Reviews by Morgan_Little

89

A Refreshing Change

Morgan_Little | Feb. 6, 2014 | Review of Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag

Following the formulaic effort that was Assassin's Creed 3, the injection of piracy and expansion of the ship-based mechanics has been a welcome change.

The ship gameplay is robust, engaging and challenging - and clicks perfectly with the existing on-foot gameplay of the Assassins Creed series. Being able to attack a ship, then seamlessly leap from ship to ship and engage in melee combat is thrilling and refreshing.

Black Flag continues to play out the conflict between the Assassin and Templar organisations. While I found this a bit tiresome, it's very easy to avoid it for long periods of time (piracy missions and storylines, and free sailing). It's also great to have the player character, Kenway, laugh in the face of both factions.

A particularly striking moment for me was right after completing the first "proper" assassination. The target, a Spanish Templar, is engaged in conversation in a "digital" environment - similar to the way Ezio, Altair and Conor would hear the last words of their victims. Where his predecessors would mutter words of condolence and peace, Kenway mocks. The Spaniard closes their discussion with "May the Hell you find be of your own making" - a deliberate nod to Ezio's "Rest in peace."

Black Flag is worth playing for the piracy gameplay alone. The Assassin/Templar gameplay is reduced and easily completed. And the characters are a refreshingly self-aware set for the series.

82

Absolutely Gripping

Morgan_Little | Nov. 22, 2013 | Review of Total War: Rome II

This has to be the most compelling of the Total War II series [Medieval, Shogun, Rome]. It captures the sense of scale that Medieval had, but retains the tense combat of the original Rome.

Tutorials on the combined land/sea battles could have been more thorough, but they aren't hard to master.

The world map is more engaging than any previous entry. Cities now grow and restructure, to reflect the level of development within them, You can instantly see whether a settlement is worth capturing.