Fourth installment of the franchise, Assassin’s Creed Black Flag brings a lot of new features and changes its historical setting. Does this fourth installment rank above its predecessors or does it mark the beginning of the decline of the saga?
We do not change a winning team, the Ubisoft teams started the development of Black Flag immediately after completing Assassin’s Creed 3. A short year therefore separates the two titles, the second and unfortunately the latest on Wii U, which will not see other episodes of the franchise thereafter.
At the context level, as was the case in the previous games in the series, the story is divided into two intertwined halves, comprising a phase in a futuristic world, and another in a historical framework, the events of each influencing the other.
You quickly realize that the two narratives are very unbalanced. The one happening in the future (undetermined but after 2012 all the same) is very uninteresting and boring. In comparison, the chronicles with Desmond Miles in the previous episodes were much more consistent and captivating.
In these (contemporary) passages we embody a character hired by Abstergo Entertainment – a subsidiary of Abstergo Industries – as a researcher in order to use the Animus and examine the memories of Desmond Miles and his ancestors.
Although it has already been established that the Animus can only be used to display the memories of its direct ancestors, the end of Assassin’s Creed III implies that the Animus now works the same way as a computer. Faced with this new possibility, Abstergo asks the participant to focus specifically on the memories of Edward Kenway.
Edward Kenway (Connor’s grandfather, key figure in AC 3) is a pirate who lived during the golden age of piracy in the Caribbean, around 1715. It is this character that we will control during 95% of the game, following the epic that will lead him to become a member of the Assassins against the Templars.
This storyline is also very exciting, the story takes time to be posed, the characters developed. The plot is captivating, often dramatic and, as in the previous sections, based on people who really existed.
Regarding the level of achievement, the franchise swaps the great North American spaces for the paradisiac islands of the Caribbean. Black Flag uses the AC 3 engine but slightly optimized for the Wii U version.
We had criticized AC3 on Wii U for displaying clipping or low quality textures, Black Flag has at least the merit of overcoming these defects. It’s clean, beautiful and fluid.
The developers have probably mastered the hardware of the console. The result is very pleasant, the settings encourage a change of scenery and exploration, the cities are teeming with life and details, the cutscenes are all of very good quality. [color=red]Assassin’s Creed Black Flag is one of the most accomplished games on the Wii U console. ??? [/color]
Ubisoft has greatly treated the overall atmosphere of the title, if you like piracy you will never be disappointed. Naval battles, treasure hunts, exploration of exotic islands, everything is there to put you in the shoes of a filibuster. The boarding of ships will always be a most pleasant and addictive moment.
Once again the sound environment is worked, whether the music or the dubbing, they fully participate in the immersion.
The gameplay from the Assassin’s Creed series is reputed to be one of the best of its kind, one of the most exhilarating. This is further proven with this episode. The fights are dynamic, well choreographed. Ubisoft has refined these phases to make them even more fluid and fun to play.
The arsenal is quite varied: sabers, pistols, passing by anesthetic darts or daggers (symbolic weapons of Assassins). All this will be necessary to face the English, the Spanish, the Portuguese and even other pirates, without counting certain dangerous animals in their natural environment (felines or other crocodiles)
However the phases in “free race” begin to date and in cramped environments, as is the case with the myriad of small islands, it is not really easy to maneuver your pirate.
The gameplay during the infiltration passages or during the spinning for information, also begins to stagnate. The developers have been using the same strings for several years.
Fortunately the boat phases are the most successful. Already seen in the previous episode, they have been reworked and deepened to provide even more enjoyment to players.
Black Flag is undoubtedly the best game to embody a pirate with the phases of tracking down an enemy ship, naval battles with different guns; and the really intoxicating boarding phase.
Small flat anyway, during the collision, the automatic targeting of enemies sometimes has failures which can lead to failures.
The Gamepad allows you to play “off TV” or to have information, the ” SKIN »Only on the Gamepad screen to have better (more refined) visibility on television.
The gameplay remains good and always customizable whether with the Pro controller or the GamePad
The franchise is also known for offering its players consistent content, a long life. Black Flag is no exception to the rule, since the campaign represents only 30% synchronization with the animus.
To complete the remaining percentage, you will have to do a lot of secondary missions, find the« collectibles »(animus fragments, documents, chests) and unearth the treasures using maps.
The most persistent will spend at least 30 hours plowing the seas or oceans (the map is really large), exploring each small islet, sinking or capturing enemy ships to collect the raw materials necessary to improve their boat. Besides, to face the legendary ships, yours will have to be at the maximum level in terms of its facilities (arsenal, protection)
The game also offers a small “management” part, indeed the boats that you capture can be sent to your fleet. You can then order your ships to go to expeditions to the four corners of the globe and bring back “reales” (game currencies) as well as spoils (collectibles)
To be truly complete, you can also indulge in hunting or fishing, between two missions. The carcasses of animal remains allow, among other things, to improve its equipment or to make new outfits.
Assassin’s Creed Black Flag also has a very complete online mode but as was the case for its predecessor, this mode has been abandoned due to the timid sales of the Wii U and the fact that Nintendo customers are not really attracted to this kind of game.
Black Flag is an AAA game, using the same graphics engine as its predecessor. The realization is of quality, with shimmering colors and a multitude of details which make the environment alive. The pirate atmosphere is perfectly transcribed.
Regarding the phases of walking, free running or infiltration, the gameplay remains the same and begins to date. In terms of fights, the gameplay has been slightly refined to gain fluidity. The gameplay of the naval phases is the most exhilarating. The gameplay is good, with no real surprises.
Lifespan is very important. Between the campaign, the secondary missions, everything you need to recover to reach 100%, there is really something to take care of. The game also has a full multiplayer, but which has never been prized.
The soundtrack goes hand in hand with the production. Music as dubbing is excellent.
It’s a little disappointment, because it seems that the developers were lacking in inspiration especially for the story that is going on in the future. Fortunately, Kenway’s adventures during the golden age of piracy are much more interesting.
Assassin’s Creed Black Flag is part of the qualitative line of the franchise. Without offering big revolutions, the game arrives with new ideas and offers a unique atmosphere. For the Wii U this is a major title which it would be a shame to deprive yourself of, given the relatively modest amount of games of such a size offered on the console.