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  1. #1
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    So...AssCreed 4 - Opinions/Warnings/Caveats?

    I'm a sucker. I admit it. I despised ACIII, yet, I cannot help being curious about AC 4. Admittedly, its because, well...pirates. The prospect of playing what is pretty well an open world pirate game appeals to me, and I am wondering whether there's enough of that here to make AC 4 worth while.

    So...any thoughts, opinions, caveats? Anyone given it a try yet? Would love to know what you think.

  2. #2
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus SirKicksalot's Avatar
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    I saw it at a friend. Disclaimer: I loved the first two games, hated Brotherhood and haven't played anything else.
    It runs like shit and lowering some settings doesn't seem to have any effect - visually or for performance.

    I saw a random island and a big naval battle. The island was very beautiful but felt hilariously artificial. At one point I didn't even bother to check where I was going. Every cliff had a safe body of water or pile of leaves at the bottom. You character autocrouches in dense vegetation and it's pretty fun to stalk dudes like this. I had no idea what I was doing in combat but at least someone was shooting at me while I was stabbing another guy.

    The naval combat was some Master and Commander shit. VERY impressive! It took place during a storm and it was kinda scary at times. The ocean simulation is mesmerizing. Also featured: rogue waves! waterspouts! dudes falling off the ship!

    Nvidia UPlay codes are pretty cheap. I think I'll pick up one, just because the naval combat is so awesome.

  3. #3
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    I enjoyed the first 3 (1,2 and Brotherhood), was disappointed in the short and mediocre Revelations and hated 3. I'm rather enjoying this one at the moment, after a few hours of playtime.

    I can agree with Kicksalot that the island I was on was a playground, not so much danger but more places for me to run around and murder/collect things, which I really loved. The first city was rather nice to explore, and again I went all in on the collectables and Assassination contracts you could take. This has been one of the few games I've played where collectables and side-quests have taken precedence over the main story. It doesn't help that the game is using the story to try and teach me the same mechanics for the 6th time, and I wish Ubisoft would realise that the 'game within a game' aspect of the Animus is the perfect way to make the tutorials skippable. Fortunately, there is still some new stuff introduced with regards to the naval aspect.

    The naval combat is definitely fun, and I'm looking forward to upgrading and customising my ship when I get the resources. I've only just got control of a ship of my own and will probably spend a lot of time now exploring and hunting things as opposed to any storyline progression, but we'll see.

    I guess the bottom line would be: It's better than AC3, and provided I still get the same amount of freedom/side-stuff to do that I've had so far I will enjoy it. It's like it's taken Assassin's Creed and mixed it up with a little Far Cry 3, and I'm hoping Ubisoft can improve on this next year by removing the silly tutorials, perhaps just making a good pirate game minus the Templar/Assassin story.

  4. #4
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    I loved 3, and think 4 is OK. I miss the frontier (i.e., large space to muck about in) -- dividing it into zillions of tiny tiny islands isn't as fun. The ocean/piracy itself is great. The stealth is the best it's ever been in the series. Combat and controls are a noticeable step down from 3. The metastructure of activities and rewards is great, but exceptionally gamey. If you're not careful, it can end up feeling like running down a checklist than playing a game.

    There's a lot more to do than in 3, and you're always rewarded for it (unlike 3). You don't say what you hated about 3, so it's worth noting that 70% is the same--free running, kind-of stealth, counter-kill combat. You may find the piracy and the much better structured side activities make up for it.

  5. #5
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    Strange but true: After bouncing right off AC 3, I have so far spent about 3-4 hours completely engrossed in AC 4. And I know what made the difference: Freedom. Well, that, and a protagonist with personality.

    I live in the northeastern US. So as Winter comes on, I'm usually looking for a big, open, immersion-focused game in which I can get lost for hours at a time. AC 3 is not that game; after more than 2 hours, I am stuck in tutorial land yet, being told constantly where to go, and what to do next. No sign of Connor at all; still playing his father.

    Contrast this with AC 4. Even during the tutorial quest, I am stopping to loot abandoned pirate chests, discover view points, etc. And one mission later, I'm in Havana, a single city on a single island, and yet, still larger than any three cities from Skyrim - combined. And still no loading screen between the city and the open world despite the size difference.

    Now, once in Havana, I've got narrative missions to fulfill, sure. But I am also free to accept some side missions and explore the city to my heart's content - all after only the single tutorial mission. So even after one mission I have an entire city to run about in and explore, and available side missions.

