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Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Review

Anyone that has been following for some time now, will know that there has been some debate surrounding Assassin’s Creed 4. There is no doubt that Ubisoft has been milking this franchise because of its success, but I have to say, I am pleasantly surprised with this game. Whether your tired of playing or seeing these games really doesn’t matter, I know anyone can appreciate a good game and that is exactly what Assassins Creed 4 is, a good game. Before I get into the review, let me say this, Yea I know when a developer is milking a franchise. Everyone can see it plain as day, Ubisoft has been milking Assassin’s Creed, it is their baby. Normally I would agree that it’s gone too far, but after playing this game, it really hasn’t.

I feel like there was more to be done, one more thing at the very least. Pirates! The idea of Pirates still didn’t turn too many people on, but I have to say they executed it very well. This game about 90% of the time, doesn’t even fell like an Assassin’s Creed game and that’s why I’ve given Ubisoft a pass on another AC title. Not that a pass from me matters but the fact that you have a game called Assassin’s Creed, let alone that game be the 6th title in the franchise and it not even feel like any other game in the franchise, that is saying a lot my friends. I’m saying that because all other AC games pretty much felt the same, assassinate, assassinate, assassinate, and assassinate some more. Yea this game has assassinations but they aren’t focused around them. You can go 30-40 minutes in this game without an assassination mission, WOAH! Yea that’s pretty crazy, unheard of for the Assassin’s Creed franchise.

Truth is you spend most of your time, as a pirate should, in your pirate ship. Stealing plunder and boarding enemy ships, or if your the destructive, not caring type, blow the ship to oblivion and let it sink down to the deep waters of the Caribbean. You have a lot more options in this title, and by options I mean options, I really don’t have another word for it. You can stealth or go in guns blazing and/or swords raised, doesn’t matter, either way you get rewarded. More significantly if you stealth your way through a mission. Your ship goes by the name of Jackdaw, named after some bird. You spend a lot of time on that ship, exploring, sailing through storms, stealing, and killing. You can upgrade your ship as well, so what you got isn’t what you end up with when you get further into the game. You can upgrade the weapons, defense, and looks of the ship.

This game has a more dynamic world, it’s like that by design of course. In order to have a “Pirate” game set in the “Caribbeans”, you must have a dynamic world. You run into cool storms every now and then, and even water spouts which is completely awesome. A lot of the game feels like an action movie, and I love that. I think that is one of the things that made the Uncharted franchise so successful. On top of great gameplay, it has an impressive narrative and impressive graphics. This fueled by a game that feels like a movie most of the time, but at the same time not really taking away the freedom of choice, and exploration. That really puts this game above all others in the franchise.

This game has a strong support beam that completes the world, that is the graphics. This game is absolutely beautiful, it isn’t The Division beautiful but that’s because The Division bolsters what I believe to be, a double barreled shotgun while every other game only carry what I believe to be a broken, splintered bat. No there are more double barreled games out there, and this is one of them. Assassin’s Creed 4 is a game you simply can’t look at and be sucked into the world by just the outstanding graphics. Everything from the lighting, to the landscape in the distance, and even the high and mighty seas give this game a level of immersiveness that not many games provide. It is extremely polished and very rarely do you look at the game as, “That right there.. Yea. It could’ve been done better.” Yea we’ve seen it already in this new gen and I really can’t say the same here. The graphics of the game isn’t the only thing that immerses you into this world. The sound, oh man the sound. While your on your ship, your crew men actually begin to sing the songs of the mighty ocean, the ship has creaks and cracks while the sails move and the ship traverses the water. Little things like that, complete the experience. This is a complete package, great gameplay, graphics, and sound. This game really has it all.

Does this game have a multiplayer as well? Well yes it does. Completing the overall package of what most call a “full” or “complete” game, Assassin’s Creed 4 delivers on that as well. Even though it isn’t the first in the franchise to implement this, it definitely has done it a tad bit better. The overall experience felt more polished, I may have just been kicking it old school but I found myself playing deathmatch over every other game mode. Mainly because quite honestly I really don’t enjoy playing hide and seek with lookalikes. It doesn’t turn my inner gamer on, with a nice challenging Deathmatch, and no lookalikes. It really kicked in my competitive nature, which is what multiplayer is supposed to do. Nothing special was done in this multiplayer, they did add more stats to track and a deep profile system but gameplay wise, nothing really stood out. If we had a multiplayer rating system, it would be a solid 6, but since we don’t. I think it’s fair to say that Assassin’s Creed 4 has earned a cool and breezy 10 out of 10. It isn’t a Sandbox Universe 10 out of 10 but in the pirates eye, we aren’t seen the universe yet, so plunder me lads, the open ocean awaits!

This was a good start, Assassin’s Creed isn’t going away anytime soon and if they keep bringing it to us like this. Then I really see the franchise going on further, with the hope that Ubisoft keeps each game fresh and with something that sets it apart from all other titles. Certainly I hope that most of us can agree on this, throw away all feelings on the milking of franchises, we can all appreciate a good game. Like I said in the beginning of the article, that is what Assassin’s Creed 4 is, a good game. A game containing hours of gameplay, an immersive world full of plunder, dangers, and pirates. How can you say no to that? Give the game a go, try it out, RedBox it, or GameFly it! It really is worth the money.

I purposely left the story out of this review, Edward Kenway, ” Don’t meddle in his private affairs, for there’s more mystery in that man, than even I dare ask.” Play the game and find out for yourself. Enjoy!

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Gameplay 10
Graphics 10
Sound 10
Overall 10