I took the day off work, my significant other was out-of-town, everything was perfect. All that was left was for Mr. UPS to deliver the goods, and a knock at my door at 10:00 a.m. sharp, told me all was right with the world. My PlayStation 4 was here, and I was ready to get my game on. This isn’t a system review, check out the previous blogpost for that, this is simply a game review.
I picked up two games with my PS4 system, Assassin’s Creed IV, and Killzone: Shadowfall. If I told you I haven’t even put Killzone into the system yet, you get a good idea of how this review is going to go.
I’ve been a big fan of the Assassin’s Creed series, since playing the first one. I’ve reached 100% on all the games in singleplayer, and spent plenty of time in multiplayer. So, telling you I was disappointed with Assassin’s Creed III is a big deal. I felt the protaganist, Conner, was bland and uninteresting, the setting was a bit meh, and the game had it’s fair share of bugs and curious design choices. I was beginning to worry that Assassin’s Creed was creeping into Call of Duty territory – an uninspired sequelfest that I’d rather use as a coaster than play.
Well, Assassin’s Creed IV instantly shattered those fears. This was one of those games that in the first 10 minutes, you just knew was going to be good. The pirate setting is fantastic, if not milked a little too hard. The developers seemed intent on cramming every major historical figure of the era into the game. The controls are tight, but still suffer from some of the series longstanding problems, your character running up unwanted surfaces, refusing to scale surfaces when to close to them, but these weren’t too distractful.
The big draw for me was the ship element. I enjoyed these segments in Assassin’s Creed III, but they were superflous. Whereas in IV, they are the core element of the game. Sea battles, whale-hunting, treasure diving, these are vital elements to the game, and all require you to be at sea. The most surprising element, and one which brought me the most joy, was my crew singing sea shanties, whilst sailing the ocean. You can gain more shanties by chasing floating song sheets in various towns, and it’s well worth it. It kinda works like the radio in Grand Theft Auto, but with pirates. In fact, I enjoyed sailing the oceans so much, that I found I didn’t really want to go do your typical assassin activities on land. If I didn’t have the urge to collect more shanties, I wouldn’t go to town at all.
The modern day element of Assassin’s Creed IV is significantly toned down. Time spent in the modern world is reduced to fetch and carry missions, and hacking computers, all done in first-person. Gone are the days of the parkour antics of Desmond. To be honest, I’d be plenty happy if Ubisoft just dropped the modern element of Assassin’s Creed altogether. But, at least IV pulls me out of my pirating ways rarely, and when it does, I’m back on my ship, shouting “Arrrrrrr” in record time.
The game is massive to boot. I put in 60-70 hours to complete all 100% of the game. This doesn’t include time spent in multiplayer reaching prestige level 3. There are a few too many “follow this guy” missions, and this didn’t help to entice me to step off my ship. Overall this is a fantastic game with plenty of replay value. It is a return to form for the Assassin’s Creed series, and in my opinion is the best.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is rated M for Mature, and is available for PS3. PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, and Wii U (although the Wii U version will not receive the planned DLC).
So, with the both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One now available in stores, the next generation of gaming is officially underway. Whether you already have one, expecting Santa to bring you a nice surprise, or holding off until the initial kinks of both systems have been worked out, we thought we would give you a couple of reviews of both systems.
Polygon’s PS4 review:
Engadget’s PS4 review:
Rev3Games Killzone: Shadowfall (PS4) review:
Rev3Games Xbox One review:
Engadget’s Xbox One review:
IGN’s Dead Rising 3 (Xbox One) review:
Whatever system you own or plan on buying, I have one thing to say to you – Game On!
Get ready for Turkey Day this week by visiting your local library. Here’s what’s happening the week of Nov. 25th to Dec. 1st:
Monday, November 25th
Julia Davis: Poetry Slam, 3:30pm-4:30pm. Read, write, and discuss poetry and rap. Practice your slam skills. Grades 6-12.
Central: What Can You Create? Explore Creative Experience, 4-6pm. Get hands-on every Monday with everything from Photoshop to online video gaming. Grades 6-12. Creative Experience.
Buder: Tabletop Gaming, 6-7pm. Play “Ticket to Ride” or share a game you know. Grades 6-12.
