Impressions of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag (PS4)
It’s total crunch time before the PS4 launches in the US, but before I head to NYC for the Press Event I just had to play as much as I could of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. I was actually able to play about an hour of it at PAX, but what we have now is the full retail game, and man am I impressed so far.
Honestly, I’ve never been a fan of the series. I don’t have the patience to slowly stalk my prey, but I can’t deny how much I’ve enjoyed this game so far. As far as I know, the actual content is the same as what’s offered in the PS3 version, so the obvious difference is the upgrade in the visuals, which are stunning! The water, especially when the weather gets rough out on the high seas, is truly outstanding and is much more dynamic in rendering than on current-gen. Also, as it was described to me, the attention to detail goes much deeper than you’d expect. Every raindrop during a storm is actually rendered, and will even react correctly to light such as lightning or flames. Furthermore, if it’s raining and you can find some foliage, take a close look. The water droplets actually pool and slide off as real rain would.
During one of my encounters on my ship, a storm front actually moved in from the east, and you could see it the entire time. I was swallowed-up by the clouds, and the waves began to rise into huge whitecaps. Oh yeah, I was battling with a couple of ships while this was all happening too. All of a sudden, to the port side of my ship, I saw one of my foes begin not only to sink, but the boat started to break-up violently, and then I saw why. I huge waterspout had hit there ship, and tore it apart piece-by-piece. I steered hard starboard, and at that point, we were directly parallel with the deadly funnel. My crew was freaking out on deck, screaming to each other as we finally began to open a distance between us and the nasty weather. Moments later, I spotted a fort up on a cliff, and well, why not attack it, right? I began firing my cannons on the fort and its gun emplacements. When those were cut to shreds, we swam up to shore and raided what was left of the facility. I spotted the main target of our raid, and made my way past his pawns who were quickly dead all around me. With a quick lunge, I took the commander out. It was a pretty satisfying section of gameplay, and it definitely made me want to play it even more.
It’s obvious that a lot of time was spent developing this game, and on PS4, as with Killzone: Shadow Fall, it seems far past what my expectations of a launch title would be. I can’t wait to get through launch week so that I can spend even more time with this one, so keep your eyes here for Josh’s full reviews of both the PS3 and PS4 versions. Thanks to Ubisoft for allowing us this early look!
* All screenshots used in this post were provided by Ubisoft.