Quick Look: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

Captain Vinny and his motley crew set a course for the fourth wall. Ramming speed!

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Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Review

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  • PS4

Black Flag takes a sharp left turn from the series' traditional progression, but the ways in which it diverges are what make it one of the most purely entertaining games in the franchise.

Count me among Assassin's Creed III's passionate detractors. I realize the last entry in the Assassin's Creed franchise has its fans, but I personally found Ubisoft's wrap-up of its core Desmond-focused AC trilogy too languid in pace, and peculiarly dull for an entry in a series so thoroughly predicated upon swift and creative methods of murdering people. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag would, at first glance, seem to be cut from similar cloth to III. Though it takes place several decades prior to the Revolutionary War events of the last release, many of the same systems from that game have found their way into this sequel. However, where Black Flag sets itself apart is where AC III fell apart for me. Taking its setting into the pirate-filled waters of the early 18th century Caribbean, Black Flag crafts a surprisingly and wonderfully vibrant world to explore, both at sea and by land. And while its story isn't all that much more interesting than anything in the last few entries in this series, Assassin's Creed IV has so much to do, and so much of it is genuinely entertaining, that you'll be far too busy to care about its periodic missteps.

Surprising as it may sound, Black Flag's high seas adventure is one of the most enjoyable entries in the franchise.

It helps that Assassin's Creed IV doesn't waste much time getting you into the thick of things--or, well, comparatively speaking, anyway. As this series is often wont to do, Black Flag takes a few hours to guide you through its many systems, side-ventures, and mechanics (sometimes tutoring you on things you've already done several times.) Much of this stuff you'll probably already recognize if you're a series regular, though the ways in which Black Flag molds its existing gameplay into a heretofore unfamiliar open world design is where it's at its best.

The biggest change by far is the new open-world sailing. The boating from AC III is back in roughly the form you may remember, but now sailing the open waters has been expanded to act as your primary method of getting from place to place. The major cities of Havana, Nassau, and Kingston are joined by a large smattering of smaller isles, ports, and deserted specks of land. Even in the open waters, numerous activities will present themselves, including simple ship-to-ship combat and plunder, underwater diving missions, and enemy fort capturing.

None of this stuff would work if the ship controls weren't up to snuff. Thankfully, sailing the open seas is largely a joy. Though the boat controls certainly take a bit of getting used to--especially early on, before you've been able to upgrade your ship sufficiently to survive anything but the most basic combat scenarios--but once you manage to grasp them, the sea becomes an inviting, and even thrilling place. Ship combat can, at times, certainly be a chore, especially in zones where enemies lay claim to the territory, in which case you will often have to avoid going anywhere near them to avoid a protracted combat scenario. The game also does maybe the dumbest thing imaginable in having you engage in ship-based stealth in a couple of story missions. This is not a small, easily maneuverable boat, mind you, and trying to move it stealthily between enemies while avoiding even the slightest collision or infraction is a deeply irritating process. Fortunately, these situations only arise a couple of times, and represent just a fraction of the far more interesting endeavors you'll embark upon while on the water.

Many of the Caribbean's most famous pirates make appearances in Black Flag, often as friends, betrayers, or both.

The rest of the time you'll be on land, engaging in the usual types of story-based assassination missions, while often veering off the main path to do assassination contracts, fight off random enemy encounters, chase down couriers, purchase various businesses, climb to synchronization points, hunt animals, and collect any number of different things, ranging from the usual Animus fragments to sea chanties, which your crew will immediately add to their repertoire once you climb back aboard your ship.

That last bit represents a welcome shift toward usefulness in Black Flag's side missions. Whereas AC III's side stuff often felt kind of pointless, many of Black Flag's other missions actually have a bit of impact on your main game. Apart from just those chanties, now rescuing pirates from attacks by soldiers awards you new men for your ship's crew. Synchronization points now allow you to fast travel to those locations when necessary. Hunting gives you the necessary skins required to craft upgraded pistol holsters, ammunition bags, and the like. The completionist player will opt to do as much of this stuff as they can anyway, but those less geared toward hitting 100% completion now at least have more intrinsic use for these activities.

Of course, you could skip a lot of these missions, just stick to the story stuff, and still wring quite a few good hours out of Black Flag. The historical character you play, a swashbuckling privateer named Edward Kenway (grandfather of AC III's bland protagonist Connor), is a dashing fellow more in the tradition of Ezio than any other Assassin's Creed hero. Interestingly, Edward's affiliation with the Assassins guild is far more tenuous than other characters in the series. He begins the game by assuming the identity of a traitor Assassin, whom Edward ran across during the course of a naval battle. This Assassin had been working with the Templars to try and locate the Observatory, a mysterious First Civilization structure that houses a technology both the Assassins and Templars have a particular interest in.

