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Assassin’s Creed 4: Story Mode Completed!

MAIN CAMPAIGN COMPLETED!!! Unfortunately, I do not believe I’ll be getting a full 100% Sync for the game, as I have no intention of winning the required amount of Reals at the bar games, nor do I have any interest in raising my blood pressure to cautionary levels due to the frustration from completing the optional memory objectives like “Stay Out Of Combat” or “Use this totally non-lethal item and inefficient tool 30 times”, nor am I going to hunt down all of the treasure map locations. I’ve done quite a bit already, and I’ve achieved a 92% sync, which isn’t too shabby. But enough about my laziness, ON TO THE REVIEW!

~ MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD ~

Edward Kenway

Screw stealth and roll out 4 pistols!
Screw stealth and roll out 4 pistols!

In the end and as expected, Edward finally succumbs to the nobler aspects Assassin Order’s ideals. While I feel that his character still does not fully commit, he does so enough to earn the respect of the other Assassins and he is finally accepted, formally, in to their ranks. There was one cut scene, however, in which Edward begins to seriously question what his beliefs are, and how much validity they hold. This is in Charles Vane’s final moments, where Edward declares that, “maybe Hornigold was right. Maybe the World does need men of Ambition to stop the likes of you from mucking it all up!” This kind of support for an authoritative system is in line with that of the Templars.

This dissonance ofcourse is then echoed through Edward’s bloodline through his son and thus grandson, Haythem and Connor respectively. Haythem actually goes as far as to join the Templars in the intro mission of AC3 (much like Duncan Walpole turned on the Brotherhood in the intro of AC4), and Connor works both sides hoping that someone will in the end help him save his tribe.

Still, in the end I’m still annoyed that he was just simply handed hidden blades after he cast them aside initially and is still able to handle them with deadly precision. Descendent of Altair and Ezio be damned, I’m still declaring shenanigans on fighting skills.

Or, he’s secretly a Grammaton Cleric, and he’s a master of the Gun Kata:

The West Indies

Quick little tid-bit of my personal life: My wife and I just got from our Honeymoon in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Yes, the colors of the scenery seen in the game are just like reality! The blue of the waters and how the shade changes as you’re closer to shore, the way the Palm Trees bend and grow, all of it! Simply beautiful!

By the end of my run, I had found all Animus Fragments, Treasure Chests, Shanties, Bottles, Secrets, and Mayan Stelae. This was not incredibly difficult since once you sync with a viewpoint or conquer a Fort all surrounding collectables are made visible on your map. There were a few that took a little bushwhacking to find, but nothing difficult. Unfortunately, you are not made privy to any special video, message, in game weapon or item for finding all Animus fragments, as I was hoping for. Just a little “DING! You found them all!” and another check on your list of Abstergo Challenges. Meh.

Modern Day
Sooooo things got a little weird….to the point where I may have to do a full post dedicated to Future Location Predictions and update it as I complete DLC! I’m currently machete-slashing my way through Freedom Cry and yes, good lord yes, Adewale is as bad-ass as you may expect him to be!

You get brought out of the animus a few more times, with each successive time revealing more hackable computers of increasing difficulty. Still nothing as complex as in previous games, but a few of the “Sideways Frogger” games became pretty frustrating!

Ok, now for some serious spoilers. Skip ahead to the next header if you don’t want to know the WTF!?!?! Just yet!

So remember that dude John that I mentioned in my previous posts? The IT dude that kinda forced me into the servitude of the Assassins through blackmail and coercsion? Turns out he’s not just a douchey IT douche, he’s the reincarnation of Juno’s HUSBAND, Aita, his spirit replicated through the centuries to this day! Also, this is not his first run in with the Assassin Order, as through out the story of AC4 he is known as “The Sage”, and all the creepy messages from the bottles you’ve been finding are HIS MEMIORS! Speaking of leaving creepy messages in random places, remember all those sticky notes with the QR Codes? Ya, totally placed by John as well! So now we’ve got two works of “literature” from the mind of an ancient sociopath.

Um dude, what's in the syringe? (STAB!)
Um dude, what’s in the syringe? (STAB!)

But here’s the thing about the sticky notes: They usher in a 3rd party to the struggle: The Instruments of the First Will! The sticky notes, once all collected, form a Manifesto which denounces the current day Templars and their lust for control. If this is plot point is continued, there is no question that the dynamics of the power struggle within the game is going to be altered drastically.

And he knows about the Observatory…

Philosophical Musings

What happened to our faction?
What happened to our faction?

As I have stated in my previous posts regarding this iteration of the Assassin’s Creed series, I am still unhappy with the decision to move away from stealth and become more action based even if I do understand and ultimately accept their reasons for doing so. Yet even with that, this game was an absolute joy to play through! While wild brandishing of dual blades and pistols was the focal point of the combat rather than disciplined precision strikes, I found myself giving in to the romance of a pirate’s life and the glamour of it’s arrogant and lavish style. So I wasn’t given the opportunity to infiltrate an ancient temple and make off with a coded message hidden within a jeweled box. So I basically had ZERO run-ins with members of the church, claiming to answer to a higher authority whilst using it as a shield to hide behind as they furthered their own agendas and fortunes. The wonderful thing about this game being so different from the previous is that it IS different from the previous, but still has the familiar elements. For as much as I would love for them to keep it as a church-and-state-conspiracy-mind-twist where you hide in the shadows of the ancient past, I most definitely do NOT want them to recycle the same game over and over, only with different names. Some games can get repetitive quickly, be it with combat system or questing format. Combine that in game repetition with multiple iterations of the full game itself and there’s no hope for longevity. Exceptions being Military Shooters and Sports Games. Those are purchased year after year for the multiplayer, not the story, and thus is a different beast. 

So having completed this latest installment in to the Assassins Creed Saga, I can in all confidence say that this was a fantastic game and a fitting chapter for it’s continuation! Despite my skepticism, AC4 was an absolute delight to play. There was still just enough conspiracy left in to keep my mind swirling with theories. Rather than peppering the instances through the game itself, it was removed from the main plot line and left for those who still actually care about such things to dig them up on their own through the computer hacking. As stated in the retrieved emails: now both Conspiracy Theorists and Pirate Fans are happy. With that, I would like to say Thank You to UbiSoft. Thank you for allowing us to continue exploring the world’s alternative history through the imagination of your team.

PS: Interesting coincidence….between the final Marketability Analysis to be found in the game and the HD release of a previous title…..

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