ASSASSIN’S CREED : BLACK FLAG REVIEW
Anything about pirates is always a good thing. Even if it’s cheesy, it’s still awesome. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag first of all has a great title, and second of all is about pirates and is in fact, not cheesy. So there ya go, review done.
Okay so we have left the slight disappointment of AC3 behind us, because I am telling you right now that AC4 makes up for it completely. This was actually the very first game I played on my Play Station 4 – so my excitement is for the game, but also about how awesome it is on the newest console. Obviously where there are pirates there are usually oceans and ships, and the way the water looks on the PS4 is incredible. This combined with the Caribbean scenery and beautiful bright blue oceans (and sharks that will chew your face off!) makes for a great first impression.
Okay, so we know the PS4 is awesome, so now onto the plot. The story follows Edward Kenway, who if you connect the dots is the father of Haythem Kenway who is the father of Connor Kenway from AC3 – so there’s that family line. Now when I think of Haythem I think of a fairly distinguished Englishman who goes to the opera – but then is a bad-ass assassin by night (a bit like Batman really). Now compared to that, Edward is a rough and tough, greasy, drunk, no-good thug. Literally. He doesn’t really care about anyone but himself (at least at first), and is a typical selfish, rum-drinking pirate. Now the reason you are playing as him is because in the present day the evil company Abstergo is using the “animus” machine to go through his memories in order to find a secret observatory. So clearly Edward is pretty important to know something like this. Kenway will eventually work to create a “pirate republic” to fight against British rule, and he even teams up with the infamous “Blackbeard”, captaining ships and gaining territory and gold.
Things You’ll Like
Combat. Well first of all, Edward has two swords, so that’s friggin awesome. Plus the best part is when he finishes a battle and he aggressively puts them back in place in their scabbards on his back, and just walks away with some serious swagger. He also has pistols that actually work! I found the long-range weapons in previous games to be hard to use, and usually stuck to stealth with the hidden blade or a sword, but in this game I used Edward’s gun all the time. You can also help out fellow pirates in need and they will come to your aid in a fight; it’s like pirate friendship, isn’t that sweet?
Music music music. Obviously all pirates know how to sing, it’s probably a requirement going into the profession. In this game when you are sailing around you can press a button and your crew will “sing a jig”. These songs are actually pretty good, and I quite enjoyed listening to them, especially because these parts can take a while if your destination is far away. The general theme songs for the game are also great, and there is a whole range of different songs. Once again can’t go wrong with the soundtracks in the AC franchise. Brian Tyler and Lorne Balfe know what’s up.
Things You Won’t Like
I’ve met people who really liked the whole ship-based components of these games, and while I liked parts of it, I wasn’t actually very good at it and usually dreaded the difficult naval battles. There are all these forts you can take to claim as your own and use as fast travel locations (and of course gain their loot), but the biggest ones are very difficult to capture, unless you have upgraded your ship like nobody’s business. Not a bad part of the game, just not really my taste.
The story was good, but without the strong presence of Desmond (the time-travelling bartender from AC 1-3), it felt a bit forced. Sometimes it was hard to follow the plot at all to be honest, but the main character is so likeable that I didn’t really mind. I almost wish that a character like Edward had been the main focus of AC3 – then that would have been a knockout.
This game has incredible graphics, good music, and a great main character. However downsides are repetitive naval combat (for me at least) and a somewhat unclear storyline. In this game the combat system has just leaped off the page compared to AC1 and AC2, and thank goodness for that. Overall it is a good pirate game (I mean really, could there ever be a bad one?)