Unsurprisingly, Edward finds himself caught between both the Assassins and Templars as they track a sage--a reincarnated being who has specific knowledge of the Observatory and its location--and try to prevent the opposing side from getting their hands on the Observatory's revelatory technology. However, Edward's interests are far more base at the outset. Being a pirate of minimal renown early on, Edward sees this Observatory as an epic treasure to plunder. All he wants is money and status, which is certainly in keeping with the game's piratical themes. However, he seeks these riches primarily in the hopes of winning back his estranged wife, who he left back in England when he began his privateering career.

Each land area features the many different synch points, side missions, and other hidden treasure you'd expect, but they're spread out across a huge chunk of oceanic territory, and finding everything will take quite a lot of doing.

Over the course of Edward's adventure, you'll meet numerous rogues of pirate history, including the fearsome Blackbeard, the pirate-turned-pirate hunter Benjamin Hornigold, the "Gentleman Pirate" Stede Bonnet, and two of the most famous female pirates of the era in Mary Read and Anne Bonny. Each of these real historical figures brushes up against Edward's adventure in one chapter or another, and the story is filled with lots of great character moments from each. In that very Assassin's Creed way, Edward ends up acting more as a cipher to experience the camaraderies and cozenages that take place between these characters. And that ends up being just fine, honestly. Edward has enough of a character arc to keep him interesting on his own merits, and the interactions he has with those great names of the high seas--especially Blackbeard and Read--are nicely done. There are definitely moments where the script ends up leaping around in time more than you'd perhaps prefer, especially when it skips over what seems like key character moments for the sake of getting you to the next major moment in the Observatory hunt. But what is there works about as well as you could hope for.

You might be wondering at this point how Black Flag inserts itself into the modern-day element of the Assassin's Creed franchise. How it chooses to occupy the space left behind by previous present-day protagonist Desmond Miles is interesting, if a bit slight. Hilariously, you play as a sort of personality-less developer hired to work at Abstergo Entertainment, the video game development arm of the Templars' all-purpose evil corporation. Your job is to enter the Animus to plug away at Edward's memories in order to find the location of the Observatory. In between all the Animusing, you'll find yourself in the company of both an overly upbeat project manager whose niceness barely masks a total disinterest in your wellbeing, and a shady IT director who cajoles you into running illicit errands that often involve hacking various Abstergo computers. Essentially, this whole section of the game is a series of hacking minigames followed by storyline infodumps you get from the files you acquire via the aforementioned hacking. Some of the revelations that come from those files fill in a few of the blanks about what's been going on since the end of AC III, but the actual story beats of that section don't offer much beyond a moderately interesting "aha!" twist at the end. Fortunately, this stuff makes up only a small fraction of the actual time you spend playing Assassin's Creed IV, and even at their worst, these sections are just a bit dull.

Once you have finished Edward's quest, you can of course simply return to the high seas to take care of any lingering objectives, or you can delve into the multiplayer suite, which is largely what you've come to expect from an Assassin's Creed game. In fact, apart from a few variances, there isn't really too much new here beyond what was included in Assassin's Creed III. Fortunately, it all seemed to work pretty well in the matches I played. The PlayStation 4 also has an "exclusive" additional mission section (that will apparently also be released for PC) featuring Assassin's Creed III: Liberation heroine Aveline. Here, she's tasked with tracking down a captured slave in a short story that, sadly, doesn't do much of anything to further the character. I liked Aveline in Liberation, despite the fact that the game seemed to almost purposely skimp on fleshing out her backstory and motivations. Here you don't even get any significant character moments at all, and the content ends up just being a few more sneak-and-stab missions among the many you'll already play in the main game, albeit with a different character.

Assassin's Creed IV looks amazing on the PlayStation 4 hardware.

I played through Assassin's Creed IV entirely on the PlayStation 4, so while I can't directly compare it to the other versions out there, I can say that this version looks pretty spectacular. Both on land and at sea, the game's artists have crafted some pretty awesome looking scenery. Crashing your boat into a rogue wave and watching the water sweep over the deck of your boat, seeing ships in the distance explode after you deliver a well-placed cannon shot, and simply taking in the gorgeous vistas as you perch atop the many synch points spread throughout the game, are just a few of the many visual highlights I can recall. The animation quality is top-notch too. Occasionally you'll see the kinds of weird quirks inherent to this series, like downed enemies glitching out due to wonky ragdoll physics, or the occasional character lifting a weapon that appears not to have actually loaded in their hands. But where the most detail and work has clearly gone--namely into Edward, his cohorts, and their various combat animations--the game looks terrific. It all runs great too, with only minimal frame rate dips in rare instances.

