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The best Assassin's Creed game is free this week

I like the boat-centric Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag so much that I just went and added it to Uplay even though I already own it Steam. That’s right: an Asscreed I dig enough to voluntarily load up Uplay. Last week, Ubisoft were giving away the tragically de-Steamed RTS World in Conflict, and, as we promised then, here’s your nudge about this week’s Festivus freebie.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is also known as ‘the one with pirates’, aka ‘the first one without bloody Desmond’, aka ‘the one were they set the series right after getting it wrong with AC3’, aka ‘why haven’t they made another one about seafaring yet?’ (The latter question, I speculate, is probably something to do with boats being somewhat off-brand. A boat can’t sneak or climb up a chimney, see).

The open ocean, involving ships to battle, board and kidnap, forts to raze and all manner of treasure to seek, had more than a little Sid Meier’s Pirates! to it, albeit through a third-person action prism, and it was a real – aha! – sea-change from the routine roof-running and conspiracyballs of its predecessor games. Hell, even protagonist Edward Kenway, a good ole’ Welsh lad, seems to enjoy himself significantly more than does most any other AssCreed protagonist.

There’s a lot of nonsense too. It is an Assassin’s Creed game, after all. Conspiracies and Skinner boxes and Ubimaps – but even that latter makes a lot more sense when it’s a seachart rather than a small amount of land littered with magic icons.

All free from now until December 18, anyway. Get it from here. It’s a Uplay code rather than a Steam code, so you will need a Uplay account and installation, however – though the days of Uplay being quite such a gigantic pain in the bottom are long past. It’s more of a minor irritant now.

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Alec Meer

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Co-founder of RPS. Dungeon Keeper & X-COM 4 Life.

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