“Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag” Review

A couple weeks ago Kevin and I finished our play-through of Assassin’s Creed IV: Blag Flag…the verdict; this game has become my new favorite in an already solid series…

This week, Steam has the PC version marked down as low as $34.99 and there is some real value there if you like any of the other games in the series and have been considering this one.  I played to 93% completion and easily sunk 60+ hours exploring, hunting, questing, looting, spying, plundering, and diving for treasure.  The main campaign has methodically been devised to offer variety in the mission structures and locations. Additionally, the movie cut-scenes before and after missions (especially those with Blackbeard) are truly memorable. The developers took time to make my pirate adventure feel complete (and there are also a number of multi-player modes to choose from).

Value: 9

Detractors of the series complain that these titles are too easy and/or lack mission variety. Perhaps true in both cases for some of the previous titles in this series, but the developers are clearly making efforts to enhance difficulty in certain areas and keep things moving. There are many different mission types in Black Flag and the action that takes place at sea on your own ship is unlike any game-play experience I can think of.  The fighting is fluid and the progression is balanced as the game moves forward.  You gradually acquire a number of weapons and tools that can be employed in ways that completely alter how you might go about accomplishing a mission objective (the late game rope dart is fun…).

Gameplay: 9

The game looks great although there are some areas that look “wow” and others that look kind of “hhhmmm, what happened here.”  I say this because the game was being played on a PC at the max settings so we have to keep our standards high!  Additionally, Ubisoft has had a lot of experience with these games and we are on the brink of Next-gen games so lets keep the standards high.  That being said, the music is AMAZING.  I had my crew singing pirate “shanties” all game long.  I never wanted to fast travel because I might miss a storm at sea…you get the point.

Overall Presentation: 8.5 (+.5 modifier for “shanties” and music)

Total: 27/30 (Kevin & I recommend any score of 22 points or higher…)