Zero Punctuation: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

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Xsjadoblayde:

TiberiusEsuriens:

Xsjadoblayde:
Those bloody tailing missions, i swear every story mission started with a tailing prod. In fact i am even stuck on a particular one right now. Fuck you tails! And yes i mean that friend of sonic too, with his whiny, high maintenance bullshit!
Gimme that stapler!

Tails I can deal with. just please answer me this: Are there any escort quests?

I do not remember any such quests. So thats alright :)

THANK GOD. I've been playing a bunch of games lately with excessive escort quests, aggravating me to the point of turning off the game outright. "You need to keep this guy alive, but he's going to run blindly headfirst into a minefield/zombie horde/hot lava/etc..."

If I were a designer I'd fire anyone who offered one as an idea, and if I were a reviewer each game presenting me one would be docked multiple points on the spot.

Steve the Pocket:
Wait, is Yahtzee being serious about the premise being about an evil video game company run by the Templars?

*checks Wikipedia*

Holy shit. My respect for whoever's been stuck writing these games just went up a notch.

There is a lot of wierd info in the modern world sections that you can find which pretty much is mirroring their real world development history...including one file that explains why a modern day 'simulation' cant be done yet. All very different and amusing

They can just make the next Asscreed Blackflag 2. You know like they did with Asscreed2 with revelation and brotherhood.

Maybe give us the option to sail different kinds of ships? I so very much want to sail a Man of War and fire a 51 gun Broadside at some one!

AC3 was it for me - I'm done with this series. As someone who still thinks AC1 is the best game of the series because it was actually about assassinating people and not being Forrest Gump to history - it's clear they are not making games for me anymore. Plus it's clear they have no plans whatsoever to write a story with a satisfying conclusion, either in the past or the present.

Funny how its only while coming from the mouth of a pirate that the Welsh accent seems the slightest bit threatening.

Apparently you haven't met Daffyd Thomas.

But to get back to the topic... Assassins Creed was not for me, bought part III. But no, call me back when they get to the Vietnam War version. First the American Civil war version, then the late Wild West version. And then a World War I episode. Oh and then probably a 1930's gangster piece. World War II of course will be the main attraction and maybe even throw in the Korean War in it for appetizers. Call me Ubisoft, I can work out the details for a 'small fee'. *twirling imaginary moustache like Snidely Whiplash*

Edit: for those who say that are more historic events which could be inserted into the AC series, I am sure. But the events I described have a bit more appeal because Hollywood already made so many films, and are already well established in popular culture.

I kept playing it for the ethics. The Templar death bed words from AC1 were longwinded and implausible, but awesome, and I loved everything Al Mualim said. This is why I preferred AC: Liberation to AC3. It's also why I'm a bit skeptical about this entry. I'm sure it will be an unholy amount of fun when I get it, but IMHO Assassin's Creed should be about the Assassin's Creed.

Yahtzee Croshaw:
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

This week, Zero Punctuation reviews Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.

Watch Video

You forgot to mention the aptness of this taking place with a pirate setting.

You stab a pirate, the pirate goes "ARRR"...

The biggest problems I had with this game were the copy/paste islands, the small amount of Mayan ruins to explore, and that once you fully upgrade your hideout and ship there's no reason to go our pillaging and pirating for booty anymore.

Of course, you could argue that these problems come down to "massive but not endless amounts of content", which is a pretty good problem to have.

Loving this game.

NameIsRobertPaulson:
Wow... 22 comments and not a single person talking about the Heath Ledger reference?

I'm honestly shocked.

It's probably because the reference wasn't as tasteless as Yahtzee tried to make it out to be. It IS sort've ironic how that line was in the movie when the only guy that could play Joker (as well as he did) died before it even came out.

GundamSentinel:
I'm still hoping for more sailing focused Assassin's Creed as I really loved it in this game. How about during the Napoleonic wars? Maybe in the Mediterranean? (In other words: give me Master and Commander: The Game :D)

That would be utterly amazing, and exactly what I was thinking about when Yahtzee said there's no other historic sailing settings available. Just don't make Stephen and Jack an Assassin and a Templar.

