Living the Pirate Life in Assassin's Creed IV

Living the Pirate Life in Assassin's Creed IV

Assassin's Creed IV is an indulgent game. No doubt as a reaction to its predecessor, Black Flag is lighter on the historical detail. While that sounds like a strike against the game, it's actually not.

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Critical Intel is back! Awesome!

Great to see you writing again, enjoyed the article as always.

Not to belabor the Black Flag point since you've now done two articles, but any chance we could get an article about the real life pirates that showed up in Black Flag? It would be cool to see a comparison of their fictional depiction and what is known about their real life counterparts.

Falterfire:
Critical Intel is back! Awesome!

Great to see you writing again, enjoyed the article as always.

Not to belabor the Black Flag point since you've now done two articles, but any chance we could get an article about the real life pirates that showed up in Black Flag? It would be cool to see a comparison of their fictional depiction and what is known about their real life counterparts.

I'm glad to see others were as excited about Critical Intel coming back as I was!

Great article, Robert. I've found myself in the same situations! I had finally found myself ready to target the bigger ships when lo' and behold, just ahead of me were two Man-o-Wars duking it out. I kept just out of reach to watch the outcome with my spyglass and as I saw the battle winding down I sent my mortars straight into the Spanish vessel, swinging in for the killing blow (and all that booty). I had managed to avoid clipping the English vessel so they paid me no head, but after taking the galleon I did pause for a moment to train my broadside cannons on the other ship. I was quite tempted to trounce the oblivious ship, but instead said to the TV set, "You're welcome, and safe sailing," before heading away. Not 30 minutes later I saw a wounded English Man-o-War just sitting in the open seas by itself... they were not so lucky.

I may be in the minority, but I actually think that AC4's land stealth is greatly improved from the previous title, namely that they managed to make the buildings closer together with more natural hiding spots and corners, as well as making trees a viable stealth option. The ocelots will never see me coming ^.^

You're back! Huzzah! :D

Great article. I haven't played the game yet, but I was curious to know how the game did historically with pirates since game makers tend to go off of lore and myth rather than what they actually did. Not that that's a bad thing since it can be super fun, but considering the AC series uses historical settings for their stories, I was wondering about that.

What is the name of the island you start on? I left it without having done all the things, and I want to go back to it and grab the shanty there. I just can't seem to find it.

walsfeo:
What is the name of the island you start on? I left it without having done all the things, and I want to go back to it and grab the shanty there. I just can't seem to find it.

The very first one where you're shipwrecked is called Cape Bonavista. It's on the left side of the same island Havana (the first city you visit) is on.

Great article. One thing I chuckled about though:

You have a big section about fearing the weather and abandoning fights if a storm shows up. I always find it EASIER to take on tougher enemies or convoys when there's a big storm. You can use the waves to help with positioning and effectively use them for cover. Not only that, when battling a convoy in the storm, a rogue wave may show up and destroy all of the schooners and gun boats leaving the frigate helpless.

hahaha, I think I went through all the same things as this article. Trying to swoop in to save a British ship only for that ship to attack you definitely begins to change your perspective of them. Though that is mostly because you screwed up and either accidentally rammed into the British ship or one of your cannons hit them.

Just started playing this game. I was nodding my head in agreement when I read your part about just doing what you need to on land to try and get right back out to sea. Very cool points in this article. You write very well. Very interesting stuff! Thanks for hooking us up! Can't wait to read more of your work.

It might be that the Templars were mostly British, but I never had any second thoughts about attacking the Royal Navy. The only thing I ever even noticed was what they were carrying, unless it was a mission to attack specific ships.

I found storms rather easy to navigate. And once they were over, free loot!

RedDeadFred:
Great article. One thing I chuckled about though:

You have a big section about fearing the weather and abandoning fights if a storm shows up. I always find it EASIER to take on tougher enemies or convoys when there's a big storm. You can use the waves to help with positioning and effectively use them for cover. Not only that, when battling a convoy in the storm, a rogue wave may show up and destroy all of the schooners and gun boats leaving the frigate helpless.

^This. I never feared the storms, I've always cherished them. Maybe I'm lucky or good at sailing during storms, but every time a storms shows up, at most, I'll take one hit from it... my enemies though, were not as clever and usually wound up at the bottom of the sea.

Still, a great article and AC:BF is a fantastic game (though I do wish the non-story land bits were more fun). There is one single issue I have with the game, more specifically it's mechanics - boarding. Boarding is a Hail Mary pass. You can board a ship, any ship, a level one gunboat and repair your vessel by one bar. More importantly, you can do it during a battle and during a storm and it makes your ship invincible during the boarding period. This has for a result that storms and battles with multiple ships are generally not scary as you just have to find a weak ship to repair with if you're low on "health".

The more I hear about this game, the more I want to make it the first triple-A game I have played in two years. I love my indies, but this sounds almost too good to pass on.

Great article!

Pixelspeech:
The more I hear about this game, the more I want to make it the first triple-A game I have played in two years. I love my indies, but this sounds almost too good to pass on.

