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The Assassin's Creed series continues to grow strong with no forceable sight of slowing down, although Ubisoft has said there is an end at some point in the future to the popular franchise. At least for the next few years we will continue to enjoy the yearly releases on the PS4 that has gained the action-stealth combat game a solid fanbase. In this latest instalment of the series called Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, we are taking back in time to the golden age of piracy.
Assassin's Creed Black Flag stars a pirate by the name of Edward Kenway. While on route to Havana Cuba, Edward Kills an Assassin and takes on his identity, in his new disguise he comes across a local merchant and discovers that the Assassin he killed was summoned by the Governor to overlook an exchange of a valuable artifact. Realising just how valuable this artifact really is Edward attempts to reclaim it for himself.
Edward then sets out on a recruitment mission to gather as many pirates to assist him in taking down the Governor. There are other deeper elements within the game involving memories and historical ancestry, but for the most part is centred on Edwards exploits on the high seas along with his band of pirates.
One of the biggest changes in this new game is the huge scale in which to explore. If you thought Assassins Creed 3 was huge wait until you see the map of Black Flags, which covers the entire Caribbean Sea and all its surrounding islands. There is an abundance of sea and ground to cover in Assassin's Creed IV and it can take a few weeks at least to exploring every single island there is.
Black Flag also introduces ship warfare introduced during the later stages of AC3, but this time being the main focus point of AC4. As the Captain of your pirate ship you will be able to launch explosive barrels and cannonballs at enemy ships before they take you down. Destroyed ships can be raided for supplies, ship armour and weapon materials to upgrade on your own ship. Taking control of your ship puts you right into the heart of the action as you navigate across various hazardous open sea environments from heavy rain storms to crashing waves. Manoeuvring can be tricky at times on the open sea as you must avoid steering your ship towards rocky cliff edges, guaranteed to sink your ship. This may seem fairly straight forward until you include enemy ships, firing at you from different angles. We found the camera angles can be a bit of a challenge to control especially during battle sequences.
Fans of the previous Assassin's Creed franchise should be able to easily pick up and jump right into the combat system on Assassin's Creed 4 as things have not really changed much. The combat system is smooth and countering enemy attacks works like a charm to devastating effect.
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