I finally finished the main storyline play of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Now you should know that I am a huge fan of the AC franchise, but that doesn’t necessarily make me bias for the game. I wasn’t a fan of Assassin’s Creed III; I thought Connor’s “spirit” abilities were stupid. So that said I really enjoyed AC4. On a 10 point scale I’d give it a 9.5, the only deduction because I wasn’t a fan of using the dive bell, personally.
The graphics are outstanding. My wife was watching me play on one of the islands as was reminded we haven’t had a tropical vacation in a while. When you’re swimming the marine life reacts to you, the underwater foliage moves in a realistic manner, and the movement on the seas while piloting your ship, the Jackdaw was smooth and responsive. The combat animations are cool too, and Edward fights the way you think a pirate would; brutally. Edward’s gear is pretty cool too, and there are several decent options. However, one affectation Edward has in this game is whenever he enters an enemy area he puts his hood up. Some of his outfits, including both quest items, do not have hoods yet the animation plays anyway. So it looks stupid putting up an imaginary hood. Work that out, Ubisoft.
The environment is huge! Nassau, Havana, and Kingston are the main cities you visit, but there are tons of small islands all over the place to explore as well. If you’re like me and enjoy exploring every inch of the world provided, there are plenty of collectables to go after. I’ve heard complaints about the collectables and how you must get some to unlock some things, so it really is a matter of preference. I think that’s made up for by the naval battles though. It’s much smoother than AC3, and you have better and upgradable weapons at your disposal. Also there is something of a learning curve as you attack forts and other ships. It’s nothing difficult to master but you’ll learn quickly not to take on things you aren’t ready for. Upgrading your ship is necessary as you progress through the game.
One thing I’ve always loved about the Assassin’s Creed franchise was the inclusion of real historical characters in the game. Hanging out with Edward Thatch (AKA Black Beard), Ben Hornigold, Chales Vane, Calico Jack (who reminds me a little too much of Jack Sparrow from the movies), and of course Mary Read and Ann Bonny is pretty cool. These games always inspire me to do a little reading on the real people mentioned, so there moms and dads, some positive influence for you.
Past this point I’ll be mentioning some minor (vague) spoilers so don’t proceed if you don’t want to know. However overall whether you liked the previous games or are new to the franchise, I think you’ll enjoy the hell out of this one. I’m also looking forward to starting the DLC for AC4, Freedom Cry. Edward’s quartermaster, Adewale’s story.... Read more