for the controls to be so bad - so many missions go wrong not because of me but because of the badly designed/executed control system. The team behind Drake's should have developed the control system for them - this would then easily be a 5 star game in my opinion. For me, unless I hear they have drastically reengineered the control system, I will not be buying another Assissin's Creed. Unfortunately, I don't feel able to complete this game as it is just too frustrating to play, though I do really enjoy the sea combat, the controls for this work well.
on 5 February 2014
Never played an Assassin's Creed game before, this was my first. I was hearing a lot of talk about how it kinda takes Sid Meier's Pirates and totally beefs it up and that's what first got me interested in it since i love that old classic.
As a game, it's great. Really well made. I went in for the Pirate stuff and came out loving everything else included. The setting of the early 18th century Caribbean was so well done here, with the old British and Spanish at it on land and sea with Edward (Main character) and others in the middle taking advantage and what not. The feel of the controls and gameplay in general are very good also here, sure there are the odd hiccups in the camera or you may scale a wall by accident or something, but there's nothing major to mark it down.
To talk about the sea battles, or just having your own ship to sail round and fly your flag, it's simply amazing fun. If this game were to be re-branded "Sid Meier's Pirates 3D", you'd certainly accept it for how close it comes to giving the atmosphere of what being a pirate should be like. Also the shanties that your crew on your ship sing while you're sailing around is a really nice touch they added to the game.
All in all, a very well made game. Worth every penny in my opinion.
on 29 October 2013
All of these reviews giving the game a bad name are lies, This game is everything you can expect from an assassins creed game and more. Assassins Creed 3 was a step in the right direction and this new entry to the series is even better,with new and improved Naval Combat and vast exploration across the open seas of the Caribbean. This new edition to the series is defiantly worth paying full price for. And not to mention that the game is still to come out on next generation consoles and with the already stunning visuals you can only image how good the graphics can get. The story is great and Edward Kenway is the star of the show, with his inspiring story line and even a few emotional bits along the way. Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag is one heck of a ride.
on 29 October 2013
As soon as I purchased this, the classic symptoms of buyers remorse kicked in. The last few entries in the Assassin's Creed series have been less than stellar, and almost ruined my anticipation of this game, however, I purchased it due to being persuaded by the new lead and location, my main issues with the previous entry. I went in with low expectations, but was greeted immediately with what could be the finest game in the series to date.
Obviously, I can't say much about the game without reviewing the location and setting. I don't need to say that it's a game set during the Golden Age of Piracy in the Caribbean, that much is obvious, but the way the game creates this historic world and presents it to you is profound. In terms of size, this game has the largest map than any of which we've seen in Assassin's Creed, although you'll spend most of the time traversing this huge world in your ship, the Jackdaw (which I'll get into in a bit) as you'd expect. It looks beautiful even on current gen. The whole world is filled with bright blues, greens and yellows and life in the sea and on land, which is a far cry from the browns that littered the third entry. There are vast amounts of locations, some deserted completely, and others filled with fantastic activity, all of which bring life to the game, unlike before. It's genuinely a great experience traversing this world, enough to match the beautiful cities featured in Assassin's Creed II. The setting of this game is presented incredibly well. A strong and likeable cast of the infamous pirates that made this era ensure this, although the game presents this to you brilliantly in the game-play as well, your crew mates can sing sea-shanties, you can relax and have a drink at taverns, and the NPCs are constantly engaging in activities that one would expect from people in the early 1700s. It reminded me of the Carnevale sequence in the second game, with all the immersion it brings.
Now more importantly, the game-play. This game takes Assassin's Creed III's issues with the game, and makes them work. The controls are almost identical, but feels far more fluid and actually fixed. First, the stealth has been incredibly improved. There are more hiding places, and is far more intuitive, and the strategy of approaching your target from the direction of your choice makes a welcome return from the first game. Guards are more lenient this time around, meaning you can get caught but can still effectively continue the mission. There are still some issues with the free-running, such as feeling a bit clunky at times, and your character not going where you want them to, (which has plagued the series since the beginning) but still, free-running feels more like the Ezio era of ACs, rather than the lacklustre free-running in Connor's outing. This is due in large parts to architecture in this game. Scaling buildings and running on rooftops felt as good as the old days, with more fluid controls. Hunting also returns from ACIII, although it's far more useful this time around. You can craft armour, pouches and outfits from pelts and bones or sell them to merchants for profit. It's a neat addition, with a plethora of animals from rabbits to hammerhead sharks to hunt. The star of the show, however, is the naval combat/game-play. The naval sections in III were, in my opinion, the best feature. In Black Flag, it has been marginally improved. Battles are as tense as ever, with new weapons, strategies and enemy types to keep you drawn in. The best improvement, however, is that your ship introduces a whole new open world for you to explore. The transition between sailing and running is seamless, and allows you to explore the beautiful world Ubisoft have created. You might, for example, sail past an old shipwreck. You can then dive underwater, look for treasure, and upgrade your Jackdaw with the very items you have procured. It's a great system, and Ubisoft have nailed it flawlessly.