The next Assassin's Creed game should star a Punic Wars corsair, piracy and sailing fun in a fresh setting.

canadamus_prime:
This series is yet another example of neither the fans nor the Publishers/Developers knowing when a franchise needs to be laid to rest.

I think the basic premise of free-running around historical periods we don't often see in games is still interesting and rife for a lot more exploitation. It's the stupid framing story with Abstergo and the aliens that just gets sillier and sillier.

Glad to hear AC IV is a fecking awesome game and Yahtzee likes it. So now I'm going to do something really crazy and defend what many perceive as faults. I liked the side-missions in AC III, because I get to meet interesting people (the villagers I recruit for the homestead and Assassin trainees), explore the cities and frontier (for goodies, money, and secret tunnels for fast-travel points), go to amazing places (the Naval missions and privateer contracts), and blow shit up (the aforementioned naval stuff and liberating Forts). Money was necessary in that game too, as it was in the Ezio trilogy, to buy better weapons and ship upgrades so you can kick more ass, which I thought was one of the strengths of sandbox action games with some RPG elements.

Although I admit it was odd there were more Delivery missions than Assassination contracts and the Privateer Contracts didn't directly pay you. And the minigames in the taverns were bollocks kicking hard. I haven't seen such a blatant case of The Computer Is A Cheating Bastard since the Pazaak card game in KOTOR. And I liked Connor less than his dad Haytham, who reminded me of the Roger Moore version of James Bond.

As for a Ubisoft game centering around a Montreal-based video game developer run by an evil corporation? Who's to say Ubisoft's talking about themselves? They could be taking the piss out of one of the other game devs HQ'd there.

Steve the Pocket:
Wait, is Yahtzee being serious about the premise being about an evil video game company run by the Templars?

*checks Wikipedia*

Holy shit. My respect for whoever's been stuck writing these games just went up a notch.

i reckon they would have had funny looks from their superiors as soon as the plot was pitched.

So it's actually fun but doesn't distract from the fact that Assassin's Creed is a stagnant series.

I'm left with one question on my mind, why would Pirates be singing Poker Face?

Cpt. Slow:

Funny how its only while coming from the mouth of a pirate that the Welsh accent seems the slightest bit threatening.

Apparently you haven't met Daffyd Thomas.

But to get back to the topic... Assassins Creed was not for me, bought part III. But no, call me back when they get to the Vietnam War version. First the American Civil war version, then the late Wild West version. And then a World War I episode. Oh and then probably a 1930's gangster piece. World War II of course will be the main attraction and maybe even throw in the Korean War in it for appetizers. Call me Ubisoft, I can work out the details for a 'small fee'. *twirling imaginary moustache like Snidely Whiplash*

Edit: for those who say that are more historic events which could be inserted into the AC series, I am sure. But the events I described have a bit more appeal because Hollywood already made so many films, and are already well established in popular culture.

There's only one flaw in your plan: it contradicts WHY Ubisoft chose the historical periods they did. They deliberately chose eras that don't get nearly enough references in other media compared to what you just described.

I'm not gonna play this series until I get to play a skateboarding grunge Assassin in flannel from the '90s who's like totally whatever, man.

Still, good review. It got me thinking on how much Batman and Link have in common as heroes. There's a weird encounter.

canadamus_prime:
This series is yet another example of neither the fans nor the Publishers/Developers knowing when a franchise needs to be laid to rest.

Is it popular? Is it making a lot of money? Then it isn't time to lay it to rest. Even if you disagree. Keep in mind, you're talking with someone that got bored in Asscred 1 to the point I haven't played since. But I'm not going to lay around bemoaning how awful Ubisoft is for making a product that other people want and will pay money for. It's incredibly self-centered to claim that something is over just because you and whoever else says it is. Not when the numbers present otherwise.

Assassin's Creed 3 sold over 5 million copies on the ps3, 4.6 million on the 360, and whatever pittance more on the pc, not including the Vita version that sold around 800k units.

So, over 10 million people bought this game's predecessor. That's on par with Assassin Creed 1's numbers and that's been out since 2007 so this one has that many more years to go.

