Early 2012 was a bit of a tough time for me, emotionally. One of the advantages of that is it meant I felt justified in playing an unhealthy amount of video games.

I say “unhealthy” mainly in jest as it was more as a way to keep myself occupied while my mind slowly processed the tough things it had to adjust to. As a result I favoured nice, in-depth games. That doesn’t mean simulators that emulate their source material to a depressing degree. For me it means worlds that I could go for a journey through.

To that end I started out with Assassin’s Creed 2. I seem to recall Matt owning the first game but everything I’ve read about it tells me that it had aggravating shortcomings absent from its successor.

That killed a few days, maybe a good chunk of a week, and provided action, adventure, humour, and a fun alternate reality in which Assassins and Templars were secretly at war. Nice.

Luckily for me there were two more games to have a bash at – Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood and Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. Whilst certain elements of them were a bit needless (bomb crafting, for example) they kept me engrossed for the most part.

Having become thoroughly enamoured with the series at this point I looked forward to the next addition to the series with high hopes. Sadly Assassin’s Creed 3 was impressively dull. That is to say it seemed to go out of its way to avoid being enjoyable to play. I won’t waste further words on it but for reference if featured a new protagonist and was set around the time of American independence.

Then there was Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Despite the name it’s actually the sixth game in the main series but the change may be to reflect the hasty switch to a new and more interesting lead. He’s got a Welsh accent, a troubled past, and is chums with Blackbeard.

Yeah, it’s pretty solid. It’s not as good as some of the older ones but compared to the game before it it’s a masterpiece. I doubt Ubisoft will reuse Edward Kenway but he was fun to play as and gives me hope for the next game, hopefully appearing in Q4 2014.

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