Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 690 Ratings

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  • Summary: The year is 1715. Pirates rule the waters of the Caribbean and have established a lawless Republic. Among these outlaws is a lethal young captain named Edward Kenway. His notorious exploits earn the respect of legends like Blackbeard, but draw him into an ancient war that may destroy everything the pirates have built for themselves. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Oct 29, 2013
    While Black Flag feels very much like an Assassin's Creed game, its gameplay reminds me more of Sid Meier's Pirates! wrought in glorious 3D. As in that classic game, you are free to sail wherever your heart desires, and be as dastardly or as benign as you like. Embodying Edward Kenway and living through his adventures on the seas, while also experiencing his struggle with Assassins and Templars alike, is pure escapist delight.
  2. Oct 29, 2013
    The greatest compliment I can afford Black Flag, though, is that I wanted more at the end of my time with it. With such an expansive map to explore and so many alluring distractions on offer, this is the kind of game a player could easily lose scores of hours exploring.
  3. 90
    The game is stunning, and the Caribbean makes for a gorgeous setting.
  4. 90
    Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag reinvigorates the series after its patchy performance over the last few years, making it the best game since Brotherhood.
  5. Oct 29, 2013
    The overall polish has improved, and there is more fun to be had in this iteration than any previous. It no longer feels like a forced checklist, instead offering players the freedom to partake, skip, or mix and match as much as they see fit.
  6. Nov 15, 2013
    With the new Assassin’s Creed we find ourselves in the Caribbean with a new main character called Edward Kenway. Black Flag focuses on the sea battles we saw in the third game and continues with this, with some new additions. Overall, you’ll be busy for a while – 40 hours, give or take – but the story isn’t that compelling.
  7. Nov 8, 2013
    Pirate fans will merrily pick this up and discover a solid purchase, but the rest might want to hold out in hopes of something different from next year’s iteration.

See all 36 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 19 out of 160
  1. Oct 29, 2013
    playng it since thursday awesome game its a mix of assassin creed 2 with brotherhood with pirates and assassin themes wich is awesome edward is a badass Expand
  2. Jun 24, 2014
    I loved Assassin's Creed. I adored Assassin's Creed II. I had the same feeling for Brotherhood and Revelations: remarkable. And for a few months, III was my favourite game of all time. It just felt like the perfect evolution of the series and was a remarkable game that certainly delivered upon its hype. But now we reach Black Flag- a numbered entry that has released a year after the last. But don't think for a second that it is a shameless cash grab. This is the best in the series by far and is my third favourite game in the series. It also helps that it is the first next-gen effort and is therefore massive in size and scope.

    The gameplay is key in this entry, mainly because it is nothing like the other games. On land familiarity soon sets in, with similar parkour mechanics and combat that isn't that different. Crafting is very reminiscent of Ubisoft's other open world smash, Far Cry 3, with the simple mechanics being a relief after III's complicated systems (well for some anyway). The economy is a little more barebones and there are no brotherhood mechanics. For the first two hours this seems like a slimmed back entry and not even better stealth can really help it. But just as you think you have been "Revelationsed", BOOM! It happens. The opening of the game comes back into play and you get set off onto the open seas with your own ship (The Jackdaw really is the second main character) and your cool uniform. This light years ahead of the third game's starting, seeing as how you don't have to go through 6 hours of tutorial. The ship is full of options, with customisation being key. You can unlock new statues and sails for it and also buy new weapons like mortars and various cannons. You can upgrade your carrying capacity and your durability- the theme of piracy is high, as money really is key to your successes. I don't know if it's just me or are we gamers getting money hungry, after th heists of GTA V and the appearance of money in MW3's multiplayer? Back on track now. The amount of control you have over your ship is amazing and the impacts on the gameplay are profound. I can definitely see AC continuing along this path in future spinoffs and entries.

    To go with your ship is a massive open world. There are over 50 main locations, with 3 main, large cities and hundreds of islands that are littered with treasures, collectibles and various other goodies. I don't know the exact stats, but is this bigger than GTA V's open world or are they about equal? Because it is friggin' large. The graphics are absolutely beautiful. As usual the characters and animation work is top of the line, but they are outshined by the open world. The colours are vibrant and uplifting and this is some of the most realistic water in gaming. There is hours upon hours of content here, with assassination contracts making a welcome return, along with plenty of naval missions and- wait for it- fortresses! They replace bases and are ridiculously good fun to take on. They have their own level just like ships and net you great bonuses. First you take out their defenses, then you dock and then you kill some captains, before brutally murdering the owner of the base (a gunshot to the head always works well). There are also Legendary ships, which are basically the best of the best. They are good fun to take on and embrace variation with each type.

