Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag–First Impressions

I think what I like about this series is that the developers actually seem to LISTEN to criticism from the fans. What was appalling in AC3 have-as far as I can see so far-been ironed out and returned to something like their former glories.

You play as Edward Kenway – Connor’s grandfather. I’m hoping this means Haytham Kenway might be in the next game… Edward is Welsh although he doesn’t sound like it at all, and oddly he’s got all the assassin’s skills right from the start of the game, despite not being aligned to either the Assassins or the Templars. I suppose that’s good, learning them all again would be annoying.

It’s BIG – this game. Rather bogglingly big – I’m about 2 per cent complete and I’ve been playing for a good while. There’s a huge chunk of the Caribbean to explore with secret locations you have to find by yourself and a lot of them marked. Such a change from “four cities” where it all started.

Ship sailing is a lot more straightforward, the aiming system is nice and easy and on a curve, which is great – you can even shoot down ships that you can’t see by chucking cannons over waves. Hee hee.

The combat system – annoyingly – has been “tweaked” and gone is the super counter-kill which I am shit hot at – and now you just counter an attack which creates an opportunity to break their defence and attack, which isn’t an improvement.

The Farmville aspects seem to have gone, thank the lord, and in fact this game has moved closer to Far Cry 3 which fans of that game will like. You have to – as in FC3 – kill all sorts of animals to help craft larger “pouches” and some of these can only be caught from ships – there’s a whaling aspect as well as piratey goodness and I think I’ll just have to suck that up. Amusing that I have no qualms about stabbing redcoats and Spanish and all sorts – but have a wobble when I’m tasked to go whaling!

Personally, I’d like the option to do missions the way I want to do them, either fighty or hidey, and for some of them the option is available – such as rescuing a load of prisoners off ships, you can either sneak about the assassinate the guards or pile in and fight everyone – but some missions require you to just fight and as people will know who know me – fightin’ ain’t what I went to Viper House for.

BUT – considering I’m only a little while in – I’m really enjoying it-it bears no relation to the horror of AC3 and it’s really helping to remove the nasty taste of Connor.

© Copyright 2013 Erastes, All rights Reserved. Written For: Erastes
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