Taking place 15 years after the conclusion of Assassin’s Creed 4 you play the role of Adèwalè, first mate of Edward Kenway and Quarter Master of The Jackdaw. Sometime during the 15 year gap, Adèwalè has joined the ranks of the Assassin’s and become an exceptionally proficient assassin.
During a naval confrontation with some Templars, a horrific storm capsizes and leaves Adèwalè floating adrift. Eventually washing up on the shores of Port Au Prince, Adèwalè ignites a rebellion of sorts and begins to liberate his people from the clutches of slavery.
Ubisoft have made an amazing effort of developing a completely new area for their Freedom Cry DLC. Rather than resting on their hunches and giving old areas a simple make over, they have really taken a step above and beyond what is needed and fans are sure to love it. Whilst the enemies are simply just a re-skin to a more appropriate French attire to fit the theme of the game, the world still boasts its own unique charm. Taking up roughly 20% of the size that AC4 did there is still plenty to see and do, small islands to collect treasure and other areas to visit. One feature that caught my attention is the singing of the slaves. Call it folk, freedom or redemption songs but these amazing voices truly capture the emotion of the oppression. Their voices produce a source of hope and courage.
Freedom Cry introduces players to a couple of new weapons; two in particular are the firecrackers which distract guards and the blunderbuss which is essentially a short range, wide spread shotgun. Adèwalè is a much more physical and brutal assassin utilizing the blunderbuss and a machete to lead the rebellion.
There are a few familiar features from the main game appearing again but offering slight variations to make things much more interesting. The plantation/warehouse loot missions are replaced with liberating plantations of slaves. The same applies to free the pirate segments which are now free the slaves. Freeing slaves is the key to unlocking rewards for Adèwalè; free 25 and you get a bigger ammo pouch, free 500 and you get unlimited ammunition with unlockable increments in between. The same applies to “Maroons”; people of the freed slaves who take up arms and aid you in your quest. I found this reward system to be extremely generous and found myself taking much more interest in the side missions. The brilliant naval segments are present for the DLC and offers players the opportunity to liberate slaves in transport.
Whilst you can expect the beautiful charm and attention to detail in Freedom Cry as you know and love from the main segment of AC4, Freedom Cry still containts a lot of tedious repetition that goes hand in hand with the Assassins Creed series. Tail and eavesdrop on a conversation or simply synchronise a view point and run around collecting the items it reveals to you. Depending on your personal preference, Freedom Cry can be tackled head on while you are in full swing of playing Assassin or can be approached at a later time when it suits the player as it is its own very capable and competent story. Personally I would have loved to see this a bit later down the track when I had acquired a taste for the open seas again. I found the story of Freedom Cry to be much more engaging and direct as opposed to AC4’s light hearted theme. Unfortunately, 10 or so missions (4 hours for 100% completion) are not enough to capture the true severity and horrific implications of slavery.
Ubisoft should be applauded for taking such a bold step into a topic not usually associated with gaming. The experience was so intense and heartfelt that I felt morally obligated to help those in their plight whenever the situation arose; it would actually leave me emotionally shattered if I failed to save them.
Freedom Cry is a part of the AC4 season pass or can be purchased separately from your respective online store.