Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Review

I have renewed faith in the AC series after Black Flag. Sure AC3 brought back some faith but I think Black Flag has really done it.

Set sail my friends

This is Assassin's Creed Black Flag

Exploring The West Indies

I chose to go with the PS4 version of Black Flag(mostly because I barely had any games for the console) and the first thing that struck me was how amazing the game looked.

Bright beaches, crystal clear seas, lush forests and many exotic locations.

There is a mind boggling amount of locations to explore from small settlements across the West Indie seas, big towns like Havana, small islands and sunken ships with treasure to be found in the wrecks.

The game has a lot of rewards for players that stray from the beaten path and instead go on their own adventures throughout the open seas.

In fact the game lets you explore the world as much as you want without really limiting you on where you can or cannot go. You could spend nearly half a dozen hours travelling the seas doing nothing but raiding ships, finding hidden treasure and taking on assassination contracts.

Captain Edward Kenway

In past AC games, the assassin we were introduced with was a character who had a sense of purpose or morality.

Connor, the last assassin, became an assassin in order to protect his people and help others become free from British Rule.

Edward Kenway, Connor's grandfather, is really a man without a moral compass. He isn't a character that you would hate, but he's a neutral character that will only do things, no matter what, for money.

He doesn't care about what he's doing or who he's doing it to unless there is coin at the end of the task.

He's only helping the Assassin Order because Edward wants money to bring back home to his wife.

Edward is a new assassin in terms of sense of morality and his motivations for why he has become an Assassin.

Swords, Guns, Ships and Treasure

ACIV's gameplay does a good job of making you feel like you're a pirate. Scourge of the sea.

I felt that the single player was a nice improvement to AC3.

The first improvement I noticed was with how many objects were placed in order to create fun and smooth parkour movement. AC3 seemed to have a lot of gaps or areas the were out of reach or objects that slowed movement down to a halt by having you climb up a building AND THEN resuming back to running across rooftops.

There's trees and rooftops connecting together so you can run freely from rooftop to rooftop, there's poles and objects on the side of buildings set up perfectly for you to make from point A to point B very quickly and very easy with a smoother and more exciting parkour movement.

The next improvement was with the sailing. In AC3, wind was a big decider in whether or not you moved fast through the sea or not. In ACIV, you can move fast through the sea whether or not the wind is blowing in the right direction. Sailing across the sea is also not limited on whether or not there's a sea mission to accomplish or not. You can spend a majority of your play-session going from place to place on your boat and the only land you see is in the distance.

Even the ship to ship combat is better. You have more options and methods to attack ships when you come across enemy ships. Instead of having men on swivels and regular cannon shots you have things like chain shots, heavy shot, mortars, fire-barrels and of course ramming into ships.

When it comes to combat and assassinating, the game does add some cool new things such as dual wielding swords and having multiple pistols to take down surrounding enemies.

Double assassinations now can be done to guards standing in front of one another with Edward lunging to the other guard and killing him or using the environment close by to perform the assassination.

The combat in general with swords clashing together is more or less the same. The addition of two swords instead of the usual one sword does make for some awesome finishing moves on the guards. What is different however is that you cannot chain an almost infinite amount of instant kills on guards like you would in AC:Brotherhood. There will be enemies that will stop your attack and force you back allowing other enemies to attack you.

The BIG problem with all of this though is the main story missions.

These missions mainly consist of eavesdropping, stalking, eavesdropping and stalking. There was one mission that even had me stalking a ship, different setting, same mission.

This is what I ultimately feel is the biggest problem with ACIV. Although when there isn't a leash on the player, allowing you to pretty much go anywhere and everywhere you want to go. The main story missions end up putting this heavy leash on the player and constraining you to have to play the same type of mission over and over and over again.


Don't care for it - moving on

The Verdict

Assassin's Creed IV:Black Flag is probably the biggest AC title I have seen(unless AC:Unity manages to outdo Black Flag).

Not only does it improve on what ACIII tried to do with naval combat but it also improves on the aspect of moving from rooftop to rooftop, object to object with having the roofs and objects built to create more fluid movement throughout the area you're exploring.

The world is huge with many things hidden in it to discover such as collectibles and of course money.

Naval exploration and combat is heavily improved compared to AC 3's naval element.

Multiplayer is the same and honestly, it's not really worth your time.

The one aspect of the game I feel brings down ACIV are the main story missions which heavily lack in variety and fun.

It's when the game lets you set out to have your own fun and create your own adventures throughout the world does the game really succeed and do a much better job of letting the player roam freely throughout the world than ACIII.

If you're looking to play a game that will fill up the last few weeks of summer or looking to get caught up in what's happening in the AC story before AC:Unity comes out then Assassin's Creed is truly worth your time and money.

Assassin's Creed IV:Black Flag gets an excellent 8 out of 10

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