Review: Assassin's Creed Freedom Cry

2023-03-14 / Mark Sowden

← 2023-02-122023-04-30 →

No screenshots this time, I'm afraid, so I'll keep this one a bit more brief.

So while I was playing the game I'd gradually splatted out a list of little bits and pieces, the long story is that it's a little hard for me to really pull anything good out from that list. I'll basically just jitter through that list below...

I'll start off with talking about the visuals, I suppose; they were fine. The main character in cutscenes looked great. Other less important characters, not so much, but I can't really fault them there though. Environments looked pretty okay. Water looked great.

Sailing, just as in Black Flag, is good fun.

That's about all I've got for the positive side of things.

If you're using an Intel A770 like me, just note that there is a bug with MSAA that results in a buffer displaying incorrectly on the screen, so I'd suggest using the SMAA option instead. Fairly sure this is an issue with the Intel drivers and not so much a fault with the game itself.

The game throws you into it right at the start with little introduction. I'm not sure if I somehow missed something or what, but that was a bit jarring. It's been a long while since I played Black Flag, but my understanding is that you're playing as a character from that game, uh, I believe Edward Kenway's quartermaster? But yeah, it just throws you in.

The minimap looked awful. I don't believe it's a problem unique to this one, but it's basically a very low-resolution top-down render of the world (same as the map when zoomed in). Regardless, it looked very sloppy in contrast to the rest of the UI, which looked otherwise alright despite being choppy in a few places.

There's a moment where you need to eavesdrop on some characters near the start of the game in a bar. This just felt downright silly, since your only option is to just follow them around relatively closely and couldn't really hide anywhere? I mean, it's a pub with lots of people around. Later on in the game, you need to do this a couple more times, which just made me curse the stealth mechanics (or rather, lack of).

It seems, wrong, that the slaves in the game are essentially relegated to a resource you need to collect in order to progress through the game, and because the slave camps just pop-up again after saving everyone, so you can farm them... This all just felt so wrong and a little tone-deaf. 

And, because the camps pop-up again, and all the slaves you free elsewhere will just eventually come back too, it feels like you don't make any impact or progress with the world in the game at all, essentially leaving it feeling like a waste of time. I'd basically noted this down as leaving me feeling like I was running on the spot.

I've got nothing to say about the story. Vile people treating slaves badly. You kill one of them. The end. Really wasn't invested in any of the characters, because, we barely got to know them. Again the main character is from Black Flag, supposedly, so perhaps coming directly from that would've been a slightly better experience in this regard? But given character development is absolutely bare minimum in this game, you're not going to get much from it.

That's all I've got to say about it, really. It's a very short game, which can be a positive or negative depending on how you look at it.


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