User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 646 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 78 out of 646

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  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
  2. 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.
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  3. 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.
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  4. Nov 17, 2013
    10
    This game looks absolutely amazing and excels with the sheer sense of scope. Giving this a 10 to counter some of the frankly absurd 0s that I have been seeing. To rate this a 0 takes a troll of the highest caliber and likely someone who has never actually played the game. If you do not like this game fine, but to say its not a well crafted and enjoyable game seems bizarre to me. My favorite setting of all Assassin's creed games hands down. They have captured the Caribbean in a way that I wouldn't have thought possible and the share feature of the PS4 has been put to great use with one stunning vista after another. Expand
  5. Nov 14, 2013
    5
    Some great moments, but still not better than AC2. Maybe if they will release next AC, they will have some other issues resolved. I Have no idea, why Ubisoft put Prince of Persia to grave :(
    AC is weak copy.
  6. CNS
    Nov 15, 2013
    9
    This game is amazing. it took everything i loved about AC2 and AC3 and combined it into a very good game. the side missions and collectibles will make you spend hours with this game, especially if you want those trophies.
  7. Jan 11, 2014
    8
    What an amazing games the graphics and gameplay was unique. Although poorly placed checkpoints and a glitch where you can't quit contracts made me unable to play the story line...... I played it 2 times first time i got bored then restarted but then i accepted contract and could not do story line there was no way to cancel contract so i quit.. Sadly most of the best games are not here yet....

    Maki
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  8. Nov 25, 2013
    5
    As a big fan of the AC series and a huge supporter of AC3 I can say I'm massively disappointed in AC4. Nothing has improved since AC3 and worse yet things actually degraded. Let's start with simple water graphics. They went from beautiful and realistic last-gen to looking like, well, AIR in the current gen. Swimming will give you the impression you're flying. It's embarrassing. Also, fighting did not improve at all. It's still basically a turn-based system where multiple opponents will wait for you to finish with the current opponent. The biggest step back is the ship fighting. AC3 made ship fighting a blast with sailors yelling and cannons booming. AC4, however, makes ship fighting a quiet and boring affair that will make you want to pop the AC3 disk back in. Me sad. Expand
  9. Nov 19, 2013
    10
    The most fun I've had with a game in a long time. The story isn't the most strong in the series, but there's so much fun content here that the story is almost the side show. I rarely write my impressions on a game, but I just absolutely had to share how impressed I am with this one.
    Black Flag's naval combat is stellar. You've got so many options on how to raid, board and decimate enemy
    ships that it doesnt get boring. Great stealth sections, lots of choice on how to tackle missions, optional outer animus sections, great voice acting and even better music, this is the definitive AC experience; and when playing on ps4 it's even more easy to appreciate the amount of work that has gone into the graphics. Expand
  10. Jan 3, 2014
    3
    It's difficult to describe this game, if you look at it from the pirate aspect then no doubt you can see why this game is fun but when you look at it from the Assassin's Creed aspect, then this game is just a downright train-wreck, Where is the stealth? Why has this franchise suddenly become obsessed with pirates? Not to mention the poorly written storyline that they scribbled together for this game, I personally think Ubisoft is just desperately trying to make this franchise all that and more and they are failing at it, but then again I gave it a 3 because when you play this game and forget the other Assassin's Creed games and their plots, then yes the game can be some-what enjoyable but to all the die-hard Assassin's Creed fans, like myself, I strongly recommend that you DON'T buy this game, it has become clear Assassin's Creed is turning into Call of Duty, expect another similar or below-average sequel next year from Ubisoft for the same 60 dollars you keep wishing you had back............ Expand
  11. Nov 17, 2013
    10
    This game is the best assassins creed game to date. Very addictive. Awesome story and great gameplay. Graphics look superb on ps4. This is my favorite game this year so far for any system.
  12. Nov 22, 2013
    10
    If you had mixed feeling about AC3 this game will make up for all of that as it is consistent and had fun and challenging missions. Out of the gate AC4 opens with a bang and that bang is consistently felt all through the game
  13. Mar 19, 2014
    9
    Brilliant game and brilliant story.

    Once again main criticism is around the trophies as a number are unachievable as I don't know many people with PS4 and none of them have Black Flag.
  14. Dec 7, 2013
    10
    I some how manage to always play the yearly iteration of Assassins Creed games (gifts, bargain bin, borrow from friends etc.) and never find myself particular impressed by them solid 7/10 experiences.

