The Assassin’s Creed franchise has lost a little steam over the years, but Ubisoft decided to kick things up a notch with Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag which let gamers travel on land and by sea. Some of us would have preferred that they just kept things at sea. If you fell into that category, you probably flipped your lid when Ubi released Assassin’s Creed Pirates for Android and iOS last week. After spending the better part of the week firing cannons and gathering treasure, we’re back with our Assassin’s Creed Pirates review…
Assassin’s Creed Pirates puts you in the role of Alonzo Batilla, a young pirate who sets out on a series of missions and quests throughout the Caribbean. There’s quite a bit more story than that, but half the game is full of cartoony cut scenes related to the story and we’re not going to spoil those for you in case that’s your bag. When you’re not reading rambling dialogue, you’ll be fighting or sailing which is the bread and butter of Assassin’s Creed Pirates. If you’re looking for rooftop or land-based action, you’re not going to find it here.
Controlling your ship in Assassin’s Creed Pirates is about as simple as it gets. There are on-screen buttons that let you raise the sails to gain speed and drop the anchor to stop. Steering is simple as well as you only need to swipe the screen to steer in that direction. Don’t like sailing? Not a problem, most of the time you can access a mini-map and trace a path on the screen for your ship to follow. Pirates also uses the ‘quick travel’ system as well to speed things along. Sailing is simple, but you will want to steer of enemy ships unless you’re ready to battle. If you get to close to the enemy, the action starts automatically.
The battle system is pretty well done, even if it is a little too easy at times. Once you engage an enemy ship the battle alternates between attacking and defending. When you attack you have to wait for a shot gauge to fill up, and then line up your shot trajectory so that you’ll nail the ship alongside you. Assassin’s Creed Pirates uses the mobile dodge system that’s popular in fighting games for defense. When you see their shot trajectory on the screen, you just dodge in the appropriate direction. While the battle can be a bit tedious at times, they are still a lot of fun, and new weapons like the swivel gun help to liven things up.
Assassin’s Creed Pirates has plenty of upgrades to purchase and resources to collect to go along with several different types of ships. Your ships are upgradable to an extent as are your weapons. You can also recruit new crew members from the tavern as you level up and progress throughout the game although you never actually set foot in a tavern. As for the missions, there are more than 50 of them set against the backdrop of the Caribbean, so there’s plenty to do between the missions, races, and sailing around blasting ships out of the water.
Assassin’s Creed Pirates is a solid pirate game that is loosely tied into the world of Assassin’s Creed. You’ll desynchronize when you perish, and there are ‘lost files’ to collect, but that’s about it as far as the overall AC storyline is concerned. While the gameplay may feel a bit shallow at times, it’s a great looking game, and I was impressed by the weather and water which looked great even on my aging Galaxy S3. Is it the best pirate game out there? Nope, but it’s the best looking and worth a look if you feel like playing pirate for a while. If you want to give it a whirl, you can pick up Assassin’s Creed Pirates on Google Play and the App Store.