Golden Joysticks Award:
"The Golden Age of Piracy." - IGN.com
"Black Flag is best regarded as a collage of the games and technologies Ubisoft have cultivated over the past decade." - PCGamer.com
The year is 1715. Pirates rule the Caribbean and have established their own lawless Republic where corruption, greediness and cruelty are commonplace.
Among these outlaws is a brash young captain named Edward Kenway. His fight for glory has earned him the respect of legends like Blackbeard, but also drawn him into the ancient war between Assassins and Templars, a war that may destroy everything the pirates have built.
Welcome to the Golden Age of Piracy.
A brash rebel Assassin:
Become Edward Kenway, a charismatic yet brutal pirate captain, trained by Assassins. Edward can effortlessly switch between the Hidden Blade of the Assassin’s Order and all new weaponry including four flintlock pistols and dual cutlass swords.
Explore an open world filled with opportunities:
Discover the largest and most diverse Assassin’s Creed world ever created. From Kingston to Nassau, explore 50 unique locations where you can live the life of a pirate including:
Loot underwater shipwrecks
Assassinate Templars in blossoming cities
Hunt for rare animals in untamed jungles
Search for treasure in lost ruins
Escape to hidden coves
Become the most feared pirate in the Caribbean:
Command your ship, the Jackdaw, and strike fear in all who see her. Plunder and pillage to upgrade the Jackdaw with ammunition and equipment needed to fight off enemy ships. The ship's improvements are critical to Edward's progression through the game. Attack and seamlessly board massive galleons, recruit sailors to join your crew and embark on an epic and infamous adventure.
Experience the gritty reality behind the pirate fantasy:
Stand amongst legendary names such as Blackbeard, Calico Jack and Benjamin Hornigold, as you establish a lawless Republic in the Bahamas and relive the truly explosive events that defined the Golden Age of Piracy.
Fight against or cooperate with your friends in the ruthless and acclaimed multiplayer experience. Choose from an eclectic cast of characters and fight to the death in exotic themed maps.
Supported video cards at the time of release:
Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 or better, GT400, GT500, GT600, GT700 series or AMD Radeon HD4870 or better, HD5000, HD6000, HD7000 series
Some criticize this game for being too much of a "pirate simulator." That, in my humble opinion, is what saved this game from being yet another AC title and becoming the best AC yet. This game innovated in so many ways and took the AC franchise to so many new heights that many do not appreciate it. Many of its innovative features largely started in AC III, whether we look at climbing trees, steering ships, and even family ties. However, this game does everything far better than AC III ever did. The only element of AC III that I would say was stronger than IV is the combat. For whatever reason, combat wasn't as fluid in IV as it was in AC III. Besides that minor misstep, this game is without an equal and even better than AC II. We have a likeable protagonist in Edward Conway. We have a great story of wanting to gain fame and fortune, but being pulled into the inescapable Assassin/Templar war. We have a man who grows exponentially as a character during the game and learns to fight for more than just himself. Did I forget to mention that having your own ship you control is amazing? Not to mention pirate battles never get tiresome and your grew is always a blast. This is also the first real open world Assassin's Creed, with plenty of content on land, on sea, and even below the sea. There is just so much to love about this game I could go on about it for hours. The only minor criticism, other than the focus on the pirate experience, that many attack this game for is an over-extended story. Admittedly, the story is quite long. It even drags a bit getting into the middle of the campaign. However, it quickly revitalizes itself and is a blast all the way to the end. This is, without a doubt, the most innovative, impressive, and best AC game to date. While AC Unity was a technological leap in many ways, it was a step back in terms of how innovative IV was.
