By Sam Coles:
Assassin’s Creed these days has the credibility of stale bread due to the lack of innovation and the disastrous launch of Unity, but here is a game where they flexed their creative muscles after the bore fest that was Assassin’s Creed III so they went screw it! Let’s make a pirate game where you’re not even an Assassin’s for most of the game.
So in Assassin’s Creed IV you take control of Edward Kenway who is a Welsh pirate who happens to seek what the Assassin’s and Templars are seeking not because of destiny, but because he is a bastard who wants to make money. That’s what I like about this game is the fact that you’re not an Assassin for most of the game you’re just a pirate out to make money and flip the finger at the King’s Navy and it’s brilliant. It’s a good Pirate’s of the Caribbean game! So you’ll be sailing through the West Indies getting into naval skirmishes, getting into drunken fist fights, raiding plantations and part taking in breath taking sword fights.
The gameplay takes the good parts of Assassin’s Creed III with the naval combat but they’ve made it the main focus of the game so you’ll be getting into battles with the Spanish and British navy and plundering their goods to help upgrade your ship such as armour and weapons.
The sword fighting is fast and fluid and I think that helps the fact that you can carry two swords and four flintlock pistols on you, so you can set a rhythm to the fights so if there are enemies that are far away you can cap them and then get back into the sword fighting with no delay. It does feel that you need to be aggressive by actually fighting instead of just standing there like a twat waiting for them to take turns to hit you before you stab them up and their ears pop off like champagne corks.
As you sail the West Indies you’ll find loot and people in the ocean that you can save to be part of your crew and bolster your supplies such as rum or new materials to help you craft new holsters and other parts to help upgrade your ship the Jackdaw. You can also steal supplies from other ships where it has you engage in thrilling naval battles to weaken their defences where you then board them and get your swords dirty.
Visually this game looks beautiful from the subtle touches with the serine emerald see to the smoke settling from the cannons after you’ve unleashed a barrage for death and pain. The character models do look a bit strange, but I’ll give it the benefit of the doubt because it was a cross gen game and the start of the 8th generation of consoles, so it’s excusable.
Overall this game is the best Assassin’s Creed in the series and I’m glad that I downloaded it when it was free on Xbox Live with the games with gold program. Although it’s no longer free on the Xbox Live you can pick up for a really cheap price on all platforms which can range from £10-£15 so grab it and set sail.