Boy oh boy, where to even start with this game?
Okay, so let me just say that I have a weird predilection to want to play and platinum every AC game that is made, aside from the sidescroller things they did. Why do I have this feeling? I’m not sure. So this game came out for the PS3 and Xbox 360 way back when AC Black Flag was launching for the new PS4 and XBox back in 2014. So it’s been out there for a while, and the remastered version for PS4 was on sale so I thought it was finally time to give it a go.
I knew all along that this was not a big tentpole AC title, more like an offshoot or something. That’s what made this game so weird to me. You have three big maps that you can run around in, one is of New York and the other two are just parts of the North East of the US that focus around sailing and hitting up little villages along the coast. Sure, okay. You got a little of the old AC and some of the, then new, sailing that everyone was in love with. The two maps with a lot of sailing end up just feeling like a random assortment of islands and doesn’t actually feel like a real-world location. It’s a little uninspired.
What makes this an offshoot title is that the story and the missions are all a little short and don’t really draw you in like other titles. They’re boring to be honest, you don’t actually care about any of the characters, which is an odd thing for an AC game. The old historical figure you get to meet up with is Ben Franklin, like what the fuck. He doesn’t even get to make you cool tools or be an actual relevant part of the story like DaVinci did in AC 2. The plot was poor at best, you turn from being a member of the Assassin’s to joining the Templars. Which is a cool concept to start with, but it was never really fleshed out enough to make me want to care. It’s just a bit of a muddled mess that I stopped caring about until the end. The biggest eye roll in the game came from getting your book back from a character, only to then entrust that book with the same character because it would be safer in his hands. 10 minutes later that character is mortally wounded by the hands of the Assassin’s and the book is missing… Like, let me wright your next story please.
So that’s the main story, just a bunch of little missions you have to do. I decided that I’m going to platinum the game. This means that you have to get 100% sync in all the missions, which is a little boring and dumb, but that’s how the older AC games are, so sure.
The biggest drag on the game, while going for a platinum, is the amount of collectibles and all that bullshit you have to do. While this isn’t really a mainline game in the series, they sure spent some money on a team of people to scatter 200 fragments around the world and shanty songs and chests and all that shit. God damn people. Luckily, I had a bunch of podcasts to catch up to, so I just put in headphones and listened to podcasts while I ran around the maps collecting shit, killing idiots, and sailing my boat around.
That reminds me, the enemies in this game are really stupid. Perhaps this is just how dumb they used to be in the last generation of consoles. I wonder if they were this hard of hearing in Black Flag also? I do still have AC 3 to get through at some point so I’ll be curious to see what they’re like in that one also. Definitely not up to the Origins standard set in this gen.
It might sound like I hated this game and you might be wondering why I even spent the time to get the platinum. Sometimes it’s just nice to play a game that has collectibles. There’s an odd sense of accomplishment from clearing out a map. The game isn’t bad, it’s old school AC, so there’s a bit of comfort and ease in that. You get the weird mechanics of the older games where you can’t scale everything, which can lead to more frustration than needed. And hey, you get ship combat and can upgrade all aspects of your vessel, who doesn’t love that?
Final Score – 6.3
In the end, it took just over 30 hours to get my 74th platinum trophy with this game. The game itself wasn’t that bad, it was just uninspired and filled with boring collectibles. I’m glad I played it, if that makes sense. This is a game in the series that I always felt like I missed out on simply because of the platform it was released on. In the end, I just needed to see the game for myself to really understand what it was and what it wasn’t. So now I’ll never have to play it again. Cheers!