Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – Preview

So today was Supanova (think a scaled-down version of comicon), and I got to test out Assassin’s Creed IV: Pirates for 10 minutes (on the Xbox 360, and not the One, sadly).

The demo I got to play involved a pirate battle, a cutscene, swimming, then freerunning on an island. The free running mechanics are mainly the same as the other games, holding down RT to run, climb, swim faster, etc. What really stood out was how slow you walk, but maybe that’s been in all the games, and I just never noticed. The movement also feels somewhat clunky, and running just seemed too fast to do nitty-gritty controlling movements, and I found myself accidently running back towards where I started. The pirate battles work well, and reminded me of the battles in the Disney Infinity Pirates campaign. You hold down LT to bring up the aiming reticules, aim with the right analogue stick, and then fire with the RT. While doing this, you can’t view the front of the ship, but can still move with the Left Analogue Stick. This means that you can employ some good strategies, like moving behind the enemy ship, or head on, where they can’t aim their canons, or move up onto a high wave so they can’t aim at you. I really liked the mechanic in Infinity, so it’s good to see it again, if by a different publisher.

Unfortunately, the graphics weren’t great; in fact I’d go as far to say they were average. I don’t know whether that’s just the demo, the TV, or the 360 (having never owned one myself). It’s OK, but there are pixelated bits, and it just doesn’t look that good during those particular moments, but that could be different in the consumer version. Apart from that, I really liked what I saw, and can’t wait to play it on PS4. Until then, I guess I better play the previous games…

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