To be a pirate is to value freedom above all else. If you plunder enough gold, instill enough fear, and get out before the world tears you down, you can be the most free man or woman in the world. At least that’s Assassin’s Creed’s take on those maligned malingerers of yesteryear. Don’t expect anything more historical than that in Assassin’s Creed: Pirates, the latest mobile take on Ubisoft's blockbuster franchise.
If you decide to take the plunge on this pay-for-it-once affair, you’ll find yourself free to rebel against monarchy, liberate slaves, and blow away galleons – all without having to leave the comfort of your own ship’s wheel. One of the most popular features of the last two console Assassin’s Creed games has been naval combat. Like any good privateers, the developers of Pirates seized on that goodwill and ran with it, creating an entire game around the concept.
Most of the game plays out in one-on-one ship battles broken into stages of offense and defense. While on the offensive, you wield a number of cooldown-based armaments ranging from time-delayed mortars to good old-fashioned broadsides. Once the enemy’s own timer fills it’s time to dodge incoming fire with a tap to either the left or right, depending on the angle. Five consecutive dodges earns you a chance to interrupt and start shooting back early.
Combat isn’t particular complex, or even that difficult. But when the gorgeously rendered waves start to churn and the music starts to swell it is quite thrilling – for a time. Actually, let’s talk about the music. The soundtrack features the same swashbuckling, rope-swinging, rapier-rapping tunes as Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag on consoles, which is to say that it’s fantastic. There’s just far less of it. Read more »