A Swashbuckling Adventure

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After the cliff hanger ending of Assassin’s Creed III, where fans of the video game series were left to wonder if protagonist Desmond Miles was dead or alive, last week’s release of Assassin’s Creed IV was hotly anticipated.

The sixth multi-console release in the series, Assassin’s Creed IV was developed by Canadian gaming company Ubisoft, and had great expectations to live up to; it does not disappoint.

This is the first time the series has diverged from the line of important periods in history.  Having experienced the Crusades with Altaïr, the Renaissance and Ottoman Empire with Ezio and lastly the US Revolution with Connor, Assassin’s Creed IV follows the story of Edward Kenway, an 18th century Welsh pirate operating in the Caribbean Sea.

Edward is the grandfather of Connor, the protagonist from Assassin’s Creed III, and in this game we learn how Edward went about trying to make money in order to return to his family in Wales.

Conor Kenway, the protagonist from Assassin's Creed III is the grandson of Captain Edward Kenway. Image by Rooster306 on flickr
Conor Kenway, the protagonist from Assassin’s Creed III is the grandson of Captain Edward Kenway. Image by Rooster306 on flickr

There are no major differences in gameplay between this game and its predecessor.  As expected, this game is heavily focused on maritime missions and travel in order to arrive at the main missions which usually occur on land.

In the early stages, gameplay can prove to be almost tedious at times. Instead of enjoying the game, there is a feeling that you are playing just for the sake of it.  The story may appear to be fragmented and a little difficult to grasp also. However, one small bombshell later and this game completely changes.

The graphics, as usual, are fantastic.  Every minor detail is accounted for, from rogue waves during a storm at sea to pods of dolphins breaching in the wake Edward’s ship, the Jackdaw, leaves behind it.

The subplot is also extremely interesting.  Instead of following a modern day protagonist in a third person view, following Desmond’s demise, the player now actively takes over as the protagonist in the first person.  Working under the premise that you are researching for a “new pirate based video game” for Abstergo, you are recruited by insiders in the company to try to discover what the company’s real aims are.

In full, Assassin’s Creed IV is a thoroughly enjoyable game for any fans of the series. Although maybe not matching the excitement of the previous instalment in the series, IV is a worthy purchase.

Score: 8.5/10

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