    But the real fun begins when you get your own ship. The tutorial mission gives you a small taste of the naval combat. But once you get the jackdaw...wow. Things get so much better at that point. For this reason, I highly recommend anyone playing the game stick strictly to the narrative missions until you get your ship. Worry about mucking about with assassination contracts later; just get the ship first. Its worth it.

    I cannot wait until Ubisoft finally realizes that not all of their open world games needs to have the AC or Far Cry labels in order to succeed. Perhaps then we can look forward to an open world/sandbox pirate game using this same engine. Or perhaps something in the old west, similar to AC 3's frontier pieces. They could easily be the studio to beat in terms of open world goodness, if they would just turn themselves loose from the shackles of extant franchises.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blackcompany View Post
    And still no loading screen between the city and the open world despite the size difference.
    Yes there is. Small islands and the openworld are all a single map, but each large city (Nassau, Kingston and Havana) are their own separate areas with a loading screen.

  7. #7
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    Haven't finish revelations yet (Istanbul is boring as fuck tbh), but do intend to catch up even though ACIII isn't all that according to everyone. The whole Master & commander aspect of ACIV sounds pretty appealing. Really hoping that the female game they're making for PC turns out to be good.

  8. #8
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    Ahh, I stand corrected. Come to think of it, I should have figured this, as there was a loading screen betwixt my leaving Havana and ending up on a ship.

    Still, its quite an impressive spectacle. Granted its nor perfect; how the free running manages to be so wonky this far into the franchise, I still don't know. And I'm generally no fan of BatCreed combat, but I find that, while better systems still exist, this system is a lot better with lethal weapons such as blades, than it is with bare fists and punching someone ten times until they happen to - finally - fall over.

  9. #9
    Network Hub Stellar Duck's Avatar
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    I've a warning:

    The bloody game (or Uplay) keeps eating my savegames. At this point I make a back up each time I finish playing and hope the save stuck when exiting.

    It's a nice game though. If repetitive. But that's Ubisoft games for you.
    Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory since 1982.

  10. #10
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    It's a bit sad that the naval combat feels so shallow. I can take down 6 spanish ships in about 5 minutes. This game doesn't allow much modding does it? It'd be great if some meganerd makes it into a proper pirate sim with deeper combat. All in all it's pretty fun, and the sailing is great.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stellar Duck View Post
    I've a warning:

    The bloody game (or Uplay) keeps eating my savegames. At this point I make a back up each time I finish playing and hope the save stuck when exiting.

    It's a nice game though. If repetitive. But that's Ubisoft games for you.
    I'm going to go ahead and suggest the thing that I always do, and that is to disable saving to the cloud in any game that supports it.
    In my experience this is one of the leading causes of corrupted/missing save games. It's not even a necessary feature most of the time. I'm willing to bet the cloud save was your issue.

    Steps to turn it off in UPlay:
    Open settings menu in Uplay.
    Under the general tab
    Uncheck "Enable cloud save synchronization for supported titles"

  12. #12
    Network Hub Stellar Duck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rirdeg View Post
    I'm going to go ahead and suggest the thing that I always do, and that is to disable saving to the cloud in any game that supports it.
    In my experience this is one of the leading causes of corrupted/missing save games. It's not even a necessary feature most of the time. I'm willing to bet the cloud save was your issue.

    Steps to turn it off in UPlay:
    Open settings menu in Uplay.
    Under the general tab
    Uncheck "Enable cloud save synchronization for supported titles"
    I did that the first time it ate 5 hours of progression.

    Then today, it had eaten everything I did last night. Which among other things was a long stealth mission where you lose if you're seen. It was alright the first time through but doing it again was soul crushing.
    Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory since 1982.

  13. #13
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    That mission was a huge pain in the ass! I stopped playing brotherhood after hitting a brick wall in a similar mission.

    Sorry to hear that the cloud saving wasn't your issue.

  14. #14
    Network Hub Stellar Duck's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rirdeg View Post
    That mission was a huge pain in the ass! I stopped playing brotherhood after hitting a brick wall in a similar mission.

    Sorry to hear that the cloud saving wasn't your issue.
    Thanks. And thanks for the tip. Even if it didn't help me I hope someone else might see it and benefit from it. I do wonder why it happened the second time. I'm wondering if it was a Uplay update or something.
    Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory since 1982.

  15. #15
    Secondary Hivemind Nexus somini's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stellar Duck View Post
    I've a warning:

    The bloody game (or Uplay) keeps eating my savegames. At this point I make a back up each time I finish playing and hope the save stuck when exiting.