    Black Flag, however, is not only an amazing AC game, it's an amazing game in general and strong contender for game of the year. One of the best open-world games I've played and simply a
    fantastic Pirate game.

    I bought GTA5 and Black Flag at the same time and have been playing Black Flag exclusively. So far, my top games of the year are Last of Us and Black Flag. It even feels odd putting an Assassins Creed game in my top games of the year, but it really is a fantastic game all the gameplay mechanics are improved, the story is far more cohesive, and the world is vast and beautiful. Sure, your still doing a lot of the same tasks and side missions, but they somehow aren't drudge-fest like previous games due to the minor gameplay tightening. Even fighting carries the risk of dying this time around (if you don't upgrade your health).
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  15. Nov 25, 2013
    10
    This game is absolutely amazing. I would HIGHLY recommend it to anyone who likes open world games. It looks incredible on the PS4 and plays great. I had so much fun hunting down all the treasures and playing the side missions and assassination contracts! The companion app is a lot of fun as well and a great way to earn extra in-game money. The multi-player is a lot of fun and requires strategy and planning but is fairly easy to pick up and learn only after a few hours of online play. Hope this helps! Expand
  16. Nov 28, 2013
    10
    Possibly the greatest singleplayer game that I've played in a VERY long time. I've been a PC gamer for quite a while, and bought into the PS4 hype. Although, this game does look very pretty on the PS4 considering the low specs.

    This is my first Assassin's Creed game, and probably NOT my last!
  17. Dec 1, 2013
    8
    I Really enjoyed AC4. Its not a perfect game but it grabs your attention and doesnt let go. For a next gen game it looks georgous. Draw distance and the level of detail on such a large map really shows the developers dedication. The contols are still an issue but its a fun ride so stop reading this review and go grab yourself a copy!
  18. Nov 28, 2013
    8
    AC IV is definitely an improvement from ACIII. ACIII was terrible! I care about Edward and I love the fact that he's not dull. I don't care much for the story, but I love the gameplay, the gameplay definitely makes that up for me. Battling other ships is amazing! I didn't think I would care for it, but I'm glad I was wrong. Guess what? There's actually STEALTH! There was no stealth whatsoever in ACIII and I'm glad that Ubisoft was smart enough to put it back in you'll really need it in this game. You're not a killing machine compared to Conner you're an actual ASSASSIN. Now the cons to the game are regenerating health and, again, only one button for free running. I hate regenerating health. I hate having to run away from battle just regain my health back, I prefer to have potions so I can heal right then and there. Free running.....I still don't like the one button, but since this game is nowhere near as buggy as ACIII I can tolerate it. Thank you Ubisoft for fixing most of the problems. Expand
  19. Nov 26, 2013
    9
    This is the best AC game. Sailing in the Jackdaw and attacking other ships is AMAZING! It really helps to break up some of the monotonous/annoying AC gameplay like stalking/following/eavesdropping. Combat is awesome. Plus this game is absolutely beautiful. I wish this was a new IP though. I don't know how they can top this while keeping in the AC universe.
  20. Dec 17, 2013
    8
    Let me start by saying I've never really been a huge fan of the Assassin's Creed series mainly because the repetition I have experienced. You always know what to expect from an Assassin's Creed game. You will hide, vanish, assassinate, wash, rinse, repeat. I purchased this game because there were limited options of games I wanted for the Playstation 4. With that said, I've really enjoyed this game. It really taps into the power of the Playstation 4 and shows it well. The graphics are extremely impressive! Whether it be in a settlement or a deserted island, it appears to be very realistic in many different ways. The way the water moves, storms that you can get caught in, weather changes, it's all very surreal to watch. The combat system is basically the same as the previous version, it works very well. I highly recommend this to any Assassin's Creed fan or if you're looking to play an open world game that shows off the power of the PS4. Expand
  21. Nov 16, 2013
    9
    Ubisoft has made some vast improvements over their assassins creed franchise this go round. Not only in the graphics(which are obviously the best on the next gen consoles and gorgeously so.) but in almost everything involving the presentation of the story/gameplay. From the start of the game you jump right into action and almost immediately are allowed to go wherever you want. The action is free flowing as all the other ACs and combat feels responsive but has some clunks with bad parrys.

