Since I'm currently dealing with assassins in my Skyrim adventure I thought it would be a good time to review this game!
In this outing of Assassin's Creed you get to play as Shay Cormac, who enjoys the maps, systems and side characters from AC3 and Black Flag. This is good, because Cormac himself is not a very compelling character - not even compared to Connor (who I didn't like). The method they tell his tale via "glitched memories" is a silly one, and it also doesn't help that he seems to be deaf in his left ear as the "hearing based on which direction you are looking" idea is a bit broken - and honestly, stupid. I hear better than that in real life. :P
Not that it matters though, since he's pretty much a walking machine of destruction just like any other Assassin's Creed hero, complete with the insane number of weapons (this time including a grenade launcher) while parkouring about in New York or the little ports in the Frontier and North Atlantic. Those three big maps are mainly navigated by sailing, which is fine, but you will probably miss the horse riding at some point because most of the maps are empty space and some wandering NPCs. Indeed, the only purpose to venture out into most spots is to acquire collectibles of which there are GAZILLIONS.
Of course I went and got them all.
Also back is the hunting and crafting parts where you can take a break from murdering people to murdering animals (some of which are not so defenseless). For resource sinks you can upgrade your ship, your gear, and renovate structures all over the place. Perhaps the best addition for me though are the assassin enemies. Since Shay gets hunted later on in the game, it's fun to have the tables turned where sly bastards are waiting for you in the bushes, tree tops or haystacks and can only be detected via eagle vision (because that's a teachable skill apparently).
Ridiculous hiding techniques deserve bullets to the head.
It doesn't help that the hidden people whisper gibberish pretty loudly as you get closer though. I'm beginning to question the intelligence of these "assassins". Even their "Everything is permitted," motto is sort of the anarchist/terrorists go to line. On the seas the epic battles also make a return, and the last one is a real fun challenge. On land you may never see the strongest enemies in the game: the bounty hunters. While their naval counterparts are pushovers, the ones on foot can easily stand toe to toe with Shay. I suppose they are only there to dissuade you from killing innocents.
Also returning in this installment is the silly management/idle game game, this time in the form of the Naval Campaign. To be fair, this is the best version of it I've seen and it actually ties back to your fleet of captured ships etc. Unfortunately many missions are behind time block bullshit (wait 2+ hours for this mission to finish) which means only the most tenacious (or most casual) of players will see it to its 33 mission completion.
All up it's pretty fun for kleptomaniacs and good to get more screen time for characters from the other games, but is just one of those games that doesn't really have any substance to it that will be missed. I score it two out of tune sea shanties out of five.