Whenever you hear the word Assassin’s Creed, you’d often expect templars, assassins, Abstergo and some faux conspiracy history stuff that would often times make you wonder what the people at Ubisoft were smoking when they made these games. Thankfully, we have a bit of variety with the seven seas as the focal point for their pirate themed AC game, Assassin’s Creed: Pirates.
In AC:Pirates, Abstergo is on a treasure hunt mode (probably to regain some of the lost finances from the various structures the assassins have destroyed in the course of the various AC games) and gets close to La Buse’s treasure. Or as actual history dictates, one of history’s biggest pirate treasures.
So in typical Assassin’s Creed nature, Abstergo is going to do the roundabout way of getting the treasure by getting into the memories of Alonzo Batilla, another pirate who befriended La Buse before he became a legend. All right we should have known there would be some crazy Ubisoft twist in here somewhere.
Assassin’s Creed: Pirates focuses on boat exploration as your means of getting around places in a designated map. Ship travel substitutes the typical one man parkour style of getting around places as per any other AC title released. You have controls on the rudder and sails on your ship (regardless of wind) and bounce around the waters as you get to mini-game areas that are littered with enemies or passing ships.
The areas you get into are littered with mini-game portals where you get to accomplish tasks such as destroying another ship, exploring Aztec Ruins for gold, time trial challenges, and taking over viewpoints. Aside from that you also get to fish and capture whales, along with other things piratey in nature.
As you continue along adventuring, eventually you can bolster your ships stats or upgrade its visuals, though both come at pretty hefty costs. You’ll likely need to spend more than La Buse’s treasure to max the ship out.
Collection of Resources
AC: Pirates is a game that tries to put you into the whole piracy experience without getting you out of the comfort of your home. And it does that quite well. Aside from the ship gameplay you get to experience ship pillaging and location looting in all its glory. Hopefully this is something you immensely enjoy, as you’ll be doing it ad nausea to accumulate enough resources to upgrade.
I keep emphasizing it because it’s seriously ridiculous. The whole economy in Pirates is at 300% inflation rate where it’s a wonder pirates can afford the funds to even keep a crew staffed. While this inflation isn’t so bad that you have to pay to progress, Ubisoft seems to be pushing the limits of players to highly encourage they do so.
One of the most notable, and most used game feature you’ll get to face in Pirates is the ship to ship battles. This plays out through a collection of mini-games that you have to masterfully play as you continue to advance up the ladder of pirate infamy.
You take turns with the AI controlled opponents in attacking each other with cannons and whatever other add-on you have equipped on your ship. When defending, there’s a few mini-games that will change up the way you can mitigate incoming damage. One involves steering your ship as you avoid the cannon barrage of your opponent. The other mini-game on defense is the side to side view of the boats where you can get to “slice” the cannon balls or tap the exploding barrels your opponent throws at you. You can also cancel the attack pattern if you dodge damage perfectly by throwing a spider chain at your opponent. To use this, you’ll have to do another mini-game that requires you to connect the chain in a series of three on-screen motions.
Assassin’s Creed Pirates is a surprisingly enjoyable mobile game that feels more like a condensed PC game than a typical mobile game. The game visually does its best to capture the feel of other AC titles, though it can get tedious and grindy like any mobile RPG. What sets Pirates apart is that the elements related to the grind all feel like real pirate activities, not thrown in Candy Crush nonsense just because it’s popular.
Pirates is a game that doesn’t veer too much away from the formula that made other AC titles work, well, except from the main guy parkouring and swan diving into hay bays. What you get is an enjoyable romp of playing as a rude, proud and weather-beaten pirate. And because Pirates perfectly mimics the AC formula down to a T sans the aforementioned, assassins and templars, it also means that the weaknesses if the franchise is also present in Pirates. This means that the game will turn into a tedious task checklist eventually. However, unlike its non mobile cousins where this is just an optional gaming route, you will be forced to to keep on returning to accomplished quests just to progress. Well, unless you pay for it.
Unfortunately this solid backbone is hindered by the serious weight of how hard Ubisoft pushes the premium market at you. Don’t have the stamina of an original Everquest player to grind their mobile game? Your credit card will set you free! The only other relief is getting insanely good at every mini-game to maximize your time and resource gain. But even with perfect skills, the grind will still grind you down.
Overall, Assassin’s Creed Pirates stands well versus most shoddy cash-ins of popular PC/Movie franchises. With few pirate games on mobile to choose from, it offers a scratch to that pirate itch with above average visuals. But while AC: Pirates holds its own in its genre, its fun factor has an expiration. Give it a shot, and hopefully the mini-games are right up your alley. If you truly enjoy them than AC: Pirates will hold your attention for at least a month.