Assassin's Creed 2 was relatively close with fewer sales on the pc.

However, I will contribute that Asscreed IV's sales are about a third of what III was, this is either a sign of some drastic downturn in sales after an increase in quality or is a result of it coming out on ps4/XBO soon enough.

Either way, at this moment telling Ubisoft to "stop selling this game" would be a lot like telling a hotdog stand owner to stop selling hotdogs because they're so common. Both groups response could easily be: "But, people like them and pay good money for them and I'm a business."

The thing I was most apprehensive about with this game was the stagnating gameplay (I got pretty bored with Revelations and even more so with 3) but hearing that it's been shaken up considerably sounds good, I might actually want to play it now.

Falterfire:
Here, have a youtube link in case you (like me) have never seen the Bittersweet Symphony music video and had no clue what Yahtzee was talking about:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1lyu1KKwC74

And now that they've seen it they should totally also see Fat Les's parody video for their song Vindaloo.

http://youtu.be/yLph6ePNkGQ

Having not ever played any of the previous Ass Creed games, I'm finding the whole thing quite fun. Well except for the tailing missions, those do suck.

While I can understand long time franchise fans annoyance with the story being an unconnected mess from game to game, I can think of at least one future installment that could be a giggle. Assassins Creed in SPAAAAAAAACE. Cause you know that's totally going to happen. You and your gallivanting space pirate crew will ... er ... gallivant from space station to space station, attacking the odd space freighter and then spending hours chiseling frozen space guts off your captured space booty due to breaching their ships hull integrity and causing the crew to go into explosive decompression ... er .... Moving on, laser harpooning space whales, you know you want to.

Since this is the second Assassin's Creed game with sailing, I can only figure the next one will be Assassin's Creed Moby Dick. That will prove to everyone that not only should Assassin's Creed end, but that Moby Dick is an incredibly boring book that is way longer than it needs to be.

Carnagath:
Uhhh, ok, if you haven't played AC3 yet, DO NOT WATCH THIS. At least warn people before you spoil the fuck out of something THAT major, Jesus Christ...

I haven't, and have no plans to play Assassin's Creed 3, but I'm considering eventually getting this game if it's good. Do you think it's cool if I watch the video then? I don't know what's being spoiled exactly, so I'm not sure how much it'll matter.

Not a fan of AC, the first one put me off with its faffing around. I actually kinda liked WW's sailing a bit. Is AC4's sailing as adventurous? Did they tone down the faf-o-meter?
Its nice that the missions aren't joining the dots. Letting you choose your own route should be parch & parcel to a sandbox game.
Money actually unlocks gameplay, that is a plus.
Damn Ubisoft, I liked em when they made Rayman and the Prince of Persia series. Are they making a new Rayman or are they just gonna focus on milking the hell out of AC? Why is this even called AC when the protagonist isn't an assassin? Just call it "Historic Pirate Adventure" :p

TiberiusEsuriens:

THANK GOD. I've been playing a bunch of games lately with excessive escort quests

Hah! Every such mission ever:

Falterfire:
Here, have a youtube link in case you (like me) have never seen the Bittersweet Symphony music video and had no clue what Yahtzee was talking about:

I think that came out a thousand years ago! That is reaching back to make a cultural reference. Good catch though, thanks.

Personally, I would love it if Ubisoft took the sailing gameplay from Black Flag, and repurposed it into an unrelated pirate series, set in a fictional pirate environment, in the vein of Monkey Island or One Piece. Crank the Reality/Fantasy dial just a smidge higher, so that we can use our ships on grand leviathans on occasion, and add even more sea shanties.

I'd buy it.

And it would mean AC could go onto another setting if it really must, without losing all this great gameplay material.

Jadak:

Carnagath:
Uhhh, ok, if you haven't played AC3 yet, DO NOT WATCH THIS. At least warn people before you spoil the fuck out of something THAT major, Jesus Christ...

It's AC4, common sense should dictate not to watch it if you want to know what happened in AC3. No spoiler warning needed unless he's spoiling AC4 story.

