hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

My five biggest concerns about Assassin's Creed IV

1:00 PM on 03.05.2013 // Brett Makedonski

Because we care

Assassin's Creed is my favorite franchise of the Xbox 360/PS3 era. I know that's an increasingly unpopular opinion, but this series gripped me from the very outset. The wonderful combination of conspiracy theory intertwined with historical events, all wrapped around an open-world experience that encourages exploration is what enticed me in the beginning, and it's what keeps me coming back for more.

That being said, I don't view the Assassin's Creed games through rose-tinted glasses. Just the opposite, I hold these titles to a very high standard. One that I believe reciprocates the potential that they have. To this day, Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood are the only games that I look back on with completely favorable opinions.

With the official reveal of Assassin's Creed IV came a ton of information on the direction of the game. As is almost always the case, just about everything looks promising as of right now. It's yet to be seen how it all translates to the final product. As a veteran and enthusiast of the franchise, these are my major concerns about Assassin's Creed IV.

The Viewpoints won't be high enough

Climbing ominously giant buildings, synchronizing, and then gracefully swan diving to safety has been one of the defining characteristics of the Assassin's Creed experience. Cities such as Damascus, Rome, and Florence featured some amazingly tall towers that were fun to climb, and once at the top, it was equally enjoyable to look around at the sights. The series has been in somewhat of a decline in this respect. Constantinople, Boston, and New York didn't have the architecture that was present in the earlier games.

The cities announced for Assassin's Creed IV are Havana, Kingston, and Nassau. Given the seaside nature of these locales (especially in the 1700's), I don't expect that they'll play host to many large structures. Assassin's Creed IV can possibly make up for it by introducing Viewpoints on the edges of the islands that require tough, arduous climbs through the wilderness to surmount.

There will be too much emphasis on guns

I understand that as the series progresses through time, it makes sense for each assassin to have an arsenal available to him that is representative of the era he lived in. It's just that, well, it feels like cheating using a freaking gun.

The early promotional materials that have been generated by Ubisoft depict this protagonist strapped with four guns. Four! There's no doubt that the trusty blunderbuss was a mainstay in a pirate's weapon cache, but being equipped with four guns leads me to believe that it's going to be heavily featured in the game.

Crossbows aside, firearms aren't something that the Assassin's Creed franchise has done particularly well. They feel clunky in the throes of combat, and are generally a pain to use. More importantly, gun blasts are basically the opposite of discreet -- something that being an assassin is all about.

They'll overdo it with the naval combat

One of the most well-received aspects of Assassin's Creed III were the naval combat missions. They added a nice sense of variety to an otherwise familiar experience. However, I can't shake the feeling that it worked because it was in moderation.

Assassin's Creed IV will surely have plenty of fighting across the mighty seas. That's sort of what pirates do. There will probably be lots of ship boarding and plundering of other vessels. That's all fine and dandy.

What I'm concerned about is the prospect of the battles akin to the ones in Assassin's Creed III becoming commonplace. What if every time you try to sail somewhere, a couple of these fights take place between Point A and Point B? It won't take long before their welcome is thoroughly worn out, and they're met with nothing but exasperation.

Assassinations will be too linear

Open-ended assassinations were one of the main characteristics of the earlier Assassin's Creed titles that went a long way toward making me fall in love with the series. Nothing was better than plotting my own route to the target and disposing of him as I felt fit.

In recent years, the Assassin's Creed games have made a departure of sorts from this style of gameplay. In an interview with Destructoid, Ashraf Ismail, Assassin's Creed IV's Game Director, told us that this game would make a return to open-ended assassinations.

If he means what he says, this is great news. Nothing makes you feel like a crafty assassin more than be given a setting and turning the wheels of fate yourself. It's good to hear that the developers acknowledge this, but this concern won't be put to bed until I actually play the game.

Who will replace Desmond?

As Ubisoft had said many times before the release of Assassin's Creed III, that game was the last in Desmond's story arc. Personal opinions of him vary widely, but regardless, he was the only constant across the first five Assassin's Creed titles.

Ubisoft has reported that the present-day protagonist of Assassin's Creed IV will be you -- that's right, you, the player. Unfortunately, I don't think that this statement could be any more unclear in its meaning. We'll have to wait to see how this one plays out.

Desmond's story in the present was the one definite that the Assassin's Creed games always had to fall back on in the event that the ancestor's story wasn't engaging the player. With Desmond out of the picture, hopefully Ubisoft has a solid replacement lined up.

