Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry (PlayStation 3) Review

By Az Elias 14.04.2014

Review for Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry on PlayStation 3

Ubisoft has done something a little bit different with the latest download content for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag; not only is Assassin's Creed: Freedom Cry available to purchase as an expansion to owners of the latest main entry in the series, but it can also be bought and played as a completely independent title for those that don't own ACIV. This is an intriguing idea, and Freedom Cry gives the impression that this could be a good move for other developers in the future.

Playing an expansion to a main entry game before playing the respective game it is linked to is not normally something most video game players would do, but with the option for Assassin's Creed: Freedom Cry to be purchased as a standalone product, it is very possible that some people would wind up doing just that. It isn't as problematic as most would initially think - far from it, in fact.

Freedom Cry takes place 15 years after Black Flag, as it follows the exploits of Adéwalé - previously Edward Kenway's second-in-command - after he washes up on the shores of Port-au-Prince in 1735. As the French have oppressed the poor people of the West Indies, the slaves here live in a horrible nightmare. Once a slave himself, Adéwalé vows to help, and kick-start the rebellion to finally break the people free from the brutal shackles of slavery. It is an eye-opening plot - one that doesn't last too long, given its intentions as an expansion story, but there are images and scenes here that are sure to stir up some heartfelt emotions…emotions that make the cause absolutely worth fighting for.

Exploring the exotic locales of a fixed area of the Caribbean, Adéwalé can venture to the ocean waves in a ship, as well as explore the lands dotted around, to free any slaves and recruit new crew members. Most of the liberating is for side-mission purposes, but it plays into the overall story crucially, really giving an idea as to what life was like for these innocent citizens back in the 18th Century.

Screenshot for Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry on PlayStation 3

Assassin's Creed: Freedom Cry begins on a positive note in the sense that it is quite literally a quick press of the New Game button, one very short opening cut-scene, and straight into the action on the open seas. Keeping the cinematic low and putting the ship right in players' hands immediately is a refreshing signal - again, this may be due in part to it being download content, too, but it makes for a good first impression. Even in the opening scene, there was clearly odd NPC behaviour, as one bloke kept walking into a wall aboard the ship, but, luckily, that wasn't a sign of bad things to come. Peculiar AI activity can occur, as has been the case in past Assassin's Creed games, but there is nothing game-breaking.

The naval battles can be particularly tough to get used to at first, especially when confronted with multiple ships to destroy. Without upgrading the ship and really having multiple goes at getting used to the controls, fighting in the seas can be tough to deal with. Once it is down, though, there is nothing better than firing cannonballs, smashing holes and sinking the enemy in a raging thunderstorm - that's when the 'piratey' feeling of this game comes alive.

Apart from the introduction of fights at sea, which players of Black Flag will already be used to, the gameplay is still very much same old, same old. The parkour, stealth and assassinate formula has grown a little wearisome as the series has gone by, and Freedom Cry doesn't really do much else to change that. What can be said, though, is that Freedom Cry is actually a great place to start for any newcomer to the Assassin's Creed franchise. It is only a few hours long, but the open world and sea battles really give an idea of what to expect in the latest main entry, Black Flag. There really isn't any part of the story that is drastically affected or spoiled from playing this game before Black Flag, and it is a good way to gauge whether the much fuller, meatier game will be worth a purchase afterwards.

Screenshot for Assassin’s Creed: Freedom Cry on PlayStation 3

Cubed3 Rating

7/10
Rated 7 out of 10

Very Good - Bronze Award

Rated 7 out of 10

The decision to invest in Assassin's Creed: Freedom Cry will depend on whether Black Flag players want a little bit more of the same, and to play and see more of Adéwalé. It doesn't do much different to what has come before, but if stealth gameplay and naval battles were looked fondly upon previously, then there is a good five hours of gameplay here - more, if going for everything there is to see. Newcomers can find a decent place to start the series, as it requires no knowledge of past games to enjoy it, and it can then be used to gauge whether purchasing Black Flag would be wise.

Also known as

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag - Freedom Cry

Developer

Ubisoft Montreal

Publisher

Ubisoft

Genre

Adventure

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  7/10 (1 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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