    I'm not gonna lie I hated AC3. I couldn't get sucked into it I feel like the story was way too far out there. the first few hours of it were so tedious and running around in the giant woods felt more like a task than a great adventure. Having the Caribbean as your playground was the best decision they could've made. The islands themselves are small making doing the various tasks on them less daunting, but being able to sail yourself from island to island gives the sandbox feel a hugely realistic sense to it.

    I really love the protagonist in black flag as well, really fits the description of what a real pirate is and not what you'd read in peter pan. The abstergo/animus angle has been really well done also. No longer are you pulled obnoxiously out of the immersed world you're trying to assassinate to go run around in the "present day" and do some sci-fi stuff. I always thought it was a cool idea that you're not really in the past but controlling an avitar of sorts but was never really produced well. It's not really a spoiler since you learn it in the first 5 minutes of the game but Abstergo is now an entertainment corporation and you are part of a research team to test a new IP that they are trying to create using the animus machine. Abstergo goes on to say that they are the reason behind the assassins creed games and even tie into liberation right off the bat. It feels great but you can definitely get the jist that something might be up with them.

    Anyway, don't let the haters who couldn't afford new consoles or got ones that didn't work so their taking their rage out on the internet deter you. this game is definitely worth a play through even if you absolutely hated assassins creed 3(i know i did!)
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  22. Feb 28, 2014
    10
    I am a big fan of Assassin's Creed franchise: Assassin's Creed - awesome game,which everyone needs to play! Assassin's Creed 2 - even better,with better graphics,story(and subtitles) Brotherhood - great atmosphere and story,awesome as 2 Revelations - not so good as the others,but still it is awesome III - this is the biggest disappointment from Ubisoft I've ever saw - the story was boring most of the time,the characters weren't so good, the atmosphere was bad,only the combat system,the bigger world and the better graphics were good elements.
    IV - after III I was expecting a great game,because the Caribbean setting was good choice, and OMG - it is awesome like nothing before! Awesome graphics,awesome story,gigantic world to explore,smarter AI and many many other awesome things. After I saw the trailers and GamePlay videos,I was having great expectations. They weren't met - they were blown away from this awesome game. This is something,that you can't give less than 10/10!
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  23. Nov 26, 2013
    6
    Assassin's Creed 4: 90% pirate, 10% assassin. To see a summary of this review scroll to the end.

    Ubisoft went ahead and did the obvious. They took, the best part of Assassin's Creed 3, really the only really good part, and made a game out of it. Literally, they retrofitted the game engine used in the previous title into this a new game, while barely adding or changing anything. This
    whole game felt like an AC 3.1, rather than a new title.. which, I wouldn't have had a problem with, if they would have fixed the problems that plagued AC3, or actually gave us a good, satisfying story, like AC2, but they didn't.

    Assassin's Creed wasn't particularly good when it came to game mechanics, AC1 and 2 were kind of bad actually, instead, it was built by it's amazing storytelling, beautiful setting, and wonderful soundtrack. I still listen to Ezio's Family by Jesper Kyd from AC2. That song brings back a kind of emotions that I rarely feel with games. AC4, however delivers only one of these, the setting. I'm going to start by criticizing the story itself. It's terrible. First off, it has nothing to do with Assassins, they barely make a cameo appearance, both inside and outside the Animus. The whole game revolves around pirates, and that wouldn't be a problem, if it was a good story. And it starts out good, but then it gets riddled with plot holes, poor writing, scenes that don't make sense, and although they stayed away from the obvious parrot cliches, they added a bunch of them story-wise. The story does make a few twists, but most of them you'll see coming a mily away, and most of them don't make sense. There is no main enemy in the game, and most of the things that happen in the game make no sense. And if you were expecting a great ending.. don't.. it is terrible. The only plot-twist you won't see coming in this game is the ending.. they drop it on you out of nowhere, just when you were expecting the game would truly begin, and then they hit you in the face with a poorly done cutscene, and leave you confused.

    Here's a tip, dear Ubisoft. A story, every story, follows 5 basic steps, not necessarily in this order: Exposition, Rising Action, Progression, Climax, Ending. The 4th is completely missing, and the fifth leaves you confused, when it should leave you satisfied.

