Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is an action adventure, stealth, sandbox video game created by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft for the PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii U, and PC. The PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 Versions were released on October 29, 2013 worldwide, and the eighth generation versions were released in mid to late November 2013. It was preceded by Assassin's Creed III and was later followed by Assassin's Creed: Unity.
Why It Rocks
- The shift from a tale about assassins to increased emphasis on naval combat is considered by many to be a welcome change to the series.
- A huge open world to explore, with tons of collectibles, activities, and side quests to partake in. The sheer scale of the world was met with praise.
- Has stunning graphics and overall presentation, especially on current-gen hardware. The level of detail such as the rain, water, and the sea's behavior is incredible. The game looks great, even on previous-gen consoles.
- Naval combat returns from Assassin's Creed III. This time though is a more integral part of the game. It allows for more freedom for the player to do as they please. The transition between sailing and sword fighting is completely seamless, too.
- Just like in Assassin Creed III, you can upgrade your ship, Jackdaw, but you can can also customize your ship to your liking.
- Stealth gameplay has greater flexibility than previous entries, thus giving players different ways to complete their objectives.
- Great, engrossing story that isn't needlessly convoluted. The best part is it doesn't take itself too seriously, which is commendable.
- Sailing through the world can be a relaxing experience. It's even better when you collect shanties, which your crew will sing.
- Great characters. The story is able to highlight the human side of pirates, painting them in a sympathetic and relatable light.
- Edward Kenway was well received for being more palatable and more lively than past protagonists.
- Excellent soundtrack that does a great job of capturing the time period and pirate theme.
- Good voice acting.
- You can now tag enemies with Eagle Vision.
- You can now hunt various animals to sell to markets and to upgrade your equipment.
- The Abstergo Entertainment HQ, when you're not in the Simulation, can be a neat place to relax from your mission.
- Lots of collectibles that you can find.
- On top of that, some collectibles can have some connection with the game's story or something that could give hints for something even bigger. An example is a collectible about a CtOS presentation, found on the Abstergo Entertainment HQ (when you're not in the simulation), which hints that the game could be taking place before or during the events of Ubisoft's Watch Dogs.
- While the stealth can be fun, it can also be frustrating due to its clunky controls.
- The Xbox One version ran at only 900p resolution, upscaled to 1080p.
- The game can get glitchy at times.
- Some of the supporting characters lack the depth that the more major characters have, plus there isn't a compelling antagonist of any kind.
- On most parts, the game's text (like mission objectives) never starts with a capital on the beginning of each sentence, showing that Ubisoft didn't really care for the text (excluding other stuff like hints and Dialogue text).
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag received mainly positive reviews, with critics praising the open-world gameplay, the character of Edward Kenway, side-quests, graphics, and naval combat. It is considered one of the seventh generation games. Ratings on Metacritic range from 83 to 88 out of 100.
The game received praise for rectifying the issues with the previous game. It was also praised for the scale of the world the game had to offer, providing the player numerous opportunities to explore by filling it with many side quests, activities, and collectibles to keep the player invested. Edge magazine considers Black Flag to have set "new benchmarks not only for Ubisoft's series but for open-world gaming."
Despite the acclaim, however, the clunky stealth controls, main story missions, and underdeveloped supporting characters drew criticism.
Ubisoft came under fire from PETA, who criticized Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag for the depiction of whaling. The organization said it was disgraceful that the video game industry doesn't condemn the addition. Ubisoft responded by saying that Assassin's Creeds is based on history and is a "work of fiction which depicts real events during the Golden Era of Pirates". Ubisoft claimed they do not condone whaling, along with other features in the game. It should also be noted that whaling was a product of the time Black Flag was set in, and Ubisoft always shoots for historical accuracy when it comes to Assassin's Creed’'.