All that being said, I still eagerly await my turn as a pirate assassin.

Brett Makedonski, Associate Editor
 Follow Blog + disclosure Donski3 Tips
Brett will sell you things in a dark alley -- mostly counterfeit watches and kidneys. Not counterfeit kidneys, though; even I have my lines, man. Guaranteed: All my kidneys are completely legit. ... more   |   staff directory

 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our community fisters, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding * to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[img][/img] [img][/img] [img][/img]
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
Anyone else getting massive lag in between games of the Battlefront Beta? I'm running an AMD rig so it might be that but just want to know it's not just me.
Shinta avatarShinta
1 hour stream of Dragon Quest Heroes.
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Plague Knight is pretty rad, even when represented by mediocre artists [img][/img]
Shinta avatarShinta
Initial impressions: Chibi-Robo Zip lash is pretty damn fun so far. It's like Mr. Mosquito + Castlevania + Umihara. Controls are spot on, platforming is actually very solid so far, and the characters are about as charming as they can get. +amiibo.
nanashi avatarnanashi
Question: Is resident evil nemesis supposed to start off with a toolbox that has (unlimited) ink ribbon, 250 handgun ammo, magnum (w/ammo), shotgun (w/ammo) and two assault clips, in the first room of the game?????
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[img][/img] Much want. Such need. Ow.
Shinta avatarShinta
[img][/img] Can you imagine if greedy aliens stole all YOUR snacks? I don't even know how I'd handle it honestly. I don't even want to think about it.
Mike Martin avatarMike Martin
Great. YouTube took down my nude re - enactment of She-Wolf. Again. Fuck you Shakira. Let my art shine.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
BREAKING: Inner city man and "Pokemon Go" enthusiast found dead after entering rival gang's territory. "All he wanted was a Shiny Charizard!" according to an interview with a close friend. "We found him on the street, limp as a Magikarp stuck on a beach."
GoofierBrute avatarGoofierBrute
I completely forgot that Castlevania: Dawn of Sorrow had an animated opening. Other than the compression, it actually looks really good today, and makes me wonder why Konami didn't commission some sort of Castlevania anime. That would have been sweet.
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Gamestop has Splatoon amiibo up, if that's your thing. Totally didn't order and just cancel mine.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
Anyone else having issues with italics in blogs? I went to save a draft, and when it loaded the post-saving creature I was working on, the entire text had been italicized and I now am unable to change it back. I've been possessed!
So that's $50 for the season pass on top of the game already costing sixty at launch, plus the monthly subscription fee for playing online on consoles. All in the name of getting the full experience! VYDEO_GEAMEZ!!
BroskiTheChocobo avatarBroskiTheChocobo
Why hello there. My name is Broski and I am new here so be nice. I'll be posting some content over the next few days so have a read and I hope you enjoy it. Broski out.
Agent9 avatarAgent9
tired but I gotta work. Would rather play more MGS5.
Batthink avatarBatthink
Races have been pretty intense, and the last Moto3 race in MotoGP 14 should have been too. Emphasis on the word [i]should[/i]. The AI riders ignored infringements in the last race, meaning everyone was disqualified except me. Derp.
Batthink avatarBatthink
Been playing MotoGP 14 on my Vita. A bit buggy (some menus you need to press circle to go back, then cross to select to proceed, otherwise nothing happens. And motorcycling helmets riding motorcycles in-race), but I've got the sweet spot in difficulty.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
Daily VGM #21 (Witcher 1) - Geralt of Rivia (The Witcher 3) [youtube][/youtube] I think this theme does a fantastic job capturing the feel of The Witcher 3. Epic, but also somber at times.
wutangclam avatarwutangclam
Sorry to shamelessly self-promote, but I wanted to share a piece that went up over the weekend with ya'll Hopefully it's an enjoyable read! [url][/url]
more quickposts


destructoid's previous coverage:
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

  Jun 02

Hey, you got your Assassin's Creed in my Watch Dogs!

I think I'd rather just have a Reese's cup

  Mar 11

It's the inevitable Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag collection

The game plus seven downloadable content packs all wrapped in one

  Dec 09

Assassin's Creed IV multiplayer DLC sets sail tomorrow

Different characters doing the same murdering

  Dec 04

Assassin's Creed IV's story DLC is dropping this month

First mate Adewale is on a quest to free slaves

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!


Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme

Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo

Back to Top

We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -