Assassins Creed 4: Retreading The Past In The Animus

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Here we are, yet another fucking Assassins creed game, another attempt to milk this cash cow to a leather skin rug, it might work for a while but you’re not quite sure whether it constitutes abuse.

This is the follow-up to Assassins creed 3 (oddly enough) where Present day Desmond gets killed to preserve the human race, unless you picked the other option to let everyone except you and your motley crew die a horrible fiery death. So with the story arc of 5 fucking games gets finally wrapped up, is there anywhere to take the story? Short of jamming in a brand new set of characters in present day, that’s about all you can do because the premise is still exactly the same from the baby days of Assassins Creed 1, go into the Animus and relive an ancestors memories from interesting parts of history.

For the most part the worlds we relive are interesting and fun to explore, except for ass creed 3, America during its war of independence was boring as shit, although having a character in Connor Kenway with about as much charisma and emotion as a Blind Deaf Mute didn’t help things at all.

They’ve at least rectified things this time around, by having it be about pirates in the west indies during 17 or 18 hundreds (I should remember but the game is so ludicrously huge your bound to forget some stuff, might as well make it the date!) and you play Edward Kenway who arrived in the Caribbean to make his riches as a privateer and or pirate, whichever was easiest I suppose. He is a perfect fit to be a pirate too, as he is an utter ruthless bastard motivated only by gold and treasure (side note he’s Welsh too, I only bring that up because I can’t think of another game that has a Welsh main character, although he didn’t sound too Welsh to me).

Once you get your pirates drivers license you’re set loose on the open ocean of the Caribbean, the first thing that strikes you is how utterly beautiful it is, even on the Xbox 360 (what I played it on) I thought it looked brilliant, no doubt it’ll look so good on the next-gen consoles that ill get a boner, but that’s not for now!

D

The next thing you’ll pick up on is the sailing (you’re main mode of transportation in the game) along with that comes naval battles and searching for lost treasure etc. Which unfortunately amounts to a little extra money and some upgrade plans for your ship, I can’t help thinking that they missed a trick by not making more of looking for buried treasure.

Sailing really does make you feel like you’re in a massive open world, as it takes forever to get anywhere until you unlock fast travel, and then if your like me you’ll fast travel every bloody where to save yourself some time. The downside to the epic voyage among the seas is that you end up hitting a massive wall of grind and spit as if you want to get anywhere with the side quests with your ship it really does help to buy yourself upgrades for the ship. And for that you need gold and materials, and how do you get the materials? You board other ships and steal their stuff, rinse and repeat untold millions of times doesn’t quite convey the shear effort and time it takes to upgrade everything…. Which I did…. Ugh.

That brings me to the story, since Desmond is kind of out of the picture where does that leave us in the present world? Well we get two old faces from the previous games, and you as an apparent Abstergo Entertainment employee tricked into giving them data etc. It’s a bit forced and not very well thought out, I thought the Desmond sections in earlier games were far superior.

Oh and that brings me to the length of the game, It’s fucking huge, I ended up with about 75% total sync completion and that took me a good 30-40 hours. I’m all for longevity, but this dragged on far too long, or at least there wasn’t enough variety in the missions to keep the players interest up. I mean, Skyrim was a fucking gigantic game (I sunk 120+ hours into that) and I never felt this exhausted, it was a joy to play, but somehow Ass creed 4 misses out on that elusive sweet spot.

Don’t get me wrong, this is a good game and at times quite fun. But I just could never escape that feeling of “been there done that” we’ve been put through the ringer now 6 times and its starting to show in the game, tired, un-inspired, run of the mill. It still is a good game, but it’s tired and really needs to be put to bed, although I fully expect this to continue to get the Call Of Duty Activision treatment.

If you’ve played the previous games, feel safe that you’re not really missing a whole lot to the lore of Assassins creed. If you haven’t, then this is still a decent game that can introduce you to the previous iterations.

After all that, it’s just an overwhelming feeling of “Meh” and that is so so disappointing.

Thank You For Reading As Always 🙂

Dave

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