    Then there are the actual missions in the story. Boring, repetitive and most of them don't make sense. All you do is follow this guy, eavesdrop on that guy. And on rare occasions you kill someone. Missions involving ships can be interesting, but at times they are the same boring "follow that ship" nonsense. In comparison with GTA 5, or Red Dead Redemption, where every mission was unique and intriguing, here they are boring, unimaginative and repetitive. The same goes for side missions. Assassinations, Naval Missions and Templar Hunts. All of them are basically the same. If you did one then you did all, there's no point in continuing. You play through it once, but you won't want to play through it a second time.

    What saves the game is the beautiful and huge open world game, the side activities(not missions) and the naval combat. The setting is really amazing, although some fans of the series will find it irritating that you won't visit cities that much, only a couple times, and they are small with not a lot of things to do, the setting just didn't allow for that. Most of the time you will do what the game is all about: pirating. Naval combat is really fun, and it's been expanded upon a lot.: you can board ships, capture them, steal their cargo and send them to your fleet, you can attack naval forts and capture them. You can use those resources to upgrade your ship and so on. There are also underwater places you can explore, but there are limited, and in comparison with GTAV, where there was an entire open-world you could explore, here there are only ten locations, but it still looks great, and avoiding sharks and medusas is great fun. You can also raid plantations, which are a ton of fun... basically the side activities are really great, and make this game enjoyable, even though the story brings it down.

    In summary, it looks like this game was made just so Ubisoft can make more money off of the ship mechanics in AC3. Combat and land based mechanics are basically the same as the previous game, although they did need changing and improving. The game engine is the same as it was in the third title, with very little improvement, or change, when it, again needed it. And all of this would not be a problem if the game offered a good story, but it doesn't. The story seems like an excuse to sell an adapted version of AC3, and the story is driven by the game mechanics, and not vice versa. Luckily the beautiful setting, graphics and excellent pirate game save the game and prop up the rating to a 6/10. You can't help but feel, if they only spent a little bit more time, and wouldn't pump out a game every year, it could've been an amazing game.
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  24. Dec 12, 2013
    5
    This is the most fun I've had playing an Assassin's Creed game, but like the other titles, the absurd and heavy-handed narrative get's in the way of all the fun. The combat is mindless and boring, and the occasional dramatic woosh & slow-motion finishing move is a needless distraction to the obscene unilateral violence I'm dolling out. The story missions are tedious, the difficulty birthed out of attempts to navigate the somewhat wonky free-running and stealth mechanics (both feel terribly outdated).

    But naval battles are fun! An upgradeable ship with scaling boarding mechanics really steals the show, but doesn't feel fleshed out enough as 'black flag' sounds like a game that would focus on naval combat Your ship occupies a moderate category not too big, not too small going up against various size ships, but after your begin to upgrade, your small ship feels invincible boarding becomes an annoying array of strategies to blow up barrels, kill officers, cut down flags, and massacre an arbitrary number of red-shirt-like crew members. It feels like an afterthought, and I would've liked more flexibility in ship size and firepower, allowing players to play dart like schooners against man o' wars. Sure it doesn't really fit the whole 'playing through history' idea the series has been based on, but to be fair: the restrictions of playing through history are conveniently employed: mostly for blocking players out of areas so they'll progress the story.

    Although the world is big, large islands rarely have more than a sand bar or two to explore for collectables, all are surrounded by a homogenous cliff- with-jungle texture.

