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Tested for you: Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag

I write in the evening after spending the afternoon in the stands of Gamesweek 2013 in Milan, where I was able to try some of the titles I have already told and others I have yet to mention. Let's say that I was immediately attracted by the smell of Caribbean and freedom that came from a pavilion and then I go to introduce you immediately Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag! The subtitle of the article could be you never cease to be amazed, because in fact in many respects the game was a huge surprise, but let's go in order, va

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I picked up my controller, since I played on one Xbox one, and I immediately found myself in command of a sailing ship on an absolutely tropical blue and green sea. To fully appreciate it, the ship was already equipped with numerous features otherwise gainable in the course of playing with the sweat of the forehead: we are complete with crew and cannons powerful enough to rival all the vessels in the vicinity.

The very first thing we notice is the behavior of the water: very lively, with waves, splashes and drops (it was raining on the Caribbean that day) that I would call unpredictable. We are a thousand nautical miles from the sea as a flat expanse of blue, as seen in many titles of the past. The ship is exaggeratedly agile, a necessity that invalidates realism but slims the game, which otherwise would be a simulator of vintage ships. We travel from island to island in these lush virtual caribbean, bouncing on crests of white foam. Let's say that, for what little I have seen, it would seem that developers have not been tempted to use repeated elements in the construction of environments. The coastlines are similar, for obvious charity, but the temptation to jump off the ship and take a ride in the jungle is a beach and a beach. Also because if you want to discover the infinity of secrets that hides the game you really need to vent your instinct for exploration; in this chapter, in fact, there is the return of collectibles and this time enhanced by the inevitable pirate feature of treasure maps.

For if the boat was a mere means of transport it would be like wasting 90% of the life of a buccaneer. You might as well put the fast travel from one island to the next and goodnight. But, intelligently the Ubisoft has exploited the context to put us even more. In fact, aboard our sailing ship, we run into a ship with which we engage in a bit of offensive without even testing their intentions. Given the bad weather conditions, we find ourselves practically one on top of the other before we take good account of the need to fight and then we immediately start a trip from our bow against theirs, to then take us to their side and attack with the bulk of the guns.

The compelling effect: flashes of light from the mouth of the guns emerge from the fumes of the battle and mix with the flashes of the storm, while chained balls fly by scything the men and raising splinters of wood. Thinning the opposing bridge (and mine too, because I am scarce) the opposing ship is approached to see what is found. The naval battle proved to be a spectacular tactical battle that required unabilability that I have absolutely no control over at a distance. But once approached the situation takes up the line of the previous ones Assassin Creed: a counter tells us how many enemies remain on the bridge while the crews fight; when we decide to draw the blades we jump on the enemy bridge and we finish the work. Getting ahead sooner or later costs, apart from the lack of fun, the life of the crew, who is not watching during the boarding.

After my time with ignominy, I peeked abundantly at the players on the consoles next to mine, having a chat with a press officer who was obviously fed up with the fact that everyone went and came without asking for anything. I have seen how pirate life continues even without water underfoot. When seasickness comes to a pirate, he can also go ashore, as on small pristine atolls, but also on large islands, like Cuba, on which blood and Rum flow like rivers. You can travel across the area of ??the Antilles as in an open world with no bridges with map loads or map jumps. In addition to secondary activities such as fishing and crafting, there remains the hunting of men and combat with a mix of single-shot blades and firearms, the fulcrum of the game in the main missions, but without major innovations compared to the previous title.

We must also say two words about the protagonist: Edward Kenway, a British emigrant who leads the Jackdaw. On this sailing ship and under the guidance of so many sea wolves there is a crew of men from the Caribbean slums, among which lex schiavo stand out Adewale, according to ability and courage only to the captain. Almost ramshackle characters, murderous acrobats, another line towards the serious composure of Ezio Auditore or the savage grace of Connor's Indian hunter. These are looking for a brawl and misusing words against their enemies, in a line of realism that has kept it Ubisoft, but that further separates the game from all the previous ones. In short, we will be a fine strategist of the sea who rests his feet on the table and fights as much with a white weapon as with broken bottles (and with the same effectiveness). I could not say much more because the version shown, to avoid spoilers, was totally devoid of cutscenes and with this the gameplay is completely lost.

It presents itself in all respects as a very intriguing title, full of originality but also detached from the previous ones. The main combat of Assassin's Creed you lose a bit in the midst of all the other vast dynamics of the game; which could make a purist player turn up their noses, expecting innovation that is tightly anchored to the glorious past. As suggested by the press I discussed, more than a game in line with the series, it looks like a luxury version of Sid Meiers Pirates, with moreover the possibility of fighting with blows of hidden blades. So too many news all in one piece: if they made a new and parallel brand they probably created a perfect narrative vein from nothing.