Assassin's Creed Pirates drops anchor on Windows 8 and RT Surface Pro

Assassin's Creed Pirates drops anchor on Windows 8, Windows Phone version temporarily delisted

Long rumored, but only officially confirmed just before release, Assassin's Creed Pirates finally sailed onto Windows Phone last week. One week later, the phone game has been delisted due to many users experiencing crashing issues. In its stead, the less buggy Windows 8 and RT version of Assassin's Creed Pirates has arrived. Tablet and PC gamers can now take on the role of an eighteenth century pirate and terrorize the seas!

The Windows 8 and RT versions also bring along a couple of caveats. First, their Xbox Live Achievements don't work just yet. For whatever reason, it's not uncommon for Achievements on Windows 8 and RT to kick in a few days after a game becomes available. This game's Achievements will arrive soon.

The other bad news? Like Ubisoft's Rayman games, Assassin's Creed Pirates is not a universal purchase. Still, the game is worth buying at least once. Read on for our early impressions.

Assassin's Creed Pirates Windows 8

Less assassins, more pirates

Players take on the role of Alonso Batilla, a new character in the Assassin's Creed franchise. Since this spin-off revolves entirely around piracy (not assassination or the recollection of a past life), Alonso doesn't don the series' traditional assassin's robe. Instead, he'll build a reputation as a pirate and seek a legendary treasure.

The protagonist doesn't start out as an established pirate. When we first meet him, Alonso has been taken captive aboard a vessel. His captors come under attack from the pirate La Buse's ship.

Captain La Buse quickly takes a shine to Batilla. Not only does he free Alonso, he gives the former prisoner a ship of his own. Talk about moving up the ranks! Perhaps La Buse's reasons for trusting Alonso will become clear later in the game.

Assassin's Creed Pirates Windows 8

Navigating the waters

After the introductory cinematic wraps, players will set sail towards their meeting with La Buse at Scorpion's Reef. Steering the ship takes place in a first-person perspective, just as in Assassin's Creed IV. Swipe left or right along the ship's wheel in order to navigate the waters and avoid obstacles. Buttons at the bottom-right corner of the screen control acceleration and deceleration.

Assassin's Creed Pirates naturally supports mouse and keyboard controls in addition to touch. Sadly, it does not work with Xbox controllers. That's a missed opportunity given that Assassin's Creed IV already provides a blueprint for how the controls could have worked.

Since the steering is so simple and intuitive, you'll have ample time to take in the lush islands, volcanoes, and other landscapes of the Caribbean Sea. Speaking of the sea, Assassin's Creed Pirates features some of the most realistic and eye-catching water ever seen in a mobile game. The fantastic-looking water is a good thing, considering the game takes place entirely on the ocean.

Assassin's Creed Pirates Windows 8

To the cannons!

Before long, Alonso's ship will encounter another seafaring ship and attack it. This is a game about piracy, not diplomacy.

Ship battles consist of attack and defense phases. Drag left or right to aim your cannons. You'll have to lead a little to compensate for the opponent's movement, but firing too far ahead can lead to a miss too. Cannons take a little time to recharge, so all the more incentive to fire carefully.

Your opponents won't just sit there and sink without a fight; they shoot back too. When an enemy ship prepares to fire, the camera pulls out to show their planned trajectory. You can then tap left or right to dodge in either direction. Successfully avoid damage to receive a Perfect Dodge rating (and keep your ship afloat).

After sending an enemy ship to Davy Jones' locker, players will engage in a fun little salvaging mini-game. Boxes of supplies can be roped and pulled aboard. The harvested resources can then be spent on items, crew members, combat techniques, and even new ships. Then it's off to the map screen, new locations, and lots more naval pirate action.

Windows Phone version takes a break

It looks like the Windows Phone game launched a little earlier than it should have. Only a few days after release, the phone game has been pulled from the Store due to widespread crashes and errors. Hopefully Ubisoft can patch up the Windows Phone game and get it back in the water soon.

Is Pirates a sunset or the dawn of further adventures?

It's great to have Assassin's Creed Pirates on Windows 8 (and Windows Phone) at last, albeit a whopping eight months after releasing on Android and iOS. Will Ubisoft continue to make games for mobile Windows platforms? It almost doesn't matter when they come out so much later than on other mobile operating systems.

Still, more games is always better. Ubisoft never really promotes these games, so it's hard to say if the publisher has anything else in development. We can always hope!