In some respects, it's perhaps reasonable to say that Assassin's Creed IV is the game that Assassin's Creed III should have been. Which is not to say that a game set in the Revolutionary War should have featured pirates and extended sailing sequences, but rather to acknowledge that the many game systems featured in AC III feel more fleshed out here, and appear better-suited to Black Flag's campaign. Its larger open world setting certainly helps, but an open world is only as good as the stories, characters, and activities you populate it with, and Black Flag's world is one I found myself coming back to again and again not just out of editorial requirement. That Black Flag's association with the Assassin's Creed franchise at times feels kind of tangential should really only be distressing to hardcore franchise fans desperate to see where the ongoing strife between Assassins and Templars is headed. For those who just like the idea of a game in which sailing and stabbing exist in harmony across a vast ocean of entertaining objectives, Black Flag most definitely delivers the goods.

Alex Navarro on Google+
115 Comments
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Edited by flippyandnod

@csl316 said:

An enjoyable read, as always.

I was gonna get this for $30 on Amazon today. Until I realized that didn't include the PS4 version. Curses.

Isn't a PS3 to PS4 upgrade only $10 though? $40 for it still isn't bad.

Edited by DaveKap

I don't quite understand how this glowing text review results in 4 out of 5 stars.

Posted by MichaelBach

Next-Gen Pirates!

Posted by Klei

Loved AC1, even if it was just a simple concept for a much broader game.

Liked AC2. Disliked the two others in the Ezio trilogy. I didn't like the setting, nor the characters.

Loved AC3. Has the best combat in the series, and ( I know I'm not the majority ) loved the protagonist.

Love AC4, currently trying to 100% it.

Edited by Scotto

My only issues with AC3 were:

- The Desmond story is TERRIBLE, and the ending of it is TERRIBLE. His modern-day missions are also TERRIBLE. Such a lousy payoff for a story that spanned FIVE GAMES.

- Conor is a bit of a dour dude (though understandably so - it doesn't make it any more fun to be him). He's Altair v2.0

- Traveling over the frontier areas (largely flat land and trees) was time consuming and dull.

Aside from those issues, I thought AC3 was alright. I think that game has entered into some sort of self-reinforcing negative feedback loop where people have convinced themselves that it's worse than it actually was. Conor's actual story was pretty cool. The way both sides of the Revolutionary War come to essentially betray Conor is interesting, and surprisingly mature for a video game story (it would have been very easy to portray the Founders as paragons of virtue). The only parts I found dumb, were Conor being at the Boston Tea Party, and dudes like Charles Lee morphing to look and act like sweaty-faced Boris Badenovs after the early reveal that they were Templars.

AC4 is a much better game overall, and the first one since Brotherhood that I've spent the time working towards 100% synchronization. The modern-day stuff is just busy work, but it's over fast, and provides the odd interesting tidbit about what is really going on. The ship combat is a fucking blast - I actually had to force myself to do another story mission on more than one occasion, because I realized I was just sailing around and fighting other ships for hours. The game also looks completely gorgeous.

My only issues with this game are:

- Locking single-player items behind "community challenges" that they get to release at their leisure, is bullshit. Especially when those challenges take place in the MULTIPLAYER.

- On a few occasions, the story seems to have something significant happen, only to just sort of wave it away and resolve it as though nothing happened (i.e. Your crew abandon you with your ship to die... oh, they are back again. All forgiven then I guess? There's a couple of things that happen with Vane and Rackham that are equally confusing in the way they are "resolved.")

- Too many missions on land where you have to tail dudes without being seen. Seriously.

- The usual control niggles, like sticking to walls you didn't want to climb, etc. Small, but still present. Pretty much a feature of the gameplay engine, at this point.

I was kind of burned out on the AC series after AC3, but I'm glad I bought this.

Posted by Scotto

@davekap said:

I don't quite understand how this glowing text review results in 4 out of 5 stars.

Because the game isn't perfect, and his review points out that there are dull aspects to the game. People spend too much time parsing what review scores mean.

