Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Dec 1, 2013
    100
    Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is a game I enjoyed immensely. It controls and plays better than Assassin’s Creed III and its hard not to enjoy causing all sorts of mayhem on land and sea.
  2. Oct 29, 2013
    95
    Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag doesn’t move the franchise forward as a whole—but it doesn’t need to. Instead, this is probably the best pirate simulation in gaming history that successfully lays the groundwork for what’s to come in the series.
  3. Oct 29, 2013
    92
    It doesn't solve some of the oldest issues of the saga, but Black Flag is nonetheless a great piece of entertainment software, especially thanks to the rich environment, the interesting underlying plot and the almost infinite list of stuff to do while wandering around.
  4. Apr 20, 2014
    90
    The PlayStation 4 version of the game is mechanically the same as the PlayStation 3 version, but the new engine is eye-poppingly awesome.
  5. Dec 27, 2013
    90
    The best pirate game ever. [Jan 2014, p.51]
  6. Dec 11, 2013
    90
    I'm still waiting until we get a modern assassin game out of this universe, but until then Black Flag breathes a whole new energy back into the series. It also looks stunning on the PlayStation 4 and offers a lot of bang for your buck.
  7. Dec 9, 2013
    90
    Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag is a damn good game that has little flaws attached to it, which is impressive for a launch title.
  8. Nov 27, 2013
    90
    Beautiful, expansive and rewarding. Fresh experiences mark a return to form. [Christmas 2013, p.66]
  9. Nov 8, 2013
    90
    There's an incredible scope to what you can do in Black Flag, with a level of harmony between its component parts that encourages you to try it all, and a story that keeps you invested throughout the whole thing. If there was ever any question that Assassin's Creed needed something ambitious to get the series back on track, Black Flag is that game and then some.
  10. 90
    Besides being an excellent Assassin's Creed game, Black Flag is also the best pirate game we can remember playing, and makes us wonder why more studios haven't tried their hand at the genre. Black Flag delivers. Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate's life for me!
  11. Oct 29, 2013
    90
    Stealth games are only as good as the flexibility of their encounters, and in that regard Black Flag is the most generous Assassin’s Creed game to date.
  12. Oct 29, 2013
    90
    An ambitious start for Assassin's Creed on next-gen. The vibrant Caribbean world and bloody piracy shine brightest, while the only sour notes come from contrived series story beats and repetitive missions--both need rethinking for AC5.
  13. Jan 2, 2014
    88
    With a great cast of characters and a huge world to explore, this next-generation sequel is the best installment since Assassin's Creed II.
  14. Oct 29, 2013
    87
    At the end of a generation, Ubisoft gives us a new and great chapter of Assassin's Creed. Black Flag, despite some congenital defects, works great, focusing on the exploration and a free roaming component refreshed for the widest audience.
  15. Nov 5, 2013
    85
    Beyond the underwhelming main campaign, Black Flag delivers a world brimming with gorgeous places to go, amazing secrets to discover, and nefarious pirates to stab.
  16. Ubisoft significantly improved the multiplayer side of things. Also, story takes you places.
  17. Nov 23, 2013
    83
    After the disappointment of Assassin’s Creed III, Black Flag being such an enjoyable return to form is a really pleasant surprise. The classic complaints of sticky movement and rubbish combat make a return, but the rest is such an enjoyable package that they don’t ruin the experience.
  18. Oct 29, 2013
    83
    Despite my issues with the paths that are laid out before you, Black Flag is great fun when you let your impulses guide you.
  19. Jan 4, 2014
    80
    It’s difficult to imagine Assassin’s Creed ever leaving the sea behind.
  20. Dec 3, 2013
    80
    For those who just like the idea of a game in which sailing and stabbing exist in harmony across a vast ocean of entertaining objectives, Black Flag most definitely delivers the goods.
  21. Oct 29, 2013
    80
    An energetic new protagonist, a focus on piracy and pillaging, excellent naval combat and a huge, beautiful open world make Black Flag an easy game to recommend, and a decent way to kick off the next generation.
  22. So this is a beautiful, sun-drenched idyll in which you’ll never want for something to do, and as such Black Flag is an excellent pirate fantasy. However, the core game is undermined by issues which should have been booted out of the franchise years ago. Eavesdropping missions have always been abysmal, and there’s a boatload of them here.