  • Assassin's Creed Pirates – Windows 8 and RT – 945 MB – $4.49 – Store Link
  • Assassin's Creed Pirates – Windows Phone 8 – 940 MB – $4.49 – Store Link (Currently unavailable)

512 MB Not supported

QR: Assassin's Creed Pirates


Reader comments

Assassin's Creed Pirates drops anchor on Windows 8, Windows Phone version temporarily delisted


Not for all WP devices, actually. AC Pirates has been available in the Store on my 928 every day since launch. I can download it right now if I want to. So, the article is a little misleading by making it seem that the game has been pulled for all WP devices when that is not the case: it has always been in the store since launch for my Lumia 928 and, I'm assuming, some other devices as well.

It doesn't look like it is or will be as at the end of the article it says 512mb not supported. Not every game can be brought down to the 512 Mb range and still function like it should

I paid this game for my 1520 but is does not work just crashed and now it's not more available for my phone !!

I really don't like the direction that the ac series is taking in regards to the part stuff, I haven't felt at all like an assassin since early ezio and Altair.

And now they're not even pretending like you are an assassin, might as well call it pirates creed now.

AC: Unity will fix that. Also remember the plot and setting. A game like assasin's creed taking place in the caribbean and not being able to sail or do pirate things would have actually been terrible.

The bigger issue is that it doesn't feel like I'm an assassin when I'm sent to assassinate someone. I can get over the sailing but Connor was just a whingey child who wanted revenge (I actually much preferred his father as a character), I've yet to play black flag but given the main character isn't an assassin I expect it to steer further away.

It's not that I don't still enjoy the games I just miss those long climbs and sneaky infiltrations to try and reach my target and then think of a unique way to off them.

I will say though that the present day stuff in ac3 was incredible and it makes me really, really want a modern day assassins creed game. It could play more like batman, having to avoid gunfire while sneakily taking out your adversaries.

It's not delisted for Lumia 928. It's been in the store every day since launch, including right now.

So this isn't story important? That's what I'm getting, I think. I just picked up AC III and this pirates doesn't have spoilers related to III or IV?

When a game is an official Xbox game, Microsoft should give the example by making sure the game is universal and a trial version is available...

It's good enough that Ubisoft bothered to put Xbox Live into the game. I rather not demand that of them and have Xbox games than to start with those kinds of demands only to see them drop Xbox.

It seems that the only devices that have a problem are 1520s and 930s, but ubisoft has delisted it for all devices.. that sucks as i have an 8X and would like to buy this, as i'm sure others would like to...

I think they should've made it a universal app, so us 1520 users could at least play it on something for the time being.. seeing as we already gave them our money.

I was wondering what had happened to the WP version. I was waiting for the W8 version to come out to see if it would be universal but when I checked it had been delisted.

Well, I'll wait a bit more then. Wait for the WP version to return and for the W8 version to get the achievements. Then I'll buy it in one of the platforms and if I like it, well, I might just buy it on both platforms.

And that's what you gain for bringing Xbox Live titles to WP and W8. Had this come without it, I would skip it in favour of the Android version.

Lack of XBox controller support is a bummer. I wish controller support and Xbox Live Achievements were just automatic for all Windows store games (and for Windows Phone once Threshold hits).  

I have the surface 2 32gb and much as I like these games memory is a real problem these games take 1gb+ and there just isn't the room. I remove as much as I can but always wind up low on memory then the damn thing gets very slow. Now if you could install on the memory card I'd buy them all.

Gameloft made Rival Knights, but Ubisoft made Assassin's Creed Pirates. I don't know about Rival Knights, but AC Pirates will definitely get fixed.

I think it is only delisted for 2GB devices.  Most of the "this game crashes all the time" reviews seemed to come from Lumia 1520, Icon, and 930 devices, yet the other 92X phones users seem to report it as working decently enough (going off app store reviews).  My Lumia 822 also has it available for purchase (not that I want to click it until there's a 50% sale on both the WP and Win 8 versions so I can "pretend" it is universal lol).

Runs fine on my 1020 with 8.1 GDR1 installed. Bought it day one and probably one of the best games for mobile I've seen.
So easy to use and unlike a COD or HALO clone that looks nice but controls terribly this does it all, looks, controls, variant gamestyles all suited for mobile. Not one issue!

I'm glad this is finally out too. I tweeted my concerns about the title to Ubisoft and they replied that they are working on a fix. I hope soon. Also they really need to start supporting Windows Phones more. Getting very annoyed with the lack of app support for Xbox One titles companion app that isn't Smartglass.