Are you serious right now? I'm not watching a Let's Play or a plot analysis video, I'm watching a comedic review, there is absolutely no reason for him to spoil something THAT major, from the exactly previous game, just so he can make one more joke. At the very least, he should have the courtesy to warn people before spoiling THE FUCKING ENDING. Even 4chan would spoiler tag that shit. It's baffling that I actually have to justify my annoyance, like, really?

OlasDAlmighty:

Carnagath:
Uhhh, ok, if you haven't played AC3 yet, DO NOT WATCH THIS. At least warn people before you spoil the fuck out of something THAT major, Jesus Christ...

I haven't, and have no plans to play Assassin's Creed 3, but I'm considering eventually getting this game if it's good. Do you think it's cool if I watch the video then? I don't know what's being spoiled exactly, so I'm not sure how much it'll matter.

Well of course, if you have no plans to play AC3, go ahead.

Saw the ad for Deadrising 3 before Yahtzee's clip. And now I'm sad.

OT: AssCreed needs to stop calling itself that, because really at this point I think the series has stopped caring about how the order fits into everything and would rather just watch important people fire cannons and go ARR. I'd like it a lot more if it stopped trying to keep the pretense of a coherent story and just proudly proclaim that it exists simply to visit various periods in history.

Also, the "ta-da!" bit was my favorite part of this episode. Spot on there Yahtzee.

Banzaiman:
Saw the ad for Deadrising 3 before Yahtzee's clip. And now I'm sad.

OT: AssCreed needs to stop calling itself that, because really at this point I think the series has stopped caring about how the order fits into everything and would rather just watch important people fire cannons and go ARR. I'd like it a lot more if it stopped trying to keep the pretense of a coherent story and just proudly proclaim that it exists simply to visit various periods in history.

Also, the "ta-da!" bit was my favorite part of this episode. Spot on there Yahtzee.

Actually, wasn't that part of the point of the story? For most of it, Edward doesn't realy live by any sort of creed; just looking out for himself and his own profit. A fair bit of the story is people saying that he needs to find something bigger than that (like the Assassin Order, perhaps, or the Templars) to tie himself to.

Though, this does have the effect of making the game basically Pirate's Creed for a lot of the plot.

Carnagath:

Jadak:

Carnagath:
Uhhh, ok, if you haven't played AC3 yet, DO NOT WATCH THIS. At least warn people before you spoil the fuck out of something THAT major, Jesus Christ...

It's AC4, common sense should dictate not to watch it if you want to know what happened in AC3. No spoiler warning needed unless he's spoiling AC4 story.

Are you serious right now? I'm not watching a Let's Play or a plot analysis video, I'm watching a comedic review, there is absolutely no reason for him to spoil something THAT major, from the exactly previous game, just so he can make one more joke. At the very least, he should have the courtesy to warn people before spoiling THE FUCKING ENDING. Even 4chan would spoiler tag that shit. It's baffling that I actually have to justify my annoyance, like, really?

OlasDAlmighty:

Carnagath:
Uhhh, ok, if you haven't played AC3 yet, DO NOT WATCH THIS. At least warn people before you spoil the fuck out of something THAT major, Jesus Christ...

I haven't, and have no plans to play Assassin's Creed 3, but I'm considering eventually getting this game if it's good. Do you think it's cool if I watch the video then? I don't know what's being spoiled exactly, so I'm not sure how much it'll matter.

Well of course, if you have no plans to play AC3, go ahead.

This isn't exactly a new thing. He spoiled the last few moments of Brotherhood near the start of his review of Revelations. His statute of limitations appears to expire for the sequel. Note that he pointedly didn't spoil the ending of ACIII during his review of ACIII.

On the subject of romanticizing pirates, I feel like it actually paints a somewhat less romanticized view than some other works.

Carnagath:
Uhhh, ok, if you haven't played AC3 yet, DO NOT WATCH THIS. At least warn people before you spoil the fuck out of something THAT major, Jesus Christ...

You've got to be joking. I mean seriously... review for the next game in the series should have a bloody green light for spoiling things from its predecessor.

All I heard from this was 'Desmond dies', and I pretty much immediately ran out to pre-order my copy.

