Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (Xbox 360 Version) Review
19 November 2013
Excerpt: When a gaming franchise starts putting out release after release, just so they can become a yearly event, there's two ways that things can go. The first route is the easiest, the one taken by Call of Duty and 95% of sports games. Make minor tweaks, new rosters or maps and just hope that the advertising campaign does enough to convince people to shell out their hard earned cash, or there is the second choice.
Summary: I was all but ready to give up on the Assassin's Creed series after last year's disappointing entry. I'd accepted that ACII would never be beat, that with it the formula had come as close as it would to perfection. I'm very pleased to say that " Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag " shattered my expectations.
Conclusion: An Assassin’s Creed game hasn’t been this good since Assassin’s Creed 2. There are some regrettable elements of repetition that have stuck with the series and are still present, although nothing that would get in the way of some solid action, realistic and incredibly exciting naval battles, in addition to the variety of activities Kenway undertakes in order to satisfy his lust for riches. Exploration is also a big thing.
Pros: Never has the life of a pirate been so vividly depicted in a video game, a huge world full of adventure and hidden riches awaits, Kenway is a great character, the narrative keeps you going, incredibly convincing weather effects, mesmerizing naval battles, swordfights and hand-to-hand combat is still great fun;
Cons: Occasionally weird camera during combat, behavior Kenway the deadly assassin cannot crouch for some reason.
Excerpt: As near as I can tell, general fan reaction to the Assassin’s Creed series hit its zenith with Assassin’s Creed II: Brotherhood and seemed to level out with Revelations, before taking a rather precipitous dive with the release of Assassin’s Creed III – a game that all but the hardcore fans found underwhelming.
Excerpt: Assassin’s Creed is a rather polarizing series. With elements of historical context and modern day sci-fi wizardry, the juxtaposition can be a bit much for some. When you combine that with elements of freerunning and perhaps a bit too much intrigue for one person to handle, and you have one rather large pair of shoes to fill.
Conclusion: The amazing world of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag has kept me gladly occupied for longer than any other game in the series, even though its story isn’t the strongest. At no point in my dozens of hours was I ever at a loss for something to do. Simply sailing wherever the wind takes me and seeing what sort of trouble I can get into is a complete joy.
Pros: Epic scope, Great side quests, Lighter tone, Beautiful moments
Excerpt: Edward Kenway isn’t particularly noble, at least as far as Assassins go. He doesn’t have Ezio’s thirst for justice, Connor’s earnestness, or Altair’s selfless devotion to a cause. In fact, for much of Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag , he isn’t really an Assassin at all; he’s just a pirate who puts on a stolen set of robes and finds himself swept up in the millennia-long secret war between the Assassins and the Templars.
Pros: + Engrossing storyline that capably straddles historical pirate fiction and sci-fi strangeness., + Rich open world with tons of fun side activities.
Conclusion: A solid but ultimately uninspired instalment in the series, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is comprised of ideas that are starting to wear thin. Anything but a major overhaul will do for the next game, especially given the fact that next-gen is almost upon us, and another title in the same mould just won't cut it.