Assassin’s Creed IV is the second video game to be played on my new PS4 console, and next gen gaming platform. I completed the main story campaign and did a fair bit of side missions and collectables in the open world game. I clocked in close to 30 hours and I still have about 30% of side missions and collectables to complete. Having played a main chunk of the single player campaign, I must say, that this instalment of the Assassin’s Creed series is one of the most enjoyable instalment I have played to date. ACIV does return to its core roots in what makes the AC franchise compelling to play.
Though I wasn’t blown away by the story, Kenway by itself is a very interesting character with a big moral issue. It is that aspect of his character that makes it engaging. You no longer play a character who, from get-go swore allegiance to the assassins right from the beginning. His character consists of multiple shades of grey, going so far as to assist the Templars in their quest to find a legendary artefact.
Kenway happens to be the grandfather of Connor Kenway, an assassin in AC III. This approach of creating a game which by itself a prequel to III and a story on its own is extremely unique.
I never did enjoy AC III, mainly the history took place during the American Revolution and the plight of the Native Americans. AC Revelations was enjoyable, but it seemed like something was missing in the game. It felt like the essence of of what makes AC franchise so unique and compelling was lost and muddled. AC II was by far still my favourite. A vast improvement to the very first game, and it cemented the game by introducing and refining some of the core mechanics of the game and makes it unique.
AC IV, a pirate themed game is heavy on the naval warfare as you control your very own ship in the waters of the caribbean. And surprisingly I enjoyed it a lot. The controls are more refined when naval warfare was introduced in AC III and it has extremely realistic feel when it comes to steering the ship in the rough waters that has its water physics nailed down nicely. Sailing through open calm waters and rough seas with rogue waves are two totally different experiences.
There are so many things you can do in the open world game of ACIV. And those things are not overly annoying or contrived just so to extend the gameplay length. I enjoyed doing all aspects of the side missions and collecting treasures, finding treasure maps and many more. Those elements are cleverly introduced without diluting the spirit of piracy and and swashbuckling adventures so inherent in ACIV.
There are so many things that Ubisoft made this game right and so into the spirit of pirate adventuring. From the characters such as Charles Vane and Blackbeard to the ship that you own called the Jackdaw used to navigate the world to the cities of the carribbean such as Havana, Kingston and so on, everything was done right.
Overall I am glad that the AC franchise has returned to its former glory days.