Buder: Yoga & Tea for Teens, 7-8pm. De-stress with a 30-minute stretching and breathing session followed by quiet music and tea. Grades 6-12.
Tuesday, November 26th
Walnut Park: DIY: Pillow Case Bags, 4-5pm. Grades 6-12.
Wednesday, November 27th
Central: Polish & Pages: Butter by Erin Jade Lange, 3:30-4:30pm. It’s time bring some glam to the library. Use the covers of young adult books as inspiration as you paint your nails! Grades 6-12. First Floor Teen Lounge.
Divoll: Got Game?, 4-5:30pm. Play Xbox 360 or Wii games. Grades 6-12.
Thursday, November 28th
Julia Davis: Got Game?, 2:30-4:30pm. Play Xbox 360 and Wii games. Grades 6-12.
Central: Got Game?, 3-5pm. Xbox & Wii games. Grades 6-12. First Floor Teen Lounge.
That’s it for Turkey Week. Have a great holiday!
Would you like to know more about GarageBand? Curious about Photoshop? Or simply want to know more about St. Louis Public Library’s Creative Experience? Then our program, “What Can You Create: Explore Creative Experience”, is the perfect program for you. It’s held every Monday from 4:00 – 6:00 p.m. in Creative Experience @ our Central Branch.
Each week we will highlight a different program, web service, or other unique digital offering. We will give you a down and dirty explanation, then let you explore said program. Usually, we create a challenge for you, and other teens, to complete. It’s a great chance to sample a small selection of some of the great opportunities available in Creative Experience. And who knows, after getting your feet wet, you may find yourself wanting to wade deeper?
This week we worked on a great web based program designed by the band Girl Talk. The webpage can be found here: http://static.echonest.com/girltalkinabox/. On the page itself, you can create unique remixes of provided songs by slowing them down, speeding them up, skipping beats and so on. You can even upload your favourite song to remix. Have fun!
Here’s the lowdown for teen programs @ your local St. Louis Public Library.
Monday, November 4th
Central: What Can You Create: Explore Creative Experience, 4-6pm. Get hands-on every Monday with everything from Photoshop to online video gaming. Grades 6-12. Creative Experience.
Carpenter: Poetry Circle, 6-7pm. Express yourself through poetry. Grades 6-12.
Tuesday, November 5th
Central: Board Game Meet-Up, 3:30-4:30pm. Play a favorite game, or learn a new one. Grades 6-12. First Floor Teen Lounge.
Wednesday, November 6th
Baden: Teen Movie Day, 4-6pm. Join us for the latest Hollywood blockbuster. Grades 6-12.
Barr: Got Game?, 4-6pm. Play Nintendo Wii and Xbox 360. Grades 6-12.
Cabanne: DIY: Teens Get Kitty, 4-5pm. Supplies Provided. Grades 6-12.
Machacek: DIY: Comic Book Key Chains, 4-5pm. Never forget your keys again with this unique craft. Grades 6-12.
Thursday, November 7th
Schlafly: Got Game?, 3-5pm. Play Xbox 360 or Wii games. Grades 6-12. Groups of 5 or more register in advance.
Central: Lego Block Party, 3:30-4:30pm. Channel your inner Minecraft and build a blocky masterpiece. Grades 6-12. First Floor Teen Lounge.
Julia Davis: Chess Tournament, 3:30-4:30pm. Compete for bragging rights. Grades 6-12.
Walnut Park: Movie: The Hunger Games, 4-6pm. Grades 6-12.
Carondelet: Teen Tech Music Workshop, 4-5pm. Learn the basics of composing and recording your own music. Grades 6-12.
Kingshighway: DIY: Duct Tape Creations, 4:30-6pm. Grades 6-12.
Friday, November 8th
Central: Got Game?, 3-5pm. Xbox & Wii games. Grades 6-12. First Floor Teen Lounge.
Saturday, November 9th
Central: Yu-Gi-Oh Club, 2-4pm. Come and trade cards, meet other players and duel. Whether you’re an experienced player or just starting out, join us for Yu-Gi-Oh and other trading card games. Grades 6-12. First Floor Teen Lounge.