    I did enjoy myself but AC has begun to feel stale on delivery. Combat is too simple, story is garbage grandiose pseudo-religious futurist schmaltz, open-world if open-world is long pretty stretches of road between prefab cities. It loses in the details and that's the only reason I love big company productions like these details afforded by huge sums of money and large development teams.
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  25. Nov 27, 2013
    9
    This is the new installment in the AC franchise, and it definitely lived up to its hype. The open-world feel to it is stunning, and it's fun even to just sail around and explore different islands. You'll never be bored, since it's packed with so much to do, such as finding buried treasure, harpooning whales/sharks, going diving, completing assassination contracts, and much much more. Visually, the game is amazing. It's definitely a step-up from AC3, and the open-worldness adds to a sense of excitement to even just get out there and see what you can do. The sailing has definitely been improved from AC3, and it can be very fun to do. On the other hand, the game falls victim to previous games' level scenarios, such as tailing people and eavesdropping on conversations. Even though sailing can be fun, it can also get tedious, especially considering how massive the map is. Thank God for fast-traveling, though. The game is often at its best when you're on land, which isn't exactly what the developers were going for when they had an idea for an open-world pirate game where you can sail the seas. Overall, a very good game, and definitely worth a purchase. Expand
  26. Jan 17, 2014
    7
    As an assassin's game it fails but as a pirate game is where it shines. The game has many many flaws that can make the game frustrating and annoying which makes me sad to see since most of these flaws are from prior assassin's games and you would expect them to fix that or make it better. Things like your character constantly doing what you don't want it to do. Fighting onboard a ship is pretty terrible since there are a lot of enemies and targeting sucks so you'll be hitting different people that you don't want to hit or worse, something you'll character will be out of combat when enemies are nearby so when you press circle to counter you'll actually put away your swords and get hit. The story is pretty terrible and it's sad to see how instead of the developers fixing what the game was about and improving being an assassin they instead just add something else to it to attract people and hope they ignore all the flaws it has when your doing your assassin thing.
    Essentally this is AC 3.2. Everything from AC3 is in this but with a few new stuff like diving and hunting sea animals and it greatly improves on the sailing part and what you can do with your ship. As a long fan of the AC series it pain me to see how the developers passion for the game is gone, as you can see from the bad story, and all they care about is making money. It's also evident when you play the game and hint at future installments they may make to further milk the franchise.
    Other than all negative I put the pirate side like I said is fun. You can upgrade your ship and ship battles are fun. There are also legendary ships you can tackle but unfortunately you get nothing good out of them other than bragging rights. I wish they would've just made this a stand alone pirate game and made a separate Assassin's creed game that's actually good than we would've gone two great games and the company would've made lost of money since there is a lot of potential when your acting as a pirate.
    Overall if you want a game that gives you plenty to do than this game might be for you if your into pirates. If you want a good story that continues the series then you'll be disapointed if you pick up this game.
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  27. Nov 19, 2013
    10
    First off the graphics on next gen PS4 are beautiful, amazing, and unlike anything I've ever seen before. Also much better improvements with the mechanics like combat, running, climbing, and everyone's most likely favorite sailing across the Carribean seas. There is so many islands and cities and places to explore it's why I love ac4. The new character Edward is a great new character right from the beggining you start to like him. I also think La Habana, Cuba is absolutely gorgeous. Amazing graphics. A pure next gen console game.

    And one more thing the new MP is great, a lot of fun and new awesome modes for all sorts of competition
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  28. Nov 25, 2013
    10
    I have been a long-time fan of the Assassin's Creed series. Black Flag does not disappoint. What I look for in a game is how long I can play it until it gets old. I'm over 20 hours in, haven't beaten it, and am still having a blast. The only downside is tailing and eavesdropping missions, and even those include the new style of stealth Ubisoft has incorporated into the game. I love the stealth system in Dishonored and Farcry 3, and Assassin's Creed IV comes close to the same level of quality. Now for the rest of the game. You will find yourself swinging from ropes and boarding ships with explosions around you, dual swords in hand, slicing up British to your heart's content. The combat has been made noticeably smoother and the same with the naval combat. There is so very little wrong with this game; it amazes me how critics take those small errors and take 20 points off of a game's score. Expand
  29. Nov 27, 2013
    9
    Though the story may not be as epic Assassins Creed 4 has very very good game play and still a strong story to completely immerse you in its beautiful environment
  30. Nov 28, 2013
    9
    I have typically been a fan of all Assassin's Creed Games, and this installment did not fail to live up to standards. This game had a surprisingly difficult naval warfare system, which was extra rewarding as you plundered an enemy ship. Sadly though, as it was difficult, there were some moments where the mechanic became so difficult I had to get off the game for a while because of how frustrated I got. Nonetheless, It was enjoyable for it's rewarding loot and weapon upgrades. As the game was very fun, I would not like to see Naval Warfare, Hunting, or guns in Assassin's Creeds in the future. They need to go back to Assassins like Altair and Ezio, in my opinion.
    Pros:
    Living to expectations
    Interesting and Intense Story line
    Surprisingly Difficult Naval warfare, unlike the last installment
    Cons:
    Frustrating Naval Warfare
    Same, counter-revolved combat system
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Metascore
83

Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 24 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Ubisoft significantly improved the multiplayer side of things. Also, story takes you places.
  2. Jan 4, 2014
    80
    It’s difficult to imagine Assassin’s Creed ever leaving the sea behind.
  3. 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.