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.