Arm yourself for a new type of an adventure, you will not only hunt Templars but this time you will venture into an epic naval battles between countless ships and yours... the legendary ship... the Jackdaw... don't blame me that's what they called it. And it doesn't stop there you will seek treasures and secrets on different islands and if it's not exciting enough you will venture into the deep of the ocean where valuable collectibles lays down there awaiting someone to claim it but this treasures are not laying down there alone, they are surrounded with grave danger from Jellyfish to sharks you will have to make your way through and you are not just anyone, you are Edwar... ehm sorry, CAPTAIN Edward Kenway, a fallen privateer who founds himself dragged into vicious conflicts between the Assassins and Templars, but there is only one goal in his mind and that goal is to be a master of his own... to become the king of the ocean. What makes Black Flag an important experience is of course its naval warfare, although it is not a new feature and we already saw it in Assassin's Creed III, but in Black Flag things got bigger, while in Assassin's Creed III you were playing most of the time on land and little time hanging with your tequil... ah my bad, the AQUILA in the sea, things are in the contrary in Black Flag and that's not a bad thing, actually not bad at all, but in return other things got neglected, like Edward's fights, despite the addition of the dual swords there is nothing new in the combat, but even things got worse the combat is limited than before, you can't dodge and you can't grab enemies, also weapons are reduced as there isn't heavy weapons and short blades, even with pistols, they added the ability to equip four pistols at the same time, but each of them holds one bullet, and that's the same as the Pepperbox pistol, so it is more of "Looks Cool" than it "Sounds One". And the most important element of course is the "Story", if you looked at Black Flag's story as a standalone release you will find that its absolutely amazing, but if you compared it to the rest of the series, then you will be disappointed, the problem with Assassin's Creed is that it gone off-topic, especially after Assassin's Creed Revelations, things simply got disconnected, you don't who is chasing what anymore, each release you are simply playing a new episode which is not related to the one before it, simply adding names and characters like Desmond, Shaun and Rebecca from previous episodes doesn't make it a sequel, what it counts is how they are related to the story, the Assassin's Creed we know ended with Revelations, although Revelations was also got drifted away from the series but somehow they managed to keep it related as much as possible to the series especially when you play as Altair. Back to the Point Assassin's Creed from now on will act as a standalone adventure not related to the previous one, but Black Flag on the other hand showed something different, it can be a distinct franchise from Assassin's Creed, Black Flag showed outstanding naval gameplay and you will never get tired from exploring the sea, also it showed a different type of protagonists... A Pirate!, when you play as Edward Kenway you will notice that he is reckless and he don't care about anything except achieving his own glory and that's something new, something we are not used to it at least. So here's the deal Black Flag as a standalone game is amazing, but as a sequel to Assassin's Creed franchise, then you will not find it very interesting, I have spent over 80 hours playing Black Flag and I played it as a unique adventure and totally isolated myself from Assassin's Creed series in order to evaluate it well enough and if I were reviewing the game as a standalone release I would gave it 100 but that's not the case as Black Flag still holds Assassin's Creed in its title so I gave it 70 despite the flaws in it but the naval gameplay and the soundtrack, which Brian Tyler had done an astonishing job in it, really overcame these flaws...as much as possible anyway, and the way I see it that it is such a loss that this game hadn't got its own franchise, really this game deserves to be an addition for something new...something to build on different paths...but these paths won't take part in the Assassin's Creed series anyway.
This is the latest AC game I've played. I must say that my favorite is still AC III, but that's a mater of tastes. This game is gorgeous in every way, and gives you enough freedom to do whatever you want, it's very addictive! You can even go 'fishing' (if you know what I mean) and share it with your friends with the uPlay system. The story is not bad at all, leaving aside the 'current time' story, that is. I always hated that about Assassin's Creed, I'd rather play the 'ancient' part alone and leave aside the other part, the present. I just don't like it. Otherwise, this game is a gem. 100% recommended!
I know that the fifth game in the series is out and you might want that instead, but might not have the money for the latest games. Black Flag might seem outdated but it is still fun and offers variety gaming. Most people have wanted to be pirates and this game offers what you can call a simulation. it is 11/10 from me.
This was my official introduction to Assassin's Creed and what an intro that was. From land to sea, from stealth to all around fights, this game has it all. A great storyline that crosses over between 'today' and the 'past'. The character development is rather interesting for a game. It was more of unexpected yet very happy to see it. I personally loved the combat system (which I know some criticize as very easy). The visuals and the animation are rather impressive. Highly recommended and I am officially hooked on the franchise.
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