Assassin’s Creed IV’s Freedom Cry Add-On Is The Good Kind Of DLC

Assassin’s Creed IV’s Freedom Cry Add-On Is The Good Kind Of DLC

People like to rag on downloadable content. It’s a boondoggle, detractors say. A crass way to get extra cash for a chunk of a game that should’ve just been included on the disc. That’s true in many cases. But Assassin’s Creed IV: Freedom Cry is the better brand of add-on, one where developers’ experimentation with the tools they’ve already made results in a different take on a formula that already exists.

Out today, the new chapter of ACIV focuses on Adewale, Edward Kenway’s first mate in the main story of the game. Freedom Cry happens several years after the end of ACIV and Adewale is now an Assassin in charge of his own ship.

You’ll get more of the naval combat that’s become the crown jewel in the most recent Assassin’s Creed games. Freedom Cry opens up with a tense battle against bigger, more numerous ships, eventually putting you on land where you’ll get to use new weapons unique to Adewale. Once on land, the former slave gets a machete and blunderbuss (pretty much a shotgun) as part of his special set of instruments. Both weapons feel more blunt than the cutlasses or pistols that Edward uses. On the stealth side, he can use firecrackers as a distraction to lure enemies to or from him.

A sidekick in the main storyline of Assassin’s Creed IV, Adewale commands the center stage here. Though the trappings are the same — colonial Caribbean open-world environs, sidequests that open up rewards and resources and a mix of stealth, ranged and close-quarters combat — the directives are very different. You’re trying to foment a rebellion, so instead of helping pirates fight imperial soldiers, you’re liberating slaves to become recruits. The plantation locations represent a trickier challenge for players. Failure to maintain stealth while raiding a plantation means that overseers start killing slaves, meaning you get less manpower for your overaching mission. It’s a harsh penalty for not sticking to a core gameplay tenet but one that works both thematically and inside the game.

Slave ships represent a similar tweak. While you can engage such vessels and their escorts in combat as you would other seacraft, sinking a crippled slave ship means its human cargo never joins Adewale’s cause. If you finished the main campaign of ACIV, you may find yourself having to fight certain reflexes while playing this DLC chapter. That shift feels like a clever thing here.

Freedom Cry, which costs $US10, is supposed to offer anywhere from 90 minutes to three hours of new gameplay, which will vary depending on how fully you decide to play through it. But, given how different it feels from Edward’s adventure, Freedom Cry justifies its existence. Yes, you’ll have to pay extra but the experience of playing as Adewale is worth it.


  • Personally I find $10 to be a hilarious awful price, i mean its game specific, but when i paid $60 for AC IV and got well over 30 hours of game time from it $10 for 2 hours is basically spitting in my face and I can only assume aussie will get charged $15+ because STRAYA (equivalent of paying $225+ for the full game).

    Hell that’s less value than a single new release movie and yet i can get 3 of them for $10. It’s 2.4 months of playstation plus and yet has way less value, this form on entertainment is directly competing with these choices and remains utterly non competitive.

    I have bought 2 season passes in my life and a hand full of DLC, outside of Gears 1 and 3 map packs (which i found worthwhile because i played it almost every day) I have regretted every single purchase.

    If this was $5 I could probably justify it, but to me it doesn’t matter how good this 90+ minute affair is, its not worth $10+.

    • Yep. Similar problem with Bioshock Infinite DLC.
      Unfortunately there doesnt seem to be a standard set for what DLC should actually include.
      GTA 4 DLC was a brilliant example. 10 hrs gameplay each for Lost and Damned and Gay Tony HL2 Episode 1 & 2 where also good examples, for a reasonable price (especially with the Orange Box collection)

      • Same with Mass Effect’s Citadel and Lair of the Shadow Broker, great DLC (though all the other DLC were complete rip-offs). Except I think that all those did cost extra compared to other ones, like ~$20-25 RRP. The Orange Box was just freakishly generous pricing.

      • I bought a season pass once and then found it only included a little bit of the DLC that was being released.

        Never again.

    • Yup. Bought the season pass for both bioshock Infinite AND Last of Us.

      And then afterwards, for both they announce that only 1 aspect of it will be for SP. You know, the part of the game that you liked and would like to continue.

      That’s me done for season passes now. I just thank god I got Infinite for free with my gfx card, and TLOU came with a gamepad in a deal.

  • So maybe instead of the next AC being about Edward, we could be a full blown sequel about Adewale then??? I mean personally I found him to be a brilliant character in AC4.

  • I hope it’s better than the DLC for AC3….. I found that so bad it made me hate the whole game.

  • People like to rag on downloadable content. It’s a boondoggle, detractors say.
    I don’t think anyone’s ever said that

    • Really? I say it all the time.

      In fact I just woke up this morning, my beautiful wife woke up at the same time, our eye’s met, we smiled, and then I said that exact statement verbatim.*

      That’s not how you roll?

      * I totally didn’t do that. Who would do that?

    • AC4 is amazing. I just love looting ships, selling cargo, upgrading my ship, doing side missions, and occasionally progressing with the main story 😛 There is so much to do, it’s kept me busy every weekend for the last month. The worst part is the modern day story elements, but at least those are kept to a minimum this time around

      • That said I’ve found the modern day stuff this time around to be better then usual if not the best its been since AC:B

      • Each time I play any entry in the AC series I think, this would be much better without this modern day crap.

        Desmond was the worst character ever.

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