Note: iOS 9 + Facebook users w/ trouble scrolling: #super sorry# we hope to fix it asap. In the meantime Chrome Mobile is a reach around
hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Assassin's Creed IV: Freedom Cry

Review: Assassin's Creed IV: Freedom Cry

2:30 PM on 12.17.2013 // Chris Carter

Adwal Unchained

Assassin's Creed IV was quite the ride. Bringing new meaning to the phrase "a pirate's life for me," it was such a step up from the third entry that many fans are now clamoring for a full-on pirate spinoff series.

Honestly? I wouldn't mind that one bit, so long as it was every other year -- Black Flag was that good. Until that day comes however you can enjoy an additional campaign compliments of Edward's former Quartermaster.

Assassin's Creed IV: Freedom Cry (PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One [reviewed])
Developer: Ubisoft Quebec
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release Date: December 17, 2013
MSRP: $9.99 (part of the $19.99 Season Pass)

Freedom Cry jumps right back into the action 15 years after the events of Black Flag, as Adéwalé -- Edward Kenway's former right-hand man and confidant. Adéwalé has become an assassin, and as a result, he's a little wiser, and a little more hungry for the facilitation of change -- specifically, the freedom of all slaves. The DLC campaign is separate from Black Flag's story (although you need the core game to play it), and wastes absolutely no time as you're controlling your ship in seconds. Adéwalé is quartermaster no more, and now, he's a fully-fledged captain. He also gets to have his cake and eat it too, as he's both an assassin and a pirate. As one of his crewmates says early on, "everything is permitted after all, captain!" Indeed.

Much like Edward though, he gets shipwrecked immediately, and after witnessing an attempted attack of a slave, you get to see what Freedom Cry's namesake is really about. From there you'll engage in two storylines -- the core assassin and templar conflict, and the freedom of every slave you can locate. There are hundreds of slaves to rescue, and a lot of different ways to recruit them to your cause.

You can free runaway or tortured slaves directly from their masters in random dynamic events happen in key locations. You can sail the high seas and liberate slave ships, pickpocket keys and unlock pens, sabotage slave auctions, and even raid entire plantations. Freeing everyone you can helps contribute to your ship's crew, as well as the overall influence rating of your cause, which allows you to buy better gear for you and your ship -- so in other words, almost everything directly affects the game. Plantation raids are perhaps the most intriguing addition, since you have to use caution, lest you scare the guards into quelling a potential revolution. All in all it's a bit more noble of a cause than random looting, and more in line with a traditional Assassin's Creed experience.

The plot is pretty straightforward as it still deals with the eternal struggle of assassins and templars, but it's compelling enough in its own right to feel the need to see it through. The supporting cast isn't particularly memorable, but Adéwalé really gets a chance to shine here in a new light, and spread his wings a bit. For those who want an extra cherry on top of meta-narrative, you won't find it here -- this is utterly and completely Adéwalé's tale, with no substantial Abstergo link in sight. Unlike Assassin's Creed III's DLC, you'll get Freedom Cry all at once -- no gimmicky episodic downloads.

Most of the action takes place in the town of Port-Au-Prince, but you'll also get a smaller taste of the West-Indies Sea, with three large land masses and a few islands and activities. It's small, but intimate at the same time, and even with a condensed portion of the map, the seas still feel rather vast. You'll quickly acquire a blunderbuss shotgun and firecrackers to attract guards, which are pretty underwhelming additions. Adéwalé more or less operates in the exact same manner as Edward unfortunately, and I would have preferred that he had a tad more differentiation with his kit and movements.

Interestingly, Freedom Cry goes out of its way to make sure that you're aware of Edward's privilege, and how Adéwalé isn't as welcome pretty much anywhere he goes. Jailers are constantly on the lookout for runaway slaves, and will signal guards upon sight. Overseers will push you and mock you as well, which gives a different overall feel to the DLC. There's one particular gut-wrenching scene in particular that drives that point home near the end, which I won't spoil here -- but suffice to say, it was heartbreaking.

There's around four hours of story here, but Freedom Cry is significantly longer if you go for any group of optional objectives or set of collectibles. In addition to new achievements, there's a decent amount of sea to sail, locations to find, sidequests to engage in, and of course, you can just roam around Grand Theft Auto style and free as many slave ships and plantations as you can muster.