Edited by Sweetz

@aykay_47 said:

Easily top 3 goty gets 4 stars. gtfo 2013.

Yeah...Saints Row 3, which was Giant Bomb's #2 GOTY for 2011 (behind Skyrim, and only losing by a hair at the end of a fairly enthusiastic debate), also got 4 stars from Alex.

Posted by GERALTITUDE

Great review Alex, I feel pretty much the same on this game. Love the sailing, love not being forced into the story. The developer modern times story is hilarious too, especially if you follow games closely.

Posted by steelerzfan101

The game is definitely at it's best when it breaks the fourth wall! I think they are brilliant and pretty well done...

Edited by Enigmatical

I can't stop playing this game, it's pretty amazing.

If I had a con, I'd say there are one too many "Trail this guy" or "Trail this ship" missions than I'd like, otherwise, a fantastic entry in a beloved series.

And the second screen stuff works fantastically. I'm horribly addicted to the fleet management mini-game and it has been bringing in significant amounts of dough to ensure there's never an upgrade I can't afford.

Posted by flippyandnod

I can't stop playing this game, it's pretty amazing.

If I had a con, I'd say there are one too many "Trail this guy" or "Trail this ship" missions than I'd like, otherwise, a fantastic entry in a beloved series.

And the second screen stuff works fantastically. I'm horribly addicted to the fleet management mini-game and it has been bringing in significant amounts of dough to ensure there's never an upgrade I can't afford.

Me too. I'm currently trying to figure out how I can get more frigates so I can open more routes to the old world. It only took a frigate and two brigs to open the route to Portugal, but going further is going to require more firepower. And there'd be little point anyway given most of the routes to the old world require more than 25 cargo anyway, many over 40.

The arbitrary limitation that you cannot send convoys to carry cargo on routes in this game is frustrating. I'm sure it was done on purpose, but it's a big tease.

Posted by Veektarius

I'd probably give it three stars, but I'm really not a fan of the franchise, even before it started rubbing people the wrong way.

Edited by PimblyCharles

@flippyandnod: It's really funny that I was at the mission (at 25%) where you dive and swim under water for the first time:

It was INFURIATING trying to get through stealthy in the mission. I must have failed like 50 times. Finally made it and knocked out the sniper before he saw me. You have to be perfect with your timing in it. Did you have the same difficulties? It's the mission right before you and James Kid go through the Mayan cave and dive in the water. Anyway, I made it to some swimming/diving action. Also, glad someone agrees that the controls for movement need major improvement. It's really touchy with the R2/RT controls. I'm going to keep going for the story, but I really hope there's no more stealth missions. They really suck. The open world part & story though, are fantastic so far.

Posted by csl316

@csl316 said:

An enjoyable read, as always.

I was gonna get this for $30 on Amazon today. Until I realized that didn't include the PS4 version. Curses.

Isn't a PS3 to PS4 upgrade only $10 though? $40 for it still isn't bad.

Oh yeah, forgot about upgrades. You can beat the system after all.

Edited by flippyandnod

@pimblycharles: I worked on my stealth chops a lot in the mission where you have to rescue your crew. This mission inexplicably doesn't have any checkpoints and that drove me batty. I'd save 10 guys and then have to restart.

I believe the mission you are in includes the section where you have to disable the bell? I didn't have much trouble stealthing until the bell part. It was near impossible to approach that bell with stealth. Even if I could get up to it, someone would see me and so I couldn't cut the clapper.

So I just took a circuitous route from the left side to the bell area, pulling every person along the way into the bushes and killing them. Used a lot of whistling too. For the snipers, I just put a sleep dart on them and then ran up and knocked them out. I think on the last tower I didn't even knock the tower guy out, I just ran up and cut the bell and then the next section to the gate wasn't nearly so hard. Note some of the towers have those contraptions that pull you up to the top rapidly, use those if you can.

Posted by Foggen

I was still fine with ACIII, in spite of the terrible Desmond ending. However this sounds like pretty much exactly what I wanted after that game ended. Frankly, I was sold at the first mention of open-world sailing. It's like they took the promise of Wind Waker and put pirates in it.

Posted by StriderNo9

I haven't read the review yet but I love Alex's writing so much so I'm looking forward to going through this later tonight.

Posted by Gruff182

Great game.

The only thing I didn't like, was the fact that it's an AC game. Being a pirate, doing pirate stuff was awesome. As soon as they went on about templars, science fiction lady or being pulled out of the Animus, was a shitty distraction from Pirating. Would have rather the story was all about the Black Beard arch with some Mayan stuff thrown in.

