Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag

Posted on November 23, 2013 at 6:10 AM

After falling in love with Assassins Creed 3, when I found out about Assassins Creed 4 I just had to own it. As much as I wanted Assassins Creed 4 though, I put all of my preorder money on Batman Arkham Origins and Watch Dogs. I wasn’t planning on getting AC4 until boxing day, but then Ubisoft decided to delay Watch dogs until April 2014, as sad as I was, I was also happy because now I could just use the Watch Dogs preorder money and Get AC4.

Assassins Creed 4 was developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft; It was released on October 29th 2013.

AC4 follows the story of Edward Kenway, an 18th century pirate whose dreams of riches an fame leads him on a quest to find the observatory; a precursor race technology that allows the user to see through the eyes of others. On his quest he is drawn into the middle of the conflict between the Templar’s and the Assassin’s.

When it came to Assassins Creed 4 the first thing that drew me to the title was the ship gameplay. If you read my Assassins Creed 3 review you’d know that one of my favorite parts of that game was the ship combat. Unfortunately in AC3 it was only available for certain events in the game. With AC4 Ship gameplay is a part of the world meaning that at any time you can hop on your ship and go explore the Caribbean ocean. The ship gameplay is a lot more refined this time around now you can line up your targets properly before you shoot, ships now display a health bar making it easier to figure out who is more of a threat, now you have a spy glass to spot and mark potential target ships from a distance, your ship (The Jackdaw) also comes equipped with newer weapons like Mortars, and fire barrels.

Because Edward is more Pirate than Assassin ships on the high seas can be attacked, raided and boarded for supplies needed to upgrade your ship. For these upgrades you need three materials, metal, cloth, and wood, they can be gained from raiding other ships or by finding floating cargo in the ocean. (The latter is more difficult.) In addition to upgrade materials, ship ammunition, Rum, Sugar, and Reales (the games currency) can also be plundered.

Raiding and boarding ships is one of the coolest new features of AC4 but it is also risky; there is more to raiding ships than just killing the crew, before you can successfully raid there are mandatory objectives you must complete. Examples of some of these other objectives are Destroy the Ships flag, Kill the Captain, kill two officers, or destroy powder barrels, in addition to killing a certain number of crew members. Once these objectives are complete the crew will surrender which shows a successful raid. At the end of a raid you have three options, you can choose to repair The Jackdaw, Lower your wanted level, or add that ship to Kenway’s Fleet (more on this later).

The biggest risk involved with boarding ships is losing your crew, is a raid takes too long they can be killed while in combat, the games dynamic weather system is also a big threat to your crew as rouge waves can wash them off the deck if the ship isn’t positioned properly. Luckily new crew can be recruited either by going on land and hiring them, rescuing shipwrecked sailors, or by rescuing them from British or Spanish officers. On the oceans it’s not just about raiding ships (although that’s insanely fun), you can also hunt sea animals, explore underwater wrecks, search for treasure chests, liberate forts, take part in naval contracts, or test your skills against the four legendary ships scattered throughout the ocean.

Kenways Fleet acts in a similar way to the Assassin Recruit missions of AC3, the difference here is that instead of Assassins you use the ships you’ve captured through combat to complete objectives. These missions take place apart from the main game and don’t affect the outcome of missions. They are used mainly for gaining more money and collecting treasure maps, items to decorate your hideout and certain special upgrades to your ship. These missions take anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours to complete so it’s best to do them with a friend in order the speed up the times.

While the naval aspect of the game is a big addition the on land segments also have new features, personally one of the biggest ones is being able to hire Dancers or Drunken pirates to escort you. When hired these NCP’s will follow you around making you incognito in the environment, this makes the eavesdropping missions and tailing missions a whole lot easier. Another great thing with these NPC’s is that you can use them to either distract (dancers) or attack (drunken pirate) guards allowing you to slip by them. Another new feature is the ability to dual wield both swords and pistols allowing you to dispatch more guards faster. In AC4 viewpoint’s now revel the locations of certain items in the environment (chests, maps, and secrets) and serve as an activation point for a locations fast travel.

Weapon selection is alot easier, now you can simply use the D-pad to select which weapons or tools you want unlike AC3 where you had to go into another menu taking you away from the game screen. Hunting on land makes a return, although not much emphasis is put on it as hunting supplies can now be bought. Crafting also returns this time though not as extensive and deep as it is in AC3, which isn’t a bad thing. At the end of every mission you can now rate it out of 5 stars as feedback to Ubisoft. As usual Multiplayer makes a return, there isn’t really much new here besides maps and characters. Multiplayer does however have a new feature where players can create their own game modes and share it with friends. Unfortunately multiplayer is only land based so there are no naval missions or online ship battles. AC4 also supports Ubisoft’s Uplay integration, Offtv play and Miiverse support.

Graphically AC4 looks great, the visuals are just as good as AC3 although the game seems alot brighter when compared. Gameplay wise while nothing much on land has changes the naval missions open up so much more of the world and allows for a whole not more gameplay when compared to other games in the he series. Control Wise the game can be played with the WiiU Gamepad or the WiiU Gamepad Pro controller.

Apart from the lack of Ship based online gameplay, a few hiccups here and there, and the dynamic weather system which could be a little annoying at times (storms happening almost every 15 minutes at certain times) I really have nothing to complain about with this game. My only issue being that the WiiU version of the game will not be getting the Freedom Cry DLC that every other version of the game is getting. It’s unfortunate but understandable. Excluding all this Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag is an awesome game; I liked it so much more than I liked Assassins Creed 3. I didn’t want it to end, the attention to detail was great (Sea Shanties), the new features really streamlined the experience providing a faster better playing game, the game felt short but that’s actually because I enjoyed it so much. This is a game I really enjoyed and would recommend to anyone.

Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag get 10 out of 10.


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Categories: Wii/WiiU Reviews

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