Community Review: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

Assassin's Creed is always at its best when we least expect it. Conversely, it always disappoints when we're most excited.

When Assassin's Creed II was released some folks were ready to write the series off after a lukewarm reception to the first game. Turns out that game was incredible. When we expected Assassin's Creed Brotherhood to be a bit of spinoff fluff it turned out the be the culmination of everything that made Assassin's Creed great.

Then, just when we had gotten used to Assassin's Creed being great again, Revelations was a dud.

Assassin's Creed III? We expected greatness. We didn't get it.

Which is a long way of saying that the series seems to have a way of confounding expectations.

Let's be honest — no-one was really expecting much from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. A numbered sequel so soon after the last? Pirates? For some reason there is a real sense that the Assassin's Creed series has lost its lustre. That it's become bloated, that it's forgotten its roots. A game about pirates sailing on the high seas does little to convince people otherwise.

But it seems to have been well received. Once again Assassin's Creed delivers when you least expect it. I'm still waiting for the next generation version — either on the PS4 or the 360 — but I know many of you guys and girls are already getting stuck into the game. How has it been so far? Let us know in the comments below.


Comments

    I'm really interested to see what everyone says because I'm still waiting for my version on the Wii U

      I think this will be under the tree for me too (or Pikmin3). Not to fear, birthday in January will deliver! I've been banned from buying anything for myself until then. My wife thinks I'm hard to buy for.

      And yes, I'm so ashamed for not owning Pikmin3 yet. I'd been chomping at the bit for it for years, but a bit time poor lately....

      Yeah it really sucks 3rd party game devs keep delaying the wiiu versions of their games. It's not going to help sales and then they whinge to nintendo about the poor sales.

    As a follow-up question from someone who is on the fence: if the gameplay is a non-issue, is it worth picking this up for a continuation of the main story, or has that basically been left behind?

      The present day story seems finished. This has one where you are a game developer making animus games or something. I've heard it can be fun or you can totally ignore it.

        Thanks. I might call it a day with III, then.

          Who cares about the story. You're a pirate!!! If you liked sea dogs or Bethesdas pirates you'll love this. The pirate atory is good! PIRATES!!!!

            yeh this is what makes the game awesome. PIRATES!!

          It hasn't been left behind, however all it does in this one is drop some valuable easter eggs about Desmonds fate and the direction Abstergo has taken in the last few years. There's an underlying plot there, which is obviously going to be further explored in future games but it mystifies me why they chose to kill Desmond off like that, it just really makes no sense at this point... unless he's going to become part of the machine like the previous subject was? And what happens to those alien things that were unleashed? It touches on them but some more exposition would've been nice.

          Last edited 18/11/13 11:34 am

        I assume you never made it past the 3rd-4th chapter? the whole desmond/minerva/juno story is continued, probably not as much as you would want but its still going.

        The whole project being called sample 17 should of been a big hint.

    I wouldn't call Revelations a dud. It was the weakest of the Ezio trilogy, but still a very solid game, and the multiplayer fixed the niggles in Brotherhood's. It was a good send off for Ezio and gave Altair better characterisation. The tower defence...yes, that was awful, although the bombs made up for it.

    But yes, III tried to be the dog's bollocks and ended up just being a dog's breakfast.

      This right here. I had issues at the start of Revelations. The end was a great send-off for Ezio though. I was crying at the end of it. I think the problem was it had been quite recently I'd played through a Creed game. A yearly release hurts a franchise like this a little, I think.

      Let us develop some nostalgia, then give us a sequel.

        Did you watch Embers after finishing Revelations? That was a bittersweet ending right there.

    Bought it on 360 loved it best one since 2. Can't wait to play the next gen version

    Last edited 18/11/13 11:09 am

      Just incase you haven't seen it yet, this is worth a look to see how the PS4 version looks

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=JTiD9-Ma5HE

    @markserrels I’m still waiting for the next generation version — either on the PS4 or the 360 What what what??? O_o Some miraculous 360 version out there that's next gen that I don't know about!? Who made this! Wizards!?

    But seriously, the games fantastic so far, very much so, enjoying it (me) heartily!

    Last edited 18/11/13 11:28 am

    It's pretty awesome actually. I skipped Assassins Creed III due to the negative reviews but decided to take a chance with IV, because pirates! I've lost interest in the whole templar vs assassins thing, even though the modern missions were interesting.

    It really shines when u do piratey things, sailing on the high seas, plundering ships and raiding forts. The naval battles are a lot of fun. It's like 60% land, 40% naval missions.. would love to see how this game looks on next-gen. It's already pretty good on the 360. Blackbeard is also a pretty cool character.

    Been waiting for the PC version forever. Gonna use it to test out my upgraded rig :D

    Would this game have been better if it were just a pirate game without any of the Animus stuff? Same mechanics etc, just 100% pirate? That's the feeling I've always gotten from AssCreed games, that I kind of wish they didn't have that extra layer in there.

    I gave up on AC part way through Brotherhood.

    I tried to get into AC3 but just couldn't.

    Picked up Black Flag last Friday and spent most of the weekend playing it. Game is great fun, it's like an updated Sid Meier's Pirates.
    Although it feels like they wanted to make a Pirate game but the powers that be said "no make it an AC game"

      yeh I found the AC-related stuff out of place in this game. I'm only up to Sequence 8, but I like how Edward is just all about getting rich. I wish there was more outfit variety (too many hoods, no pirate hats).

    Didn't cave into buying Black Flag like I did with AC3. 3 was the first game I've ever returned without finishing (having only played up until the title sequence). The whole series just feels really overdone now, like it's trying to be better than what it is. I don't know, maybe it's just me but I feel the series started going down hill since AC2. I want it to get better but I'm not going to bet on it.

    It's great (on PC). Little buggy, and the missions on land are same old Assassin's Creed, but the naval stuff is amazing.

    Fired up the PS4 version last night. Got to level 2 in multiplayer! (ie I played one game of multiplayer) waiting for the 1080p patch before I dive into the game.

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