Assassin’s Creed IV launched on consoles this fall and offered all the ship-on-ship action gamers required. Developer Ubisoft, not one to let a good idea go un-reused, has now released Assassin’s Creed Pirates, a sidestory about one man’s rise from prisoner to fearsome buccaneer captain. It ditches the main series’ free-running in favor of a completely seaborne experience.
Category: iOS Games
Works With: iPhone, iPad
Does Pirates rake in the booty, or does it walk the plank to plunge the briny deep to Davy Jones’ Locker? Could that last sentence have been any more forced?
You’ll find the answers to these questions and more after the break.
The plot of Pirates is fairly negligible; it’s something about trying to find a famous pirate’s lost treasure. The writing isn’t much better and shows a significant dip in quality from the console games. But it’s easy to ignore all that because the game looks and plays really well. It features handsome 3D graphics with some very pretty water effects and real-time ship battles that are equal parts real-time strategy and rhythm game.
You have a mission structure, but you’re also free to roam around the West Indies in search of fortune and glory. Along the way, you’ll unlock new, bigger ships (you start with a puny gunboat, but you aren’t stuck with it for long) and engage in side quests like seeking out and destroying specific ships. The game calls these missions “Assassinations,” which is kind of hilarious if you think about it, especially if you imagine a schooner in a white hood sneaking through a crowd, but that’s all fine.
It ditches the main series’ free-running in favor of a completely seaborne experience.
Combat is fun and surprisingly tense. You and your opponent(s) run parallel to each other and wait for your cannons to load. Once that happens, you tap a button at the bottom of the screen, and a wide line appears to show where your shot will hit. You drag the line to where you want it and release to fire.
When you’re on the receiving end, the camera zooms out, and you see where the other ship’s shot is going to go. You have to properly time a dodge left or right to avoid damage, which doesn’t make much sense from a physics standpoint, but the rhythm, timing, and fun of it make up for any questions you might have about the ability of a ship to suddenly and quickly dash in any direction.
Everything just works, and if you can forgive a few silly design choices made for the sake of playability, you’re in for a good time.
| Game Name: Assassin’s Creed Pirates|
The Good: Good graphics, fun gameplay, and plenty to do.
The Bad: The dialogue and plot aren’t so good.
The Verdict It delivers an abundance of nautical action in an attractive package, and it’s basically just fun.
Buy from:App Store