The naval gameplay in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is so much better than it was in Assassin's Creed III.
Now this is not to say it was bad in Assassin's Creed III, but Ubisoft just did a wonderful job of embellishing upon what the previous iteration delivered with the naval gameplay, and made it that much better.
When you think about what going through streets in Assassin's Creed: Revelations, and installments before it, was like, that's what it's like sailing through the Caribbean. The world is so nicely populated that sailing along the sea maintains your attention indefinitely.
Much like you would expect when walking down streets in any Assassin's Creed city, you would see enemy after enemy that you would be able to engage with at your own will, unless your wanted level was high then you had to, and the ocean is the same way.
Countless amounts of enemy ships are patrolling and roaming the open-world sea of the Caribbean. There are plenty of them and they have varying difficult with the Man-O-War being the last ship you want to run into, unless you have an equally powerful ship.
The degree that you can customize and upgrade your ship will certainly factor into how you interact with the open-sea. Once you have a strong ship, you can essentially play the bully of the sea and take on any ship you wish, but doing so does come with an increased wanted level.
Just like in previous Assassin's Creed games where if you had an increase in your wanted level, you would be more likely to have enemies engage you on land, it's the exact same effect at sea. The more you go after enemy ships, while in free-roam, the more you will be confronted, even when you do not start up any trouble.
Enemies are all over the place, as are the islands and hidden locations that players can travel to. There are tens of hidden islands and each of them has either a treasure chest, treasure map, fragment or some sort of collectible that begs for you to go after, even though you may be trying to get to a new mission in the story.
The caves are especially enjoyable to fight through and really do reward players for employing stealth as the course of action. These areas are some of the best play-in and we wish there were more of them, especially since they brought up a sense of nostalgia from the temples that have been in previous iterations.
Shipwrecked sailors and loot piles are also scattered across the open-sea of the Caribbean. They can be used to gain more resources or replenish crew members that you may have lost in a previous battle.
Overall, the naval gameplay in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is stellar and it will leave players caught in the conundrum of whether they would rather play on land or at sea. For all of our latest exclusives, previews, reviews and features, follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. Game On.