Thursday, 7 November 2013

LADY ELEANOR VIDEO GAME REVIEW: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag - Ubisoft

Release Date: 29/10/13
Publisher:  Ubisoft


The year is 1715. Pirates rule the Caribbean and have established their own lawless Republic where corruption, greediness and cruelty are commonplace.

Among these outlaws is a brash young captain named Edward Kenway. His fight for glory has earned him the respect of legends like Blackbeard, but also drawn him into the ancient war between Assassins and Templars, a war that may destroy everything the pirates have built.

Welcome to the Golden Age of Piracy.

Key Features

A BRASH REBEL ASSASSIN – Become Edward Kenway, a charismatic yet brutal pirate captain, trained by Assassins. Edward can effortlessly switch between the Hidden Blade of the Assassin’s Order and all new weaponry including four flintlock pistols and dual cutlass swords.
EXPLORE AN OPEN WORLD FILLED WITH OPPORTUNITIES – Discover the largest and most diverse Assassin’s Creed world ever created. From Kingston to Nassau, explore over 75 unique locations where you can live the life of a pirate including:
- Loot underwater shipwrecks
- Assassinate Templars in blossoming cities
- Hunt for rare animals in untamed jungles
- Search for treasure in lost ruins
- Escape to hidden coves
BECOME THE MOST FEARED PIRATE IN THE CARIBBEAN – Command your ship, the Jackdaw, and strike fear in all who see her. Plunder and pillage to upgrade the Jackdaw with ammunition and equipment needed to fight off enemy ships. The ship’s improvements are critical to Edward’s progression through the game. Attack and seamlessly board massive galleons, recruit sailors to join your crew and embark on an epic and infamous adventure.
EXPERIENCE THE GRITTY REALITY BEHIND THE PIRATE FANTASY – Stand amongst legendary names such as Blackbeard, Calico Jack and Benjamin Hornigold, as you establish a lawless Republic in the Bahamas and relive the truly explosive events that defined the Golden Age of Piracy.
THE BEST ASSASSIN’S CREED MULTIPLAYER EXPERIENCE TO DATE - Put your assassination skills to test and embark on an online journey throughout the Caribbean. Discover a brand new set of pirate characters, and explore exotic and colourful locations. Additionally, create your own game experience with the new Game Lab feature – craft your own multiplayer mode by choosing abilities, rules and bonuses. Play and share your newly created mode with your friends.


OK, now I know that there are quite a reviews out there already, however to be honest I'm surprised at how quickly a fair few people have managed to get them up so quick with so much gameplay time within. (Currently I'm on 63% with just over 70 hours logged in.)

The game is huge, has the cracking free roam option on the biggest world yet designed by the Ubisoft Crew. It has quite a bit of stuff to do on the high seas with not only massive epic battles but islands to explore, discoveries to be made and of course my personal favourite the locating of treasure maps and discovering their locations.

Throw into the mix a massive range of items to improve such as upgrading your ship, Edward himself, through hunting on land and water (yes whaling but you also go after sharks as well), all round help you give your character the best chance on his various missions. However one thing that left me feeling a little flat was the option of collecting the art pieces within the game, they didn't do anything other than decorate the home whereas in previous games they've helped the user gain finances with timely updates.

Yet having mentioned all this, I realise I've not managed to get to the solid story arc (although to be honest James Kidd didn't surprise me as I suspected that twist for quite some time) some good interaction between the actors ability coming through in not only the characters facial movements but their vocal stresses.

However whilst so far this has been mainly positive there are quite a few downsides to the game. Firstly a fair few items are quite pricy, you'll be saving for quite some time and to be honest you'll find the money burning its way through your hands at the rate of knots. The graphics, despite being designed on a new engine haven't been improved to the degree I'd have expected and sound wise I did find that some of the effects were quite muted. Add to this that, when pirating as a gamer I wanted a smooth rope boarding (which felt more like the character climbing the rope rather than sailing across, perhaps even showing it as they did in the advert with a side on view) and in addition to this I would have loved the chance to have ripped sails with a dagger like the roguish Douglas Fairbanks Junior which to be honest did leave me feeling a little short changed.

This all said, the game is a huge amount of fun and whilst it plays on a different angle to what has gone before, I do wonder if a little something has been lost as they try to pile on the quantity whilst letting some of the quality slip. It is fun, I'm spending a whole heap of time ravaging the Caribbean but all round, I still think the second AC title is still my favourite.

Lady Eleanor is Falcata Times Mistress of Mayhem, be it in the Horror Genre or on the console, she gives it her all and loves to blow the hell out of anyone who gets in her way.  You can often find her perusing the game sites to get the latest gossip on what’s arriving next or checking out the latest movie/book releases to see what grabs her attention.

In addition to this Lady Eleanor is a lifelong fan of pin up and in particular the Fetish Queen of the 50’s Bettie Page and whilst the name is an alias, its due more to her love of a song by the same title by the group Lindisfarne rather than her dominating presence when she lays down the law.

(Artwork by Isis Sousa for Falcata Times)

No comments: