Reviews for Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag - Deluxe Edition
Absolutely AmazingSerio | Nov. 29, 2013 | See all Serio's reviews »
This is quite possibly one of the best games in the Assassin's Creed franchise, and certainly the best in recent years.
Like others, I lost faith in the series after Assassin's Creed 3 and had pretty much told myself I wouldn't buy another game until I saw the reviews. But then I saw the gameplay and the preliminary reviews of the game. And the previews were all right.
Edward Kenway, the protagonist, is an interesting fellow. He is, practically, just a pirate in assassin's clothing. For the first long while, he does what he does not for the sake of the creed, but for the sake of money and the "big one". A treasure so big he can retire and not work for another day in his life.
Unlike previous protagonists, Edward is an extremely independent, no-nonsense character. He serves no one but himself and his crew. There's even a quote early in the game, in which the Jackdaw(Edward's ship) is likened to a country and Edward its just ruler.
The supporting characters are interesting as well. You've got ruthless pirates, barbaric templars, and the law itself trying to wipe the former out. Indeed, it seems the entire assassin story takes a sidetrack while the main story focuses on the incursion of templars into the pirate territory.
Honestly, this is one of the few games I'll gladly recommend paying full price for. It ain't perfect, but it's very close to.
Best AC in yearsStebsis | Nov. 21, 2013 | See all Stebsis's reviews »
Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag is probably my favorite game in the series after AC2. This just improves in every way from a bit disappointing AC3. You play as Edward Kenway, grandfather of AC3's protagonist, Connor. Story is pretty good though not as well done as in AC2. Edward is really likeable character and he has bit of the charm Ezio had, he's a great character and leagues above boring, monotone voiced Connor. You also meet some famous pirates like Anne Bonny and Edward Thatch, or Blackbeard as he's more well known.
One of the best parts of AC3 were the naval battles, but now they're gotten a huge upgrade. Some hours into the game you get your own ship, Jackdaw, and a big world starts opening up. Sea is big and feels a bit like Legend of Zelda Wind Waker how you sail around, visiting islands and finding treasures, but it's not fully connected world, game does need to load separate area when you go to bigger city, but smaller islands are all just there in the sea. You don't control the wind though but it always seem to favor you more or less. Ship combat is really fun, when your camera is facing forward you can fire chain rounds to slow down and incapacitate ships, when firing on sides you can fire volley of cannons, and turn the camera backwards and you can drop fire barrels in the water which is great way of dealing ramming ships. You also get upgrades on your ship like mortar rounds for long-rage and high damage attacks, or stronger hull.
If you incapacitate an enemy ship you can board it by sailing next to it. You need to kill a certain number of enemies, and then they surrender, and you can decide what to do, like repair the Jackdaw or lower wanted level. You also get more loot this way instead of just shooting the ship and collecting loot from the sea and possible crew member that sometimes can be picked up.
There is a lot of pirating and not so assassin like stuff, but Ubisoft hasn't forgotten what the game is about. There are assassin contracts for you to find, rooftops to climb, fortresses to infiltrate, people to tail and all that stuff from previous AC games, they're not just afterthought and swept aside for trying to just make a pirate game, nor is the pirate part an afterthought, both sides are really well realised. Actually, sneaking parts are done better than ever because now there are more hiding places like bushes, and you can even stalk around corners, and then just whistle from there to attract guards and silently kill them. Story has plenty of sneaking missions, and every mission has certain conditions if you want 100% completion.
There also are the present day parts that're mostly optional. You don't play as Desmond but some other dude, and you're testing this kind of Animus console, like a game console, that Abstergo, the Templars, want to release to everyone. These portions are surprisingly interesting and way better than what you had to do with Desmond in previous games.
AC4 is a game pirate game we've been graving for years since Sid Meier's Pirates. Sadly these kinds of games have been very disappointing or even horrible. You don't even have to play previous games to understand this, because story, neither the Edward portion nor the present day parts, continue straight from AC3 or other games. Gap between AC3 and 4 is like difference between AC1 and 2, it just improves in every aspect and brings new things into the mix. Now Ubisoft just needs to put those naval battles to multiplayer