The only positive thing I can say about the Assassins Creed 4 is that it's big and the scenery looks nice. But that doesn't make up for all the disappointment. The gameplay is tedious and very repetitive. There are no real challenges, no puzzles worth mentioning, no real difficulty at all.
The sea battles are all the same and once you figured out how to do it, (which won't take long) there's no loosing. Five, six ships at the time? No problem. The enemy ships aren't run by "A.I.", but by "A.S.", (Artificial Stupidity). The Forts? No challenge there either. Just keep sailing by and keep firing, they can't shoot to save their lives, just keep moving. The man to man fights? There are only three types of enemy. The ones you can just hack to pieces, the ones you have to hit <SPACE> first and then hack to pieces and the ones you have to hit <E> first and then hack to pieces. You'll put down 30+ enemies, easy. The harpooning? Aiming might be a bit tricky with the smaller fish, but with the upgrades, even that is a piece of cake. I missed the first catch and since then, bagged all of them.
The fleet game? You will win everything, (it tells you so for hand as well) so after watching the funny graphics for the first couple of times, it becomes a chore, not a fun addition to the game. You'll make some money here, but keeping the routes save and sending the ships on there way is more like doing your homework then playing a game.
The (PC) controls are totally inadequate. There is so much action done with just one button (the "E"key on PC), that more often than not, Edward is doing the wrong thing. Still neurotically climbing everything you come close to when running, (same problem as the games before), especially ladders. He "hides" behind walls you wanna climb when you approach it too close to the side. He still gets totally stuck on ALL fences and walls, just sits there like glued on the thing. The jumping safety doesn't work half of the time, making him fall or just about everything. He still has a huge problem jumping diagonally, no matter how small the gap. In short... Technically speaking? Not much effort was put in.
Climbing in AC4 is the worst of all the previous games. Completely unbelievable and almost needs no skill form the player. And riddled with flaws. Edward is quite often not able to jump over a friggin' pebbles, sticks, little fences or walls. He then just stands there with his face into the wall waiting to be shafted. Or he can't lift himself onto a ledge, or roof without any reason, really nothing is in the way, or something and move two millimeters to the side and up he goes. On the other hand, he can vertically climb/jump distances that just shouldn't be possible. These "long jumps straight up" just look ridiculous and none of it requires anything from the player than the three "run-climb-jump" button pushed uninterruptedly. No skill necessary.
Then the jungle... So many trees and rocks look absolutely easy to climb, that it becomes completely unacceptable that he can't. Even though you realize it's the edge of the game area. And if you need to climb something, (as in 'find your way') it's so friggin' obvious my mom could have done it. ANd what's with these anuimals that attack you... You can't kill 'm anymore... Just fend 'm off, that's it? I'm armed to the teeth, but I cannot pull out my knife and end the animals life? Makes no sense what so ever.
The diving... Swimming is very chaotic. Holes in wrecks that would fit a small car are apparently to small for Edward. The sharks are more annoying than exciting, as are the Muraena looking snake fish thingies. And what idiot goes diving without a knife at least? And why can't I get some air at the surface? Sometimes it's closer by that an air barrel or the bell, but noooo, that's not allowed. Just one more thing that makes the game feel very cheap and unrealistic..
Next....The story... What happened to the story? The main Real life story line, Desmond and the present day fight against the Templars has been abandoned to be replaced by... I couldn't say by what. By, nothing basically.
And the best bugs so far? A ship I boarded with no crew to fight. Fighting sounds were heard, but no redcoats on the deck of the enemy ship, only an bunch of black guys standing still. Nothing to fight, nothing even to select... Next best bug? Fight in absolute silence... Ghostly. I've seen my ship in mid air 300 feet above the ground. I've seen my ship sunk in "a hole" in the ocean. Enemies death cries sometimes are heard before Edward hits them... and I could go on for an hour, so many glitches.
And this rant above is ignoring all the technical problems with the game. Not only the very sloppy gameplay and graphics, time to time, but last time the game took 8 minutes to start up and that was with intense praying that the thing would start up at all. That is not the suspense I am looking for in a game. I see lots of people are having problems with the game (reading the forums) and so far Ubisoft has been extremely unhelpful.
Anyway, I'll probably spent another couple of days finishing the thing, but I don't think this is worth the money. I feel like it has been put out there as a quick money maker and it doesn't feel at all like the previous AC games and definitely a really bad move by Ubisoft... They took a fantastic, intelligent game away from the real gamers and made it into a half assed first person shoot 'm up for the masses. I'd call that a sell out if I ever saw one.
Last complaint...? I bought the game for myself and for my girlfriends birthday. I played it out, but she basically is so disappointed in the game, she wants give it back and get the money back, but buyer beware... The terms clearly state that there is NO MONEY BACK under any circumstances. All deals are final.