I have to agree with Yahtzee and many others - the sailing is what really makes this game for me. It's not repetitive, somehow, and just makes the world feel larger than it really is. There's nothing like fighting off three ships at once and crippling them all so you can board them one by one and steal their shit. Being a pirate was just all kinds of adventurous.

Speaking of adventurous, I have to say that I don't mind the new direction the present-day story has gone. I always felt like I was playing a game about a guy playing video games (who seemed completely uninterested in the stories of his ancestors) so I might as well be playing a game about me playing a game.

Ugh, I absolutely hate the tailing missions in these games, same goes for the walk with some random bloke who tells you some random crap while doing some badly animated stuff. Those missions are such major time wasters and take you out of the game that seriously, I don't get why they keep jamming them in.

Also, the combat in these games, when is it gonna get any good? It's been about standing around waiting to get attacked and counter since the first game now, when is the fighting gonna get good or challenging....

Glad to hear that desmond is out of the picture, guy had the appeal of a wet dishrag. Worst character in what might be one of the most overrated franchises this generation.

Falseprophet:

canadamus_prime:
This series is yet another example of neither the fans nor the Publishers/Developers knowing when a franchise needs to be laid to rest.

I think the basic premise of free-running around historical periods we don't often see in games is still interesting and rife for a lot more exploitation. It's the stupid framing story with Abstergo and the aliens that just gets sillier and sillier.

Then perhaps they should start a new IP with the same premise of free running around historical periods, but without the idiotic framing device.

Lightknight:

canadamus_prime:
This series is yet another example of neither the fans nor the Publishers/Developers knowing when a franchise needs to be laid to rest.

Is it popular? Is it making a lot of money? Then it isn't time to lay it to rest. Even if you disagree. Keep in mind, you're talking with someone that got bored in Asscred 1 to the point I haven't played since. But I'm not going to lay around bemoaning how awful Ubisoft is for making a product that other people want and will pay money for. It's incredibly self-centered to claim that something is over just because you and whoever else says it is. Not when the numbers present otherwise.

Assassin's Creed 3 sold over 5 million copies on the ps3, 4.6 million on the 360, and whatever pittance more on the pc, not including the Vita version that sold around 800k units.

So, over 10 million people bought this game's predecessor. That's on par with Assassin Creed 1's numbers and that's been out since 2007 so this one has that many more years to go.

Assassin's Creed 2 was relatively close with fewer sales on the pc.

However, I will contribute that Asscreed IV's sales are about a third of what III was, this is either a sign of some drastic downturn in sales after an increase in quality or is a result of it coming out on ps4/XBO soon enough.

Either way, at this moment telling Ubisoft to "stop selling this game" would be a lot like telling a hotdog stand owner to stop selling hotdogs because they're so common. Both groups response could easily be: "But, people like them and pay good money for them and I'm a business."

A franchise still being popular and selling well is not a good enough reason to keep it going esp. when it's begun to stagnate. IDK, I've never actually played an Assassin's Creed game, but if Yahtzee thinks this franchise has gone on too long then it'd be just one of many that have done so. Not that what Yahtzee thinks is the be all and end all of course.

Carnagath:
Uhhh, ok, if you haven't played AC3 yet, DO NOT WATCH THIS. At least warn people before you spoil the fuck out of something THAT major, Jesus Christ...

You're implying that Desmond is in any way a remotely interesting enough character to hide his plot revelations from people.

TiberiusEsuriens:

Xsjadoblayde:

TiberiusEsuriens:

Tails I can deal with. just please answer me this: Are there any escort quests?

I do not remember any such quests. So thats alright :)

THANK GOD. I've been playing a bunch of games lately with excessive escort quests, aggravating me to the point of turning off the game outright. "You need to keep this guy alive, but he's going to run blindly headfirst into a minefield/zombie horde/hot lava/etc..."

If I were a designer I'd fire anyone who offered one as an idea, and if I were a reviewer each game presenting me one would be docked multiple points on the spot.

Yes, babysitting characters in any game is goddam awful! Unless its Elizabeth from bioshock infinite, transdimentional powers are always welcome.
Otherwise, its like lookin after a smugly self aware tamagochi. And at least you could let them die if you wanted!

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