    It's a nice game though. If repetitive. But that's Ubisoft games for you.
    The Hivemind mentioned it in the reviews. If the option is ignored, just block the exe in your favourite firewall.
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  16. #16
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    So...ten hours in. And...its Far Cry 3: Pirate Edition. Which is not entirely a bad thing.

    What's returned:

    -Climbing view points to unlock parts of the map
    -Hunting/Crafting system, including some of the more ridiculous recipes, like health upgrades made from Deer Skins.
    -Map markers, including chests, wildlife locations and collectibles
    -Tedious missions with narrowly defined areas, linear paths and stupid, annoying objectives

    What's new (aka, Returning, but from AC, not Far Cry):

    -3rd person combat, BatCreed style. Its a little less tedious here, since countering means killing, not just more punching
    -Swords (as opposed to guns, but those are here, too, though older and slower)
    -Eavesdropping. Perhaps the WORST mission type ever conceived. Including Escorting.

    What's New (aka, Actually new to the combined franchise of AC/Far Cry):

    -Naval Ship combat. And even that is returning from a previous game.


    All things considered, its a good game - good, at best - held back by the exact same mistakes that plague the most recent Far Cry, Assassin's Creed and Saint's Row games. Namely, the idea that open world games need periodically to suddenly, violently seize control from the player, funnel them down a narrow, linear path and into another mission area to complete a tedious objective by doing things that are considerably less fun than what the player was doing before. If they are fun at all. Which they usually are not.

    Let's face it: The best moments of this game involve roaming the seas, stalking and taking down ships like a pirate. Perhaps also accepting side contracts, killing someone in ridiculous, over the top fashion, and then slamming down a smoke bomb whilst barely making it back to your ship before the guards do, and fleeing out to sea. These are marvelous moments of sheer, blissful fun.

    And they are continually interrupted by the developer's insistence that we must from time to time "Begin Mission." Which almost always involves something considerably less fun that what we were blissfully doing before.

    Why Ubisoft and company cannot understand that what we want is an open world where we have the freedom to complete missions and objectives as WE see fit, I will never understand. Case in point: The godawful mission you get from the fishing village, to kill a dude. Why in the world can we not just be told where he is, and to go kill him? Why the corridor run? Why did the developers see fit to force us down a single path to get there, as opposed to letting us choose our own path and method? And they use this same tired, annoying technique time and again.

    Its a fun game. When you're ignoring literally everything the developers implemented as part of the narrative experience. But the moment you have to step out of the sandbox and go on a theme park ride, it goes from fun to tedious at best and truly awful at times.

  17. #17
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    I know the accepted wisdom is that they just keep adding stuff to the AC games, but I'm still smarting that they dropped the two best bits from AC2/Brotherhood:

    1) The puzzle sections from the Animus glyphs and
    2) The platform puzzle bits, where you had to negotiate platforms or a device around a room to reach a chest or such.

    Revelations turned the platform bits into "run and jump at the right time while some awesome stuff happens" which was fun but hardly the same. AC3 continued this, and so far 4 hasn't had any platform action at all.

  18. #18
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    My concern for the franchise - for both of them, actually, since Ubi seems to be able to only make one game now - is...what next? That's it. Simply...What Next?

    Because lets face it. We're already dealing with absolutely nothing but recycled mechanics from previous titles across two different franchises, shoved into a game with some of the absolute WORST mission design I have seen in gaming. I think that whether Ubi can still innovate - and they haven't lately, at all - will determine how successful future games are across both of these franchises.

    But then too...there are a ton of people who will pay big, big money for the same game every year. So...one new knows, I suppose.

  19. #19
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    Ubisoft seems to make new franchises when they want to innovate (whether you consider the innovation good or bad is another thing entirely). They did PoP -> AC. Now Watch Dogs is coming up and perhaps it'll mean fewer AC games if it's successful enough to spawn its own franchise.

    I vaguely recall hearing that they'd alternate the games in a bi-yearly fashion, so each game would have a longer development cycle and not eat each other's sales.

  20. #20
    Network Hub Stellar Duck's Avatar
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    Just an update. Despite disabling cloud saves and blocking Uplay via my firewall I keep losing progress on exit. Depsite the game saying it saves any number of times I'll on occasion lose a mission or two in progress or, as was the case just now: the entirety of the collectibles and syncs in Kingston. On my end the save system is broken beyond measure and I'm about to give up. This is completely unacceptable.
    Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory since 1982.

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