Posted by spraynardtatum

Yeah, this game ended up being a lot better than I was expecting. I'm thoroughly enjoying it.

Online
Edited by GaspoweR

@mrfluke said:

Might very well be my Goty and my favorite in the series. its been fantastic so far, and im happy that i can love AC again after the abysmal AC3.

i love that its so peripherally attached to the assassins vs templars conflict and its more there for context than anything else, it loosened them up so that they can tell a great pirate story and create a great pirate world. i really hope they continue with that so that they can explore other settings and times more easily.

but i agree with what Alex's negative's are about the game even if it didn't bother me as much as it did for him. like i found the modern stuff interesting from a story perspective, but it is sort of dull.

excellent review Alex,

That's true that the actual modern day stuff seems pretty dull but at the very least it does paint a picture of the post-Desmond miles world and also where they can actually go in future entries in the franchise. Perhaps they'll continue sticking with the modern day Abstergo angle in future games.

Posted by courage_wolf

Once MGS5 is done Kojima needs to make a ship based stealth game. The wonderful insanity of Metal Gear set in the Age of Sail would be great. "Tell me about Wooden Cog."

Edited by InfamousBIG

REVIEW SCORES, Y'ALL! LET'S FREAK OUT!

Posted by dropkickpikachu

I fell off the wagon after Revelations and thought I was going to be too burned out on the series to care about this one, but it ended up being one of my absolute favorite games this year. Definitely give it a shot if you like any of the other Assassin's Creed games.

Posted by mrfluke
@gaspower said:

@mrfluke said:

Might very well be my Goty and my favorite in the series. its been fantastic so far, and im happy that i can love AC again after the abysmal AC3.

i love that its so peripherally attached to the assassins vs templars conflict and its more there for context than anything else, it loosened them up so that they can tell a great pirate story and create a great pirate world. i really hope they continue with that so that they can explore other settings and times more easily.

but i agree with what Alex's negative's are about the game even if it didn't bother me as much as it did for him. like i found the modern stuff interesting from a story perspective, but it is sort of dull.

excellent review Alex,

That's true that the actual modern day stuff seems pretty dull but at the very least it does paint a picture of the post-Desmond miles world and also where they can actually go in future entries in the franchise. Perhaps they'll continue sticking with the modern day Abstergo angle in future games.

yea it serves its purpose, provides an interesting angle on the modern story. but the act of playing it though, is arguably dull.

but im kind of fine with that though, as having just finished the game, it stayed interesting all the way through.

Posted by MormonWarrior

I really, really liked II and was kinda bummed out by Brotherhood despite some neat story beats and sequences. I hated the original and I've totally skipped Revelations and III. Would I be missing anything if I just dove straight into IV once I get around to building a nice PC?

Posted by Nasar7

Have never really liked the AC series. This might be my GOTY.

Posted by Zevvion

Never liked a single Assassin's Creed game. I really like this one though. Not my GOTY as some say it is, there have been so many great games this year. Not saying those people are lying or anything, but it's always easy to forget how much fun you had with games back in March or even February and it may cloud your judgment.

Thoroughly enjoying it though.

Posted by Jimbo

Kenway's personality is a mix of both Altair and Ezio, but his arc is all Altair. And he isn't out there trying to get rich to win back his estranged wife; he's estranged from his wife because he's out there trying to get rich.

Brotherhood is still the better game I think, but AC4 runs it close, which is a pretty impressive turnaround for a franchise which looked like it was in freefall after Revelations and AC3.

This is pretty easily my GOTY (I didn't play much this year), but I'd probably agree with 4 stars tbh. It's borderline, but there are enough niggling issues with it to just hold it back from a 5.

Online
Posted by Jimbo

Oh, and they deserve a nod for introducing Garrus from IT with a dumb Garrus reference.

Online
Posted by bunnymud

I would have thought Vinnie to do the reivew

Edited by Y2Ken

When I first saw this game demoed (at E3 perhaps?) I wasn't especially hot on it. Coming off the somewhat lacklustre ACIII and seeing the gameplay they chose to demo, which was the early rather linear segments, even a love for pirates wasn't really pulling me through.

And then the full game demos started to come around, and I saw more and more of the game, and my interest grew and grew (and grew). The initial story angle (of not being an assassin but winging your way as one) seems like a great springboard for a cool story, the early city stuff I've seen looks like a glorious return to the ACII trilogy's heyday, and I love love love what they did with the out-of-Animus stuff (at least in the initial sequence, which is all I've seen).

