In this edition of TRPWL Gamer Girls, Axis Evol reviews Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag for the Xbox One.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag takes Desmond Miles’ bloodline further back in what is the sixth (and my personal favorite) installment of the game.
The entirety of this game is just overflowing with all of the brooding swashbuckling pirates anyone could ever have hoped for. This game plays out with you as Edward Kenway captaining the Jackdaw, constantly fighting off British, Spanish & French naval fleets with the occasional bounty hunter here and there.
The game play begins with you aboard a pirate ship mid battle and the ships captain dead along the shores of Cape Bonevista in the year 1715. Taking the ships reigns into your own hands is where you first catch a glimpse of one of the games villains, a rogue assassin named Duncan Walpole. To no avail you cannot save your ship or fellow crew members and you get thrown overboard and knocked out briefly just long enough to experience one of Edwards many memories throughout your game play.
Coming to, you have no other choice but to swim ashore just to find your stranded alongside Mr. Walpole. The games control tutorial continues and plays out steadily throughout this entire first memory in the animus. Your goal being to run down Duncan, Ubisoft throws just about every obstacle they can at you from the very start… trees, long jumps, free falls, climbing up lattice like structures and huts with all the parkour goodness that Assassin’s Creed is known for. After killing Duncan and essentially stealing his identity you have one final obstacle to overcome before being able to escape off the island and that is saving a sugar merchant and constant character throughout the game named Stede Bonnet from a handful of English soldiers. This is just another way for the creators of the game to allow you to hone your newly adapted persona’s skill set; the stealth assassination.
The storyline takes you to Havana where you carry out Mr. Walpoles’ plans which set Black Flag’s storyline into motion. You will be introduced to not one villain but three right from the get go; Torres, Woodes Rogers and Julien du Casse. Torres inducts the three of you into the Templar Order and gives an explanation as to what his master plan is for the little glass case Edward delivers to him somewhat unknowingly. Shortly after you will be introduced to a seemingly innocent Sage named Bartholomew Roberts that Torres has in custody to lead him to the long sought after Observatory. Things pick up considerably from this point in the game on. After an attack from the Assassins you help run down Mr. Roberts for Torres and he rewards you with an amount of Reales that your character doesn’t find satisfactory. From this point on your goal is to steal back the device you delivered to Torres and sell it off along with the Observatories location to the highest bidder. You’ll need the help of the sage now and decide to break him out just to find he’s already broken out and you are caught by the Templars and blamed for his escape and sent off back to London in the brig of a Spanish ship. While in the brig you meet another prisoner and end up freeing yourselves and shortly after acquire the “Jackdaw” Edward’s ship.
You head to Nassau and are introduced to Kenway’s long time friends and integral characters in the game Edward Thatch, James Kidd and Benjamin Hornigold. From this point on you have the option to carry out missions for the main storyline or wander off to fulfill assassination contracts amongst other missions. Throughout your journey you are to track down assassins all over the Caribbean and help take down several Templars to right the wrongs you had done earlier in the game by betraying the assassins. Doing so allows you to acquire keys to Templar armor that is quite good later in the game. Eventually you prove yourself to the Ah Tabai the assassins leader by doing random missions and fighting off the Templar incursions you get to further the storyline and hunt down the Sage Roberts again just to encounter a plot twist that you probably won’t see coming.
Later on you realize that Kenway’s long time friend Thatch is actually the dreaded pirate Blackbeard. Which I personally was just stoked about. He helps you throughout a good portion of the main mission and tags along for some pretty intense battles on the open ocean as well. Off and on throughout Desmond’s memories you will come to back into the real world and find yourself on the intercom speaking to and running errands for the IT guy. These errands later get you into some hot water and he guides you through the process of covering your tracks. Further into the game play you realize something is seriously fishy with this guy between his bouts of anger when things don’t go his way and his constant threats of blackmail. Towards the end of your game play in real time you find that the IT guy has been the Sage Roberts all along trying to invoke Juno back to earth which you find we just aren’t ready for.
This Assassin’s Creed in particular is pretty emotionally driven. You find yourself bonded with Edward Kenway in such a way that you feel a sadness come over you when he experiences a loss or his happiness even during the end credits when you find out he has a daughter that he’s re-united with. You just can’t help but atleast smirk as you watch them set sail into the sunset and make small talk. There really isn’t a lack of things to do in this game. I mean between hunting down animus fragments, treasure chests, Mayan relics, manuscripts, treasure maps, letters and even shanties you have your work cut out for you! Don’t worry though before you even begin the game you have the option of buying certain map packs that can mark where everything is on your map making life much easier for you. Throughout the game while on open sea you are constantly fighting naval fleets and yes even pillaging forts, which gives you the unique opportunity to upgrade your ship with extra fire power to take out your enemies which actually helps you rank up on the online list of most feared pirates. Once you’ve finished with the game itself you can take it a step further and play the multiplayer with others which is also a lot of fun.
All in all my two sense on this game is that it IS without a doubt one of the better Assassin’s Creed’s to date. Dare I say the best even? At least for me it was. I thought about live streaming my game play on Twitch I liked this game so much, but I’m glad I didn’t because I was genuinely immersed in the plot the entire time. If you are a fan of Ubisofts’ Assassin’s Creed franchise this game alone is going to leave you wanting to go buy all six games and play them back to back I promise you that, and as a matter of fact I intend to do just that!
Thanks to Axis for the review. Our next few reviews are planned, but if any other performers are interested please send me an electronic communication, @CindiSpiegler. I check it fairly regularly.