I love the sailing in Assassin’s Creed IV. My fleet is fully stocked with the ships I’ve captured. I have fully upgraded the Jackdaw into a sailing fortress. You’d think that would mean I don’t need to take down random ships any more. But I can’t stop. I see a ship and I take it. I pick a spot on the map to investigate but then I see ships. So many ships! I have to have them. All of them! And why bother going on land for more uninteresting parkouring when I can’t hear sea shanties. I love the sea shanties so much that learned to play “The Drunken Sailor” on my ukulele.
After the jump, meet my favorite crew member
One of the things that keeps me plundering — and I will readily admit it’s a silly thing — is the movie that plays based on your decision of what to do with a plundered ship. Once you take a ship you have the choice of salvaging it to repair your own ship, sending it to Kenway’s fleet to run trade missions, or releasing the crew to lower your wanted level. Each choice has its own little movie. The movie for repairing your ship is nothing special. It’s just a guy carrying some wood while the crew fires the Jackdaw’s cannons. The Kenway’s fleet movie is better. Kenway puts a captain’s hat on a crew member and he and another crew member have a little celebration.
The third one, which you can see at the 2:59 point in the above video, is my absolute favorite. Edward cuts the ropes of one of the enemy sailors and shakes his hand. But watch the other crew member. He picks up another prisoner in a huge bear hug, overjoyed at the prospect of letting this guy go. Two things about this make it one of my favorite things in Assassin’s Creed IV. First, is the look of abject terror on the face of the enemy sailor. He has no idea if this pirate who is currently hugging him is going to slit his throat or chuck him over the side of the boat. The second thing is that his arms are still tied. The crew member who’s hugging him is so wrapped up in the hugging that he forgets to cut the sailor loose. He just picks him up, bound arms and all. That’s fantastic.
I like to think that the crew member who doles out bear hugs is also the same crew member who congratulates the newly minted captain when ships are sent to Kenway’s fleet. I like to think he’s also the same crew member who cheerfully carries the wood when you repair the Jackdaw with a captured ship. I like to think that everyone loves this guy, that he helps everyone and asks nothing in return. In my mind, he has a “Hang in there” kitten poster in his quarters, but unironically. He genuinely wants people to hang in there. I love this crew member in these inconsequential little movies enough to keep pillaging well beyond what I need to. Maybe if Connor Kenway had half of this guy’s personality I would have liked Assassin’s Creed III more.