Picked up the game yesterday and for the first time in the entire series I'm prioritising finishing it for GotY, because I believe it could be a genuine contender - at least for the top five, and perhaps even that hotly-contested #1 spot.

Posted by blurienh

Really regret playing through this on my 360 and not waiting to play it on my PS4, didn't stop me enjoying it but I cant help but feel I missed out on an extra level of atmosphere.

Great game though and shows that there's still life in the franchise.

Edited by radioactivez0r

I am totally digging the songs the crew sings (I sometimes don't want to move into the next mission/area until they are done with it) and the main character. Edward is so wonderfully self-centered and just wants money and fame, and if he has to associate with these weirdos in hoods and "Templars" to get it, well that's just fine. I really hope that doesn't change too much as the story progresses (only about 30% sync right now).

Posted by avantegardener

I am one of the worst AC apologists, and genuinely enjoyed all of them, glad to see this is really striking out with broad swath of the populus, this undeniably just a great video game.

Posted by TheTerribleFamiliar

I'm surprised the soundtrack wasn't specifically mentioned. I think it's excellent! The main theme has been stuck in my head for days since I started playing.

I haven't spent much time with any other game in the series aside from the first, but I'm loving IV.

Edited by Sooty

Combat is still awfully simplistic and drab, it makes me not want to buy it which is annoying me because exploring that world looks kind of enticing.

Posted by CrippWox

I really enjoy this game and reminded me how i felt playing assassin's creed II when everything was perfect.

Posted by natedynamic

@radioactivez0r: Don't worry. Edward is always Edward, for better or worse. His character feels the most 'genuine' since Ezio.

I love the Assassin's Creed series, and have enjoyed just about every inch of its evolution. It's always a must-buy, just because there is nothing else out there like it. Black Flag vindicates my loyalty to the series in every way. It's not just a great AC game, it's a great pirate game. And it's not just a great pirate game, it's a great game. Period. :)

Posted by tgammet
Posted by armaan8014

I really, really liked II and was kinda bummed out by Brotherhood despite some neat story beats and sequences. I hated the original and I've totally skipped Revelations and III. Would I be missing anything if I just dove straight into IV once I get around to building a nice PC?

You'd miss nothing acc to me

Posted by Mezmero

Another really well written review Alex. I thought this game was fantastic. I finished it on PS3 but I still had a ton of fun despite wishing that I could have played it on a next gen console. One feature that I think is not getting enough attention is the addition of letting you mark targets and track them through walls with eagle vision Far Cry 3 style. It makes tailing and assassination missions a lot easier to pull off discreetly should you so desire. If some of the main story missions were a bit more entertaining this game would have been pretty close to the top of my end of the year list. As it stands this is hands down my favorite of the Assassin's Creed games and easily my favorite pirate themed video game ever made. Keep up the good work.

Posted by LobotomyKing

I really loved a lot about this game, but it falls into a lot of the same traps AC III did gameplay-wise. I think after like the 4th or 5th tailing mission in a row i put down the game and couldn't stand to play it. There is nothing interesting about playing the story missions except for the writing, but you have to push through actually playing the badly organized missions to get to it. the story missions are a bunch of walking and bad stealth mechanics; however, everything outside of story missions felt great and had me playing for hours without actually engaging in the main campaign. anyway nice review, Alex.

Posted by Roger778

Awesome review, Alex. I was disappointed in AC 3. I simply felt it was the weakest game in the series. This sounds like it is really improved over it's predecessor. I can't wait to play it.

Posted by flippyandnod

Some more stuff not mentioned that is awesome:

There are some good climbing sections, the game cribs a lot from Uncharted in these, even some of the camera angles are the same. It has a great feel.

And the storms on the water. You're just sailing along and then up comes a storm. You hear the crew mention it first and then you start to see rogue waves and waterspouts (tornados). Very cool.

This game just has so much going for it.

Edited by bgdiner

Really well-written, fleshed-out review mate.

Posted by StingingVelvet

This is a really solid and well made game, quite enjoyable, and yet like all AC games I find myself bored around halfway through. They're just too long and have too much busywork for me.

Edited by HalfDane1975

I always found the combat in the AssCreed games to be awesome to look at but totally lacking in challenge. I always loved sid Meiers pirates though and if this is even slightly similar I might give it a try.

Posted by zacharai

@mrgtd: 'Chantey' is actually the original spelling of the word, with 'shanty' following soon after as the Americanized version. Alex was merely feeling a bit British on that day.

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