If you wanted more Assassin's Creed IV, Freedom Cry will do just nicely. Although it doesn't offer as compelling a narrative or even close to as open of a world, it manages to capture the spirit of Black Flag in most of the right places. This is a much better effort than AC III's pointlessly episodic Tyranny of King George DLC, and a great model for Assassin's Creed add-ons going forward.



Assassin's Creed IV: Freedom Cry - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... 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.

destructoid's previous coverage:
Assassin's Creed IV: Freedom Cry

  Feb 05

Assassin's Creed: Freedom Cry set for standalone release

Out for PS3 and PS4 on February 18, followed by PC release on the 25th

View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:

Please contact Crave Online, thanks!

Cblogs of 11/27/15 - Life is Strange, and Sad

Top 5 Reasons Star Wars Battlefront KICKS ASS!

Attack of the Friday Monsters: A Little Slice of Childhood

Top 5 Reasons Call of Duty: Black Ops 3 IS AWESOME!

Cblogs of 11/26/15 + Combat Heropon-isms

Video games go mainstream

I’m Not a SJW, I’m an Anthropologist: Making the Case for Diversity in Games

Insidia REVIEW - A whole dark, gloomy, and kinda creepy world to explore

DS REVIEWS: Trace Memory

 Add your impressions

Status updates from C-bloggers

Nathan D avatarNathan D
The night brims with defiled scum, and is permeated by their rotten stench. Just think, now you're all set to hunt and kill to your heart's content! #FashionBorne [img][/img]
MeanderBot avatarMeanderBot
Two more days to get in on the unofficial Christmas Card! [Url][/URL]
Solar Pony Django avatarSolar Pony Django has got a mystery sale on T Shirts and Tank Tops atm, $5 for each. Only catch is they're random. But I've had some good luck, got a Captain Falcon one before, Zombies ate my Neighbors and a Persona 4 X Earthbound crossover.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I would really, really love if "publish now" could work without me having to post a blog multiple because the site is such a mess right now.
fitzen avatarfitzen
I got it all the way back in spring, but I still haven't finished Majoras Mask. Think I've done the first temple.. It's hard not knowing where to go. All those linear corridors and objective markers in games has made me dumb and impatient.
RadicalYoseph avatarRadicalYoseph
A weekend open forum posted every Friday night would be really cool, at least until we get real forums again.
Parismio avatarParismio
Went snowboarding for the first time in years. Crashed a lot, many times into trees. All that training in FF7 didnt do squat!
Amna Umen avatarAmna Umen
If I were to get Age of Empires II HD to play with you all, do you all have the DLC?
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I am relieved to know Creed is a Rocky spin-off and not a feature-length documentary about the band.
Steven Hansen avatarSteven Hansen
the worst thing about that jesssica jones program is i keep getting "basketball jones" stuck in my head
CoilWhine avatarCoilWhine
Been playing Gears of War 3's campaign on Xbox One. Looks great on there, and Sam's voice actor is Chloe's voice actor in Uncharted 2/3. Hell yeah!
Archelon avatarArchelon
Community Question: With all the controversy surrounding review scores, what do you personally consider a "bad" score versus a "good" score? Is there a game in particular that was panned by critics that you nevertheless enjoyed? Or vice versa?
TheVeganGamer avatarTheVeganGamer
Finally got around to playing Diablo 3 with some friends, holy smokes! That game is rad!
SpielerDad avatarSpielerDad
Public service announcement: Marry an orphan. It makes the holidays so much easier when you don't have to deal with pain in the ass in-laws.
Nekrosys avatarNekrosys
So... how long is it until we get the inevitable Colonial Marines or Ride to Hell: Retribution PS4/Xbox One re-releases?
SeymourDuncan17 avatarSeymourDuncan17
Screw Bloodborne. I finally managed to overcome not tearing up while listening to the entirety of Never More. Git gud! [youtube][/youtube]
NYCpunk avatarNYCpunk
you know what's not okay? scalpers with 10 copies of fire emblem fates SE on ebay for $200+. and no one is saying anything.
ChrisHannard avatarChrisHannard
Fallout 4 wouldn't be Fallout with ridiculous glitches and shenanigans. Here are a few I've run into - [youtube][/youtube]
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
I've never earnestly went drinking before so it's cool to know I'm the slow, sleepy, impaired type.
The Dyslexic Laywer avatarThe Dyslexic Laywer
Got to admit I didn't expect to find a mewtwo amiibo at my bookstore of all places...
more quickposts



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 -