Assassin's Creed Freedom Cry Review (PS4)

assassins creed freedom cry review

Assassin's Creed's Freedom Cry is a standalone DLC for Black Flag, the difference is this game has a much darker tone that sheds light on the atrocities of the transatlantic slave trade and places a rebellious Trinidadian hero at the forefront. 

As an action adventure stealth game Freedom Cry is your typical Assassin's Creed, with the traditional gameplay staples of free running, stealth and collecting loot in a vast environment.

The lush world features an abundance of tropical climates, surrounded by a vast ocean which can be explored to your heart's content. The port town is bustling with folks from all walks of life, while isolated areas are inhabited by wildlife and loot for the picking. 

Featuring tropical Islands, bountiful oceans and cosy interiors, the atmosphere itself feels like you've been warped into The Pirates of Caribbean franchise. However as a game loosely based on the worst thing ever done in human history. Freedom Cry evokes emotion like no other.

The game stars Adewale, a freed slave turned pirate and Brotherhood of Assassins member from the West Indies, who sets out on a pious quest to free his enslaved people from bondage in Saint-Domingue, by any means necessary.

On the surface Adewale is a beefed-up killing machine, however he's also an intelligent character with strong principles. While not the most charismatic individual, he doesn't need to be because his actions speak louder than words.

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The opening moments throws you in the deep end as Adewale commands a huge pirate ship amidst a roaring storm, and has to take down enemy vessels in an explosive fight surrounded by nothing but sea and bad vibes.

The tutorial doesn't overstay it's welcome and if you blink twice you'll miss vital information about naval combat. This shouldn't pose a problem for veterans coming from Black Flag, although new players could feel overwhelmed.

Like Black Flag, operating a pirate ship is a big deal in Freedom Cry. Controlling the ship feels hefty and realism is second to none, which means boat control is extremely slow especially when steering. 

Once you get a hang of things, naval artillery becomes mindlessly fun. Firing the mortar will sink the mightiest of ships with precise aim. While shooting canons to expose weak spots and cause further damage is a blast.

A whole nother world awaits the player on land with much to do. The moment Adewale awakens on the shores of Saint-Domingue, he must save an enslaved woman who is being chased by a brazen thug. Failing to do so will end in her demise and this mood sets the tone for the rest of the game.

"The moment Adewale awakens on the shores of Saint-Domingue, he must save an enslaved woman"

 Freedom Cry is about freeing enslaved people and fighting back against slavery, and it's woven in every aspect of the game, from it's story to mechanics and various side quests.

Compared to the Assassin's Creed 3 protagonists, Adewale feels less nimble when performing athletic tasks like free running or climbing, with the game once again opting for realism. Although annoying during urgency, this adds a layer of challenge and mindfulness while venturing. 

As you explore the town of Port-au-Prince you will immediately be given the opportunity to free slaves in the form of side activities, which involve brutal treatment of enslaved people such as imprisonment and slave auctions.

How you handle the situation is up to you, but there's two ways to deal with it. You can stealthily take down enemies or attack them with brute force and cause a ruckus.

Progressing through the main story will eventually come to a halt until you liberate a certain amount of slaves. This occurs several times throughout the game, which may annoy those who are not invested in side objectives and simply want to see Adewale's story to the end.

However liberating slaves doesn't feels tiresome or repetitive no matter how many times repeated, as each side activity is adrenaline fuelled and always leaves you feeling a sense of accomplishment.

What's more, rewards are unlocked by the amount of enslaved people you lead to freedom. For instant you can gain access to new weapon upgrades for Adewale which can be purchased from the Maroon Stores or harbormaster. 

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You will also be able to free and recruit Maroons to fight for the cause. Their freedom come with it's own perks including additional crew members for Adewale's ship and manpower to build a resistance. 

 Outside of the town, plantations is another activity players can participate in and involves slaughtering a number of slave drivers to free slaves working in the fields. Stealth is your best friend in this scenario, as guards will ring a bell to alert the other guards and begin killing slaves when you are spotted. 

Combat is smooth as butter although it quickly becomes a numbers game, resulting in being overpowered by several guards at once. Timing your attacks and countering is vital to getting the upper hand in melee combat and button mashing will lead you to a early grave.

At your arsenal is a machete, nifty rope and deadly darts but as you progress and liberate slaves you will gain access to new and upgraded weapons. This includes a gun which can kill groups of enemies within close proximity

Although combat is fierce and kills are satisfyingly brutal, enemies take a lot of hits to go down, and is this due to the combo system which resets when hit by another enemy. To top this, kill animations are too long especially when you want to finish off an enemy quickly.

Naturally as a Assassin's Creed game stealth is prime cut and allows you to make quick work of enemies unless caught in the act. However when fleeing, it becomes irritating when enemies trail you to your exact location no matter where you hide, especially on low health.

Freedom Cry's story delves into the horrors of the trans Atlantic slavery and doesn't sugar coat anything. It sheds light on the heroic Maroons, escaped slaves who fought back against their slave captors by any means necessary.

 "It sheds light on the heroic Maroons, escaped slaves who fought back against their slave captors"

A warrior like Adewale is perfectly woven into the story, he is serious and doesn't make light of his situation, eliminating unnecessary quips.

As a former slave Adewale is strong and can relate to pleas of the enslaved people on Saint-Domingue and he is well equipped due to his occupation as an assassin and former pirate. This is witnessed by his interactions with the various characters he meets on his journey. 

Story missions don't feel generic and offer several unique mechanics revolving stealth and wit. For instant, one mission will involve you tailing a person on foot, while another has you eavesdropping on a conversation while having to stay within moving boundaries. 

Freedom Cry's soundtrack while not the most invigorating or memorable, is still a fitting melody that goes along with the mood. While every sound effect is reminiscence of a bygone era. For instant, the slaves singing in the fields as they work is a powerful and emotional revelation. 


Not many video game stories explore slavery, let alone the Caribbean, however Freedom Cry manages to deliver a tale which  showcases the legendary Maroons and their triumph fight against their oppressors with a strong lead.

Although not the longest game by a long stretch considering that the game's story is more or less around 4 hours long, Freedom Cry is a standalone DLC that takes all the good things from Black Flag and overdelivers in many ways. 



  • Emotional story that showcases the liberation of escape slaves.
  • A gorgeous, vibrant world full of reasons to go exploring.


  • Ship control can feel slow at times, especially steering.

  • Fighting multiple enemies is overwhelming.

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