UTAH TECH UNIVERSITY'S STUDENT NEWS SOURCE | January 26, 2023

Tech Sassy on video games: profound storyline in “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” outshines glitchy graphics

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Ubisoft has taken a new turn with its “Assassin’s Creed” saga, and the newest game left me pining for the older versions.

“Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” was released Oct. 29 and follows the tale of pirate-turned-assassin Edward James Kenway as he infiltrates the Templar order in search of treasure. Like the rest of the “Assassin’s Creed” games, this one is also based on historical facts and figures.

The game is played as a set of ancestral memories in a machine called the Animus. In earlier games, the Animus was a glorified table with a head piece that was made to access the memories in test subjects. Now it’s a computer.

That’s not the only difference from the earlier games that left me squirming a little bit — and not in a good way. The whole purpose of the machine and the company that built it has changed, too. Abstergo, the company responsible for the creation of the Animus, used to be slated as a pharmaceutical company. Of course, you find out through the games Abstergo had ulterior motives in creating the Animus and accessing people’s memories. I love the storyline because it gives a second level of conflict to the series that complements the conflicts involved in the memories you play.

Now, Abstergo is shown as an entertainment company researching these memories for video games and movies.

In contrast to the modern-day storyline of Abstergo, the historical plot is as amazing as I always expect from the folks at Ubisoft because the previous games have followed similar plots.

Between the storyline and side missions like assassinations and treasure hunting, there is so much to do that in eight hours, I only managed to get about 5 percent of the game under my belt.

Of course, if you’re not as interested in side missions as I am, the game can go fairly quickly by following the markers for the main story.

The main story takes you through Havana, Kingston and Nassau as well as the open seas. The game is easy to follow with a miniature map and destination markers present at all times, which make it perfect for any skill level.

I was glad to see such an intricate storyline to this game because it made it easier to accept the lower quality of graphics. At times, it felt similar to an older game like “Fable” or the original “Dead Rising.” Characters glitch and twitch when killed, and the scenery gets in the way if you’re trying to view something at just the wrong angle. However, I’m willing to let that slide because of the immense story and space.

Just like any game rated “M for Mature,” this game is not suited for children due to its violence and some profanity, but neither aspect is overbearing.

Rating this game is tough, so I’ll give it two ratings. The graphics deserve a rating of 2.5 out of 5 suns because they do still have so many old-school glitches. However, the historical storyline deserves 5 out of 5 suns for being well thought-out and just as expansive and accurate as I’ve grown to expect from the “Assassin’s Creed” games.

Is there a game you’d like me to review? Tweet me your recommendations and requests at @techsass.