Assassin’s Creed IV

Assassins Creed IV is an ambitious, smart and large sequel that improves from it’s predecessors in almost every single way. The one thing that sets this game apart from any other Assassins Creed, or any game, is the setting and the world. You are quickly thrust into a lush Caribbean sea with islands to explore, cities to roam and a sea to sail on. Your character, Edward Kenway is a welcome addition to the roster of Assassins, and he isn’t afraid to be a little bit of fun, unlike his grandson, Connor. Assassin’s Creed 4 also looks stunning on my new and shiny PS4, being one of the most beautiful games of 2013. Other noteworthy features such as the return of the series’ multiplayer, improved ship gameplay, Far cry 3 crafting and modern day missions all work well and make the game amazing. Unfortunately the main story is a little disappointing and the return of some annoying stealth missions bring the game down, but overall AC 4 is a great breath of fresh air for the series.

In AC 4 there are three main cities, Kingston, Havana and Nassau, over 50+ islands to explore and a large open sea littered with ships to sink, storms to avoid and animals to hunt. It is by far the largest open world in any Assassin’s Creed game and the best open world and the developers know it. Unlike past games you have all the freedom you want and almost right away you can explore and do as you please. This kind of freedom is a major addition to AC 4, unlike AC 3 where you were forced to wait for hours and hours before you could explore. Find treasure, sink ships, do assassination contacts, the list goes on and on of all the things you can do in this amazing open world.

Check out this 15 minute demo for a full look at the open world

The gameplay is fast, responsive and fun. Whether it’s on land or at sea, Edward fights well and can be upgraded to have better swords, more pistols and health, while you can upgrade the Jackdaw, your ship, in armor, ram strength and more. The combat system makes it return from AC 3 and it plays well and isn’t too hard or annoying. The Jackdaw plays very well and it is a great improvement from AC 3’s naval combat. When I first heard that naval combat would be mandatory, I was more then a little worried but do not fret because it is fun and easy.  Climbing around as well as the parkour is the same and even if occasionally Edward jumps onto something that I didn’t want him to, it is still better than past games. Unfortunately stealth missions do make their return, and they are just as annoying as ever. Eavesdropping and tailing soldiers is just not fun and restarting over and over again can really get on your nerves, even if the AI has been dumbed down so you can be spotted once or twice, as long you run away fast enough. Overall the gameplay in Assassin’s Creed 4 is not enormously  different, but small tweaks and improvements have been made to make a better game.

The graphics in Assassin’s Creed 4 look amazing, especially on the PS4. Your render distance is huge, the foliage looks and moves realistically, animations are smooth and even small details like the clothes that Edward wears look really well done. It is a true example of what is capable on next-gen and I cannot wait until Assassin’s Creed is next-gen only and isn’t held back by the PS3. You also use the touch pad on the new Dualshock 4 to open and move around the world map, something that isn’t too innovative but is a great use of the touch pad. Remote play, with the PlayStation Vita, plays, looks and feels amazingly well and I am impressed with the technology behind it. Assassins Creed 4 is a great game on the PS4, and well worth the upgrade.

A graphics comparison between both PS3 and PS4 versions. Notice the difference in character detail, lighting and the backround

The biggest disappointment of Assassin’s Creed 4, was the main story. I don’t want to spoil anything, but throughout the entire campaign I never understood Edward’s motive, and I don’t even think the writers do. Even characters such as Blackbeard are a let down and at times I was bored. Fortunately, near the end of the game the story begins to pick up, but by that time it was far too late. It’s a good thing that the world is so amazing because otherwise, I don’t know if I would have wanted to finish the story.

Blackbeard may seem cool in this trailer, but in the game he was a bit disappointing

One thing I found myself enjoying far more then I expected to, was the  modern day campaign. It takes place in first person and you play as an Abstergo employee learning about Edward Kenway for commercial use. You quickly get yourself caught up in corporate espionage, hacking and the ever lasting feud between Templars and Assassin’s. It’s fun, has plenty of easter eggs regarding future Assassin’s Creed games and features one of the best views I have ever seen in a video game game, a look at Montreal. Over all the modern day story was a great change from Desmond, and I’m excited to see what they do next.

That’s the best picture of the view I could find, but trust me it looks amazing, especially being from Canada and being able to recognize some of the landscape

Finally, the multiplayer makes it’s return and it is as unique and fun as it ever was. Nothing has been changed too much, but nothing had to be changed because it is pretty fun. It definitely isn’t something I will be putting dozens of hours into, but is something I may return to every once and a while. There are perks, abilities, fun maps from the story, and plenty of game modes. There is also something called the game lab where you can make your own game mode. The multiplayer is a solid addition to the game, but nothing ground breaking or super addictive have been added.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is a great addition to the franchise and a great breath of fresh air. Everything from the open world, characters, multiplayer and modern day campaign were all amazing while the story was disappointing and some stealth missions were annoying. I can’t wait to see what Ubisoft delivers next year when we are farther in the next generation. Overall I give Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag an 8

Score: 8

+Huge open world

+Beautiful graphics

+Good modern-day sections

+Fun multiplayer

-Disappointing story

-Stealth missions still need some work

Have any questions about AC 4 or the PS4? Let me know in the comments!


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