Assassin’s Creed Freedom Cry is a standalone DLC for Black Flag; it places you in the role of born slave Adewale, a pirate who finds freedom aboard the Jackdaw as Captain Edward Kenway’s second-in-command. Fifteen years later, Adewale becomes a trained assassin and ends up shipwrecked in Saint-Domingue with no ship or crew. As our hero’s story unfolds, he must slip through the shadows to liberate his people from slavery, regain his ship, and sail the high seas.
The game starts with Adewale and his crew aboard their ship, pursing a Templar fleet that is on course to deliver a parcel. While the contents of the parcel are important, Adewale is more concerned about unmasking the identity of the Templar Admirable located on the lead ship, and learning of the parcel’s recipient. Assassin’s Creed Freedom Cry uses this sequence and succeeding scenarios as a tutorial to explain the controls for sailing, engaging in combat, and boarding enemy vessels when they are crippled by cannon fire. The tutorial continues to explain the controls after Adewale is thrown overboard by a violent storm and ends up exploring Saint-Domingue.
The majority of the game is spent freeing slaves from their captors. While the Templars are involved in the story, a majority of the mission objectives involve freeing slaves as they stand in shackles on auction, lay inside large cages, or work in large groups on Plantations. These segments tend to invoke a raw human emotion that can only be satisfied by defeating the slave traders responsible for the crimes.
Freedom Cry’s gameplay has remained the same from Black Flag. The player can sneak along rooftops, climb trees to avoid detection, and walk fences to sneak up behind their foes. The game takes on a form of its own when slaves break free from their shackles and run through the village from their captors. Chasing after the guards can be an exhilarating experience, as you climb up buildings, jump over fences and rush through crowds of people to prevent the guards from capturing their slave(s). Plantations can also be liberated and the slaves freed, helping to strengthen your resistance against the Templars. The variety of missions available are divided between the main story and side-objectives.
Like Black Flag, a Progress Tracker shows your current objectives and can be viewed by pressing Option button. This menu system also contains your Experto Credeo upgrades, Adewale’s upgrades and inventory, to name just a few. A Resistance feature also shows how many slaves and Maroons have been liberated throughout the course of your adventure. Pressing the Shock Controller’s Touchpad brings up a map of your current location. From there, you can view current events (i.e. slaves being held captive, etc.) and activate wavpoints to make it easier to travel to certain locations.
When supplies are low, you can visit the Maroon hideout at the local watering hole to purchase ammunition and gear from liberated slaves. There is also a vendor to upgrade your ship, the Experto Credo. Upgrades can be expensive, but increasing your ship’s hull armor, cannons and mortars is important to your survival. There is also an option to purchase an Ironclad Ram to inflict devastating damage on your foe’s vessel. Basically, ramming an enemy vessel is the perfect way to immobilize it, especially when it’s almost crippled.
Combat is still an adrenaline-pumping affair, as you rapidly tap the Square button to hack up your foes. Things get more interesting when you become surrounded and need to counter attacks by pressing Circle button. Adewale will spin around his enemy and kick them from behind as he parries incoming attacks. Pressing X Button will break your enemy’s guard, leaving them open to attack. Moreover, enemies can be grabbed with the X button and used as human shields against gunfire. Gamers that have played the Assassin’s Creed series will be delighted by Freedom Cry’s blood-soaked, carnage filled encounters.
Assassin’s Creed Freedom Cry raises the bar for standalone DLC. It does an incredible job of immersing the player in Adewale’s world, while also addressing some of History’s less favorable moments such as slavery. You’re also reminded that while oppression is an ugly beast with many faces, it will never prevail as long as there’s hope.
Platform: Playstation 4 (Available on PSN / Also Available for PS3)
ESRB: M (Mature)
|Gorgeous next-gen graphics that look incredible in 1080p.|
|Realistic sound effects enhance the experience. For example - As you sail, harsh, stormy sea waves crash against your vessel, the Experto Credo.|
|Intense combat and a compelling story.|
|Assassin's Creed Freedom Cry is required gaming; you need to play this.|