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Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag (PC) artwork

Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag (PC) review


"Please get this game."


Black Flag is heralded as one, if not the best, of the Assassin's Creed series and for good reason. It brings us an interesting protagonist with solid, naval gameplay. It has its drawbacks, sure, but it ultimately turns into a wonderful experience all around.

I'm not usually keen on playing "Yet Another White Male" but Edward's depth really sold me on him. He has a perfectly understandable outlook of "I want walls that hold back the wind and cold, I want food that doesn't taste like dust", and that is effectively his motive; to not be poor. This leads him to the pirate life (Or "Privateers", as he tries to convince his girlfriend that going away for a year is what's best for them) and further fuels his snarky devil-may-care attitude. He gets plenty of dialog that shows the full gamut of personality that involves greed, fear, worry, confusion, and bravery. This is how you write a character, people.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (Xbox 360) image


The game does not waste time getting Edward in his own ship with mechanics you might recall were tapped into in Assassin's Creed 3 but never utilized and was mostly stuck in an optional gimmick. It returns here in full blast with solid broadside mechanics that eventually turn into a melee as you render enemy ships inert. You follow through on a couple of objectives and call it a victory.

It's one of my favorite aspects of the game and even includes a sort of ship-based stealth mission or two as you try to navigate your ship through swamps, avoid massive Man O' War's, and risk exploring contested waters.

If there's a drawback, it's that the game focuses so much on the naval combat (which, again, is wonderful) that the on-foot missions suffer greatly. Most of them involve following a mark around and staying within an audio bubble to hear them properly. They are frequently irritating and not as interesting as the more straightforward assassinations that the series is known for.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (Xbox 360) image


For those who felt the 'modern day' segments were a blight on previous games, they thankfully take more of a backseat here. You step into the role of a voiceless employee that navigates the headquarters on your off-time and susses out the secrets of the company. Ultimately you are whomever you wish to be and exploring is largely optional as most of the time you can just 'log back in' and go straight back into the game proper.

Regardless of one's opinion on Ubisoft and recent business practices; I highly recommend you get this game. Even if you're not a fan of the franchise, Black Flag stands on its own two feet and you won't need to know a lot of lore to be invested in Edward's personal journey.

5/5

Zydrate's avatar
Community review by Zydrate (January 18, 2017)

Zydrate is most active on Steam and Tumblr.

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Zydrate posted January 20, 2017:

Very happy this one made it on the site.
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Nightfire posted January 20, 2017:

It's a good review. I also appreciate well-written characters in games because I'm such a sucker for story.

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