I won't go too much detail about the story to avoid spoilers. It's a lot easier to follow, but filled with the Assassin's Creed detail we've come to love. The characters are a massive improvement. Notably, Edward Kenway, is a fantastic character and a significant improvement from Connor. He's charismatic and entertaining, and it's a great journey watching his development. The pacing of the story is done really well. As soon as you're actually controlling the game, you are immediately dropped into the action. This game does not build it up for far too long, yet it allows suitable time for breathers. After about one hour of gametime, the game stops babysitting you and allows you to explore. It's no longer an elongated tutorial that lasts for about half of the game. It's more mature than that. There's enough time to tell the player how to use the basic features, but doesn't make us say to ourselves 'Yeah, we get it...'. That's not to say all features are unlocked one hour in, there are still weapons and equipment that are unlocked throughout the game, but it feels like Assassin's Creed II's sense of progression, rather than III's 12 hour tutorial.
I have yet to play the multiplayer (I really couldn't care less about it) but the single player alone has proven it's worth. This game is brilliant, and surprisingly fulfilling. Do not let the piece of garbage that was Assassin's Creed III stop you from playing this game. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag has redeemed my opinion of Ubisoft, and is possibly the finest the Assassin's Creed franchise has to offer.
on 12 November 2013
It's a better assassin game than Assassin's Creed III, but then that isn't saying much. It's not as good as ACII, which is a shame. However Black Flag isn't just an assassin game, it's a pirate game. It is also perhaps the best pirate game I have ever played.
Edward Kenway doesn't have Ezio's charm, but he's infinitely more likeable than his grandson Connor. His motivations are relateable and easy to understand. His status as neither a Templar nor a true Assassin allows this game to cast those ancient orders as the more shadowy and back-ground forces they are suited to being. Edward is hastily and somewhat clumsily introduced to the ways of the Assassins, but this allows the game to open up much more quickly than previous installments which shows an appreciated respect for series veterans.
Running around and across cities, stealth and combat gameplay have all been subtly improved, and the overall experience is engaging and rewarding. Quick-travel options are more comprehensive and available immediately. However the game truly shines when you take to the seas aboard the Jackdaw, whether you are sieging a coastal fort, engaging in naval warfare, boarding ships to plunder their booty or just sailing the open seas looking for new lands while listening to your crew singing heartily, the nautical experience is thoroughly enjoyable.
If you are a fan of the series (whether or not you liked ACIII) or if you have a fondness for pirates, you won't go wrong in picking up this game.
on 3 November 2013
This really is an amazing game, and in my opinion the best one since ACII. There is so much content in this game, to fully describe it would require an essay of sorts, so I will highlight the fundamentals. Firstly, the graphics are amazing as always. The tropical environments look awesome, and the sea settings is immensely impressive! When riding your ship on thundery waves, you simply have to be amazed. The character modes are superb and everything is bright and colourful, a joy to look at.
The gameplay is very good. If you have played the previous AC games, there is not too much new which is a good thing, because it already works so well. The climbing mechanics have been improved, and combat and weapons have seen some improvements as well. New stealth options involve hiding through foliage to avoid detection, with methods of luring guards out of the way. There is however one change that I don't really like, previously you would hold R1 to jog and then press X to sprint. Now however, both are activated when pressing R1, and the difference between jog and sprint depend on how hard you push the analog stick. This puts more control in the sticks, but is more difficult to control, as I often find myself sprinting when I want to jog. Apart from this, everything else is improved.
The story is superb, with fantastic characters and a great plot. If you played the awful story of ACIII, fear not that this is a character that is up there with Ezio, and nothing like Connor. I will say no more to avoid spoilers.
The setting, now this is enormous! I think this must be the most interactive and lively open world game I have ever played, even more than GTA V. You literally can go where you want and do what you want. You can do everything from the usual optional missions, treasure hunting and finding secrets to hunting animals, exploring hidden islands, upgrading your ship, recruiting new crew, and simply exploring the enormous world. There is simply so much to do that it can be overwhelming at first. The game is very non linear and is focused on exploration, with a length that will easily last between 30-40 hours if you want to see and do everything.
There is also online for those that enjoy that mode, personally I never play online so I cannot comment on it, but I'm sure its a great experience.
To summarise, this is the best AC since ACII. The setting, graphics, gameplay, characters and story are all top notch. Everything is polished and well thought out, and it is a joy to play. I despised ACIII as I found it tedious and boring, but this is literally a billion times better. 5 Star, go buy this game!
on 30 October 2013
Some of the feedback here is laughable. A guy gave it 1 star because he felt Assassin's Creed was violent; he's an idiot. Another have it 2 star because he dropped the disk; umm, fair enough?
This game is superb, there is so much to do in single player. Mechanics are similar to AC3 but with some very cool new features.
There's the awesome sandbox aspect along with the engaging story line, enough said it's another brilliant assassin's creed.
on 24 January 2014
This is by far the best assassins creed; controlling ships is great fun, roaming the seas and exploring the huge map is amazing, and there a whole load of new nifty features that make everything easier, like darts that you can use on assassination contracts so you stay out of combat and eagle vision that lets you tag your targets and then follow them trough walls! If you're new to the series definitely this is a good one to start on, though you might be disappointed if you try a different one. For anyone like me who owns all of them, it's a must have!