Well. I know. It’s been a while. But I have good reasons. Honest.
I promised to a friend of of mine (some of you may know him as @scrufflibrarian) that I would a) post more often on here and b) that I would post about the game he created. I failed miserably at one and this is not about the other.
This post is about the game that has stopped me from posting for the last who-knows-how-long. Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag.
First of all I have to say I have not finished this game. I’m not even close. I’m only about halfway through the story missions. But it has turned me into some sort of gaming kleptomaniac. Not since Ezio’s first outing in AC2 have I been so determined to find and collect *everything*. Oh, and I do mean everything.
The map screen has a number of locations consisting of towns, forts, plantations, underwater wrecks, smugglers coves, and I’m sure there are more that I can’t remember. But I’ve visited them all (apart from one which I’m guessing is part of the storyline).
But I’m getting ahead of myself. I wanted to love this game, but the opening hour or so is not the best. It forces you to do specific missions that are stupidly hard and boring while the game teaches you about ship-to-ship fighting and sailing from place to place. However, after this point it just goes from strength to strength.
The controls are tight and are close to being the best yet in an AC game and I’ve played them all (main console ones at least). Everything works like it should and when you fail, you fail because you weren’t up to the challenge, not because of dubious controls.
Missions are varied and range in difficulty (which you are shown before starting so you can decide to save it for later if you wish) from naval challenges to the usual assassinations the game throws everything including the treasure chest at you in its attempt to destroy your life.
If this game was a person it would be Scarlet Johansen. She’d take over your life but you’d feel it was worth it every second.
And, just like the Hollywood starlet, this game looks good. Considering it has been developed for pretty much every platform, it sparkles with gloss that just impress from the start. I recently had a screenshot as my wallpaper at work and a colleague asked me ‘where’s that?’ – cue long conversation about games ( this is the same guy who didn’t know what Game sold!)
I can happily while an hour or so simply sailing from place to place searching for treasure or collectible listening to my crew sing shanties – which is a good thing because I’ve made it my mission to find them all. And so far I have done so. Every location has all of the possible things collected. I have reached 100% or 80% plus on every location or collectible and the only ones I am at 80% are because the storyline won’t let me get them all yet.
This game has taken over my life. In fact, I’m writing this on my phone in bits because I can’t tear myself away from it for too long. I’m on leave from work this week and have put about 6/7 hours a day into this for the last 3 days. My last look at the total play time said 40 hours, but that was yesterday so it’s probably edging towards the 50 hour mark by now :/
My only gripe with the game is the same gripe I had with AC3. And it’s not really with the game that I have a problem. It’s Ubisoft’s insistence on using the bloody uPlay system. Okay, I get it, you want to monitor people playing the game, I understand, but in this day and age of PS+ or Live subscriptions (which you need on ps4 and xbone to play online) do we really need to sign up for a uPlay account too? But oh wait, what’s this. It asks you to sign in on startup. Let me make this clear. When you start the game the first thing you see is the uPlay login. every. single. time. Seriously ubisoft, maybe just ask me once and then give me the option in a menu? Is that so hard?
The game also has a second screen app for iOS, but I’ll never use it because you have to have a uPlay account. What was wrong with using the official PS app or xbox equivalent?
Okay. Rant over. I love this game and am willing to overlook this niggle, but mostly because the game boots up and doesn’t shut down for a good few hours…
I’m going to attach a few screenshots so you can see what I’m talking about. These aren’t generic shots off the net, these are actual screenshots from my game so enjoy, while I go and do some more pirating.