The Assassin’s Creed franchise has taken a huge leap forward over the recent years. With the critically acclaimed Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag being a pivotal addition to the franchise, and the series now going forward with two new games of Assassin’s Creed: Unity(For New Gen Consoles) and Assassin’s Creed: Rogue(For Previous Gen Consoles) both coming in November, it wouldn’t be a surprise to carry the success over to “uncharted waters”. This comes in the form of Assassin’s Creed: Pirates, its mobile introduction, but does this game continue the trend or should it have stayed docked.
Placed in the 18th Century, the golden age of piracy, fierce French pirate La Buse conquered the seas an assured his legend status by plundering loot from ships he would destroy. After he was caught his treasure was lost and all he left behind was a cryptic message which would serve a guide for his treasure. Abstergo now wishes to solve the mystery and they only way would be through the pirate who knew La Buse before he became a legend, Alonzo Batilla, who is your protagonist. The story is set in chapters just like the franchise has adopted, each chapter would have its own objective, and there are cut scenes which are in the form of static drawings and text appearing at the bottom of them. Along the way you encounter different characters adding towards the story. Overall the story is not too bad but not very impacting.
You are at the helm of the ship and exploration is restricted to the seas. Although it may seem disappointing, it one of the good traits of this game as it makes you feel like a pirate. The environment is quite large and visually it is stunning especially on a mobile platform it easily one of the prettiest games on the mobile market. Ships are well designed with them looking as if they are from that period of time. There is also weather which not only adds to the visual but also the gameplay, in winds you will have to take extra care in steering. Typically there is a maker placed and you would have to sail to it to start the objective, this can be done in two ways, you can either take the full captaincy approach of the helm or you can go to tactical top down view, both have their advantages such as the top down view allowing you to see enemy paths. When reaching the objective it would trigger the mission where it would be a mini-game which would be something like a checkpoint race or simple treasure hunts which does not make it very remarkable.
Enemy encounters are very frequent, although you can try to steer clear of them, most of the time you will be fighting them. At first it can be enjoyable but overtime it became boring as it’s a matter of you having to aim, pulling the trigger of the cannon and depleting the enemy ship(s) health. You would then have to wait for the cannon to recharge till you fire your next rounds. At the same time the enemy is also firing at which you will be zoomed out and having to dodge their incoming fire. It’s not that hard to react and with this being the constant routine with every fight it just gets very monotonous and overall decreases the value of the game.
With each enemy destroyed you can pick up items that are floating on the sea to count as booty and cargo. You also gain XP that can be used to upgrade parts of you ship and bring in new crew members, the advantage here is new perks that can help during the course of the game. It’s a simple level up system but something that is a bonus as it does make fighting enemy more of a requirement.
Assassin’s Creed: Pirate’s venture to the mobile market is an interesting experience, it does bring visually great looking visuals with a very enjoyable nautical exploration; but it does suffer from dreary gameplay and a story not living up to what I felt playing games of its franchise. It is also hefty on the storage coming it at 1GB, but do take into consideration that the game came with a price tag and is now free. If you are a fan of the franchise or you want to seep hours of gameplay then there might be something for you otherwise “steer” clear.
Reviewed on Android