  23. Oct 29, 2013
    80
    Beyond its present-day feature set, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag is a vibrant historical adventure, drawn from bold characters and edge-of-your-seat sailing. It's not the proper return to form for the series, but it is a concerted acknowledgement of what that form is today, and what works for the monster of gameplay systems, stealth, ships and oceans that lurks underneath.
  24. Oct 29, 2013
    80
    As for the the next-gen and PC versions, we expected better graphics. And some of the same old gameplay problems are still there. Nonetheless, Black Flag is one of the greatest entries in the Assassin's Creed brand.
  25. Oct 29, 2013
    75
    For all of its mechanical improvements, for the wonder I felt as I sailed the ocean, orca, dolphins, even great whites breaking the surface to my port side as I outran a royal trade armada, for the excellent performances and character moments throughout ... it felt disjointed. Directionless. Black Flag, like its protagonist, is constantly waiting for its dare-to-be great moment.
  26. Dec 9, 2013
    70
    As much as an improvement as Black Flag is over previous Assassin's Creed titles, Ubisoft is using its audience to market-test certain ideas and mechanics.
  27. Oct 29, 2013
    70
    Much like a rollercoaster, Black Flag has its fair share of highs and lows. The naval exploring is one of the high points in the series so far while sneaking about the bushes and trees tends to get frustrating fast. It lacks in polish, harming the immersion, but if you can overlook this, chances are high that you’ll like the pirate life.
  28. Oct 29, 2013
    70
    Frustratingly shallow and hamstrung by underdeveloped gameplay mechanics, and yet somehow the fact that that an open world pirate game exists at all is enough to provide a certain amount of fun.
  29. Oct 29, 2013
    70
    There's only so many times, however, that you can tolerate the poorly-defined stealth and terrible AI.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 818 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 165
  1. Nov 15, 2013
    10
    much much improved than last year's edition,the vast open world and lush islands are marvels to watch upon and experience.Ubisoft should win next gen with its open world game imo Full Review »
  2. Dec 21, 2013
    0
    This game is disguised under an epic illusion. It seems the map is very big, but where most elements repeat.
    Too many repetitive side
    missions. And the main missions are very repetitive as well. In addition, the environment is very repetitive. Anyway, every thing is repetitive, making the game fatiguing.
    I remembered AC II was so enjoyable, while You never expect an experience as assassin in AC IV. This franchise has lost the soul of assassin. The only left is a coat. When I was playing the game, I always ask myself: why I have to wear like an assassin?
    The pirate part is not bad for me, but I am soon bored with flat sea face, and you will soon be bored with The naval battle under same pattern.
    This is a game, lack of soul, full of repetitive mechanism and will be forgotten soon.
    Never compare AC IV even with GTA V which is still 10 times better than AC IV in quality.
    IMO, The AC III and IV shouldn't be in Assassin's Creed franchise.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 18, 2013
    9
    Let me first say that I'm a huge fan of the Assassin's Creed franchise and have no problem with annual releases. That being said, this may be my favorite in the series yet! Ezio from AC2 is an incredible character, but our new assassin Edward is equally impressive and a joy to play with. Never has the world felt so alive and rich with things to see and do. Travelling around the open seas in sunny weather with the wind at your back, or battling the raging waves in a storm while engaged in a heart pounding navel battle in your ship never gets old.

    The stealth and melee gameplay is as tight as ever, but my only minor complaint is I wish Ubisoft would have gave our assassin the ability to duck at will. There are plenty of character and ship upgrades to keep you looking for resources through most of the game (think Farcry 3), a cool mini game where you send your fleet out to trade resources, underwater exploration, and tons of side quests.

    The PS4 version looks beautiful! While not a true next-gen title there are lots of added effects for your eyes to enjoy. Weather and lighting are much improved, foliage is more dense and reacts to wind more realistic, improved framerate and draw distance, and many other subtle things to improve an already amazing looking game. So do yourself a favor if you enjoy action and adventure, pirate and assassin's, go out and buy this game now! If you don't like the Assassin's Creed series then you may want to rent it first, but there's a chance you may end up enjoying it.
    Full Review »