Very rarely do I play a game that engulfs me in such a way like Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag has. In fact, I can only think of one other game (The Witcher 2) where the side quests felt like an extension of the main quest rather than random extra content lazily thrown in by the developer. This is an achievement that I wish more developers would strive towards, especially when developing open world games or adventure-based games. Some might wonder why this entry in the franchise has achieved this while other entries have not. The answer lies in the developers ability to craft a character and world, where the typically distraction oriented side quests, actually feel like it’s what the character would naturally do. This alone won’t make the side quests feel less tedious by itself, they have to be enjoyable.
Ironically after playing Assassin’s Creed 4, it opened up my eyes to the reason I felt the side quests worked so well in The Witcher 2. It lies in the coherency of the side quests when fitting into the main story. Does it feel like something that is natural fit for the personality of the character you are playing as? I don’t want to make this review a comparison of the two games, yet I can’t help but to be in awe of the accomplishment that has been achieved by both. It is truly impressive, and is worth noting the level of excellence that has been achieved.