    I haven't talked about the story yet, but that's because it is the weakest part. Well, not so much the story, just the missions. You see it is a well written, entertaining escapade, with great characters, a cool hero and some well conceived themes, along with accurate re-enactments of historical events. The missions are just so repetitive. The final acts are enjoyable, with good set pieces and fun assassination missions (Stealth is way better as I mentioned before), but there are just way too many tail and eavesdrop missions. They get repetitive and let the game down, but only slightly. I did like the present day sequences though, which are first person, highly immersive and rarely interrupt your gameplay, with most of the content being optional. The multiplayer is also strong, with ship battles not appearing but custom game modes being fun. I spent hours with the MP and actually loved it.

    AC IV isn't perfect, but it is the best in the series and for that I love it. With hours of great content, some spectacular gameplay and a good protagonist, this is one must buy game, no matter which gen of consoles you own!
  3. Nov 23, 2013
    Fun, fun fun, thats what you get wen you play this game. Ive only had one other AC game and that was revelations so I was a bit reluctant to get this, but having read a few user reviews Im glad I did. I dont get where the negative reviews are coming from as there is nothing to warrant that in this game,

    Sailing the seas looking to pirate is just awesome, I love the open world aspect there is so much to do, yes you could mention it might feel a little repetitive but never enough to stop you coming back for more and thats a sign of a good game, and theres still the single player story to keep you going.

    This is a great game to play just go buy it,
  4. Dec 8, 2013
    this is the best ac game the best part are the fights you can have with your ship the whole pirate theme is really good the online is pretty fun but no one is better than ezio and thats why is not a ten on ten Expand
  5. Nov 7, 2013
    When i bought Black Flag I expected the same repetitive game as it was in the other Assassin Creed games and it was for the most part which isn't a bad thing however I wished they changed the controlls back to AC1 and AC2 but thats not the point. What really suprised me was the naval gameplay portion of the game. There is so much to explore on the seas for it is your only means of travel instead of moving through waypoints on land. you can Board other ships and steal their resources to make your ship even stronger. Then there are the naval convoys and my favorite part the Legendary Ships (these things are like floating islands). I have spent 25 hours of the game just on the seas exploring and clearing islands before touching the story. I took off one point because the story is weak but does touch back to AC3 so no spoilers however I feel this game should of ended there now they are trying to milk it lol). I say This game is a must buy Expand
  6. Dec 26, 2013
    So the assassin's creed franchise continues to amaze gamers with this game being set it the pirate time era it calls for great pirate gameplay,fun and shenanigans. You play the role of Edward Kenway farther to Haythem Kenway [Charter from AC3]. I played this on ps3 and the game looks good for how a PS3 game also on next gen game should be. It brings over the naval combat from AC3 and is stella the naval combat is definitely the best bit of the game. Where the naval combat is great the hand to hand combat really sucks press square to attack and press circle to counter in coming attacks adding pistol and other weapons to the combat that have other effects. The stealth feels really lame in this game with it being used less and less from other assassin's creed games. The charters such as Edward and your pirate crew are really awesome but you never feel like a pirate your crew always loves you and nothing really fell as your a pirate. The world in this game is amazing from the giant open ocean and vass epic landscapes are great to play in felt as a massive expanded far cry 3. The Desmond story dosen't continue
    in this game [thankfully] instead you play as you and go into the animus to play as Edward and do all the epic pirate snazz. The misson types are great ranging from a wide range of activates to do and plenty of side quest, hunting and plenty more. Assassin's Creed 4 black flag is my favourite assassin's creed game ever the pirate theme is great its well packed with a great open world but it still lacks in the combat which lets the game down for they really need to fix this in the instalment of the franchise The final verdict is a 8.5 a Great game and this defiantly one not to miss this holiday season
  7. Feb 14, 2014
    Awful awful awful game. Wolfpack Discovery mode M4: No Time For Rest is impossible, 100% sync is impossible, and too much sailing. By far, the worst game in the series Expand

See all 160 User Reviews