Great article!

I'd really advise it, I skipped most of the AC series since it just became laboured. Ended up picking this one up solely because it came in my ps4 bundle. I'm so glad it did, terrific game. I can spend ages just sailing about, not even doing the main story.

Tropicaz:

Pixelspeech:
The more I hear about this game, the more I want to make it the first triple-A game I have played in two years. I love my indies, but this sounds almost too good to pass on.

Great article!

I'd really advise it, I skipped most of the AC series since it just became laboured. Ended up picking this one up solely because it came in my ps4 bundle. I'm so glad it did, terrific game. I can spend ages just sailing about, not even doing the main story.

Sounds very similar to my experience. Played the first game in the series, didn't like it very much and now I am suddenly interested in this. Only thing holding me back are reports of obnoxious land missions, but that sounds like a very minor complaint.

Are there any plans for DLC that would be worth waiting for?

Vrach:

RedDeadFred:
Great article. One thing I chuckled about though:

You have a big section about fearing the weather and abandoning fights if a storm shows up. I always find it EASIER to take on tougher enemies or convoys when there's a big storm. You can use the waves to help with positioning and effectively use them for cover. Not only that, when battling a convoy in the storm, a rogue wave may show up and destroy all of the schooners and gun boats leaving the frigate helpless.

^This. I never feared the storms, I've always cherished them. Maybe I'm lucky or good at sailing during storms, but every time a storms shows up, at most, I'll take one hit from it... my enemies though, were not as clever and usually wound up at the bottom of the sea.

Exactly. Only early in te game when you don't have a lot of hull upgrades yet are storms a little dangerous. Later in the game they hardly do any damage and are an advantage rather than a threat.

There is one single issue I have with the game, more specifically it's mechanics - boarding. Boarding is a Hail Mary pass. You can board a ship, any ship, a level one gunboat and repair your vessel by one bar. More importantly, you can do it during a battle and during a storm and it makes your ship invincible during the boarding period. This has for a result that storms and battles with multiple ships are generally not scary as you just have to find a weak ship to repair with if you're low on "health".

Yes, this bothered me too. I shamelessly abused it as well, but it still never felt right.

And there were a couple of small (mostly cosmetic) niggles. Like no one manning the guns when they're firing. And I'm no expert on sailing, but I don't think sails adjusted themselved automatically on a pirate ship of that age. I suppose if I wanted a truly realistic sailing game I'd have to wait forever. :D

Also, being Dutch, I never felt bad about attacking the British. Remember the Medway!

When i played it and saw groups of ships fighting each other, i would automatically help all the British ships out because i am british. Afterwards, i sunk the British ships because im a pirate.:-) I agree though that the land based gaming was lacking. I think that stuff only works with huge cities like in the Ezio games due to the setting. AC3 and AC4 just lacked buildings of size and thus you were better off running round them instead of traversing across the roof tops.

Falterfire:

walsfeo:
What is the name of the island you start on? I left it without having done all the things, and I want to go back to it and grab the shanty there. I just can't seem to find it.

The very first one where you're shipwrecked is called Cape Bonavista. It's on the left side of the same island Havana (the first city you visit) is on.

Oh, thanks!

Yay, Robert, I missed your articles! Glad to see the column is alive and kicking. Your writing is still a stand-out on the content of this site.

I don't think I'll get Black Flag anytime soon. I don't really have time for such long games, but you make it sound all so appealing. I guess that's the sign of a great game, where only describing it, not even seeing it, is enticing.

Great article.

I will say, however, my Edward was a WELSHMAN who LOATHED the British and made it a point of pride to kill as many as possible.

Great to see you're back Robert. All this praise for Black Flag is making me consider going back to the series.

Did anyone else get to the point where they'd just plow through smaller ships because they could?
"Oh hey look it's a gunboat"
SMASH
pick up loot.
"Oops."

I've got to say I went through most of the same experiences as you. Except I plowed through storms because Kenway's a mad bastard in my eyes. No ship too big, no storm too fierce, no battle too bloody.

Ubisoft should pay you for this article, because I am very excited about buying this now. Best advertisement for a game I've seen and it wasn't even an ad!

Never had the slightest problem with doing in the British when I found them (or anyone else) land or sea. I gathered from the story that Kenway is supposed to become a bit less of a bloodthirsty pirate as time wears on, but fortunately the game doesn't really force you into that. You just won't always get the full synchronization bonuses on some missions that have optional non-lethal objectives.

And perhaps it was just because I started doing the 'Kenway's Fleet' minigame as soon as I could, but I always had plenty of cash. I was blowing it on upgrading the hangout since the money was coming in much faster than the iron, and I didn't feel like going out of my way to farm for it.

Still, this was a great article about a great game. It actually encouraged me to go back and play the whole series (at more or less the same time), since while it appears to have little to do with the metaplot that's been built across the series, by the end it's revealed just how involved it's all been.

 

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