Metascore
86

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 33 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. 100
    Without a doubt the best game in the series in a while. It could very well do without assassins and the story has a few hiccups, but a true pirate won't mind! [Issue#236]
  2. Nov 13, 2013
    100
    Never has a game delivered on the promise of living the life of a pirate with as well as Black Flag with its awesome production values, refined game design, and lively oceangoing hijinx.
  3. Mar 11, 2014
    92
    The sun, the waves, the smell of salt in the air. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag offers an amazing pirate adventure experience. [Nov 2013]
  4. Oct 29, 2013
    92
    Year after year, it's getting hard for Ubisoft to create something worth our time and money, but this episode is one of the best we've played. No matter if you can't wait to get your hands on your game, of if you're tired of the series, you should give this one a try.
  5. Oct 29, 2013
    92
    While some core mechanics could still be improved, Black Flag's story, world, and systems come together to form a markedly better and more cohesive game than Assassin's Creed III. It's not only the best Assassin's Creed game to date, but also one of the best games for pirate fans to embark on as well.
  6. Nov 4, 2013
    91
    AC4 looks beautiful, and just feels more polished, cohesive, and comprehensive than the last title did.
  7. Nov 8, 2013
    90
    Assassin's Creed IV is one of the best games in the series. The sheer size of the world and the fact that you can take your ship and just sail away, blow a few enemy ships to oblivion, catch a great white shark, take control of a fort and be back in time to continue the main story gives you a great sense of freedom.
  8. Nov 5, 2013
    90
    Even with many mistakes, Assassin's Creed IV is a great game and one of the best possible experiences you can choose to say goodbye to this generation of consoles.
  9. Oct 31, 2013
    90
    The freshness of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag puts any concerns of sequel fatigue to rest.
  10. Oct 30, 2013
    90
    Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is essential gaming for anyone who has ever dreamed of running up the Jolly Roger and taking whatever they can carry from His Majesty’s holds.
  11. Oct 29, 2013
    90
    Black Flag is a better game than Assassin's Creed III, but it still isn't as good as our first meeting with Ezio. Ubisoft has managed to create the best game about pirates (really!), but their story isn't as universal, as Red Dead Redemption was in the "western" category. But don't get me wrong - Black Flag is really, really good. Besides an excellent Animus story, the part in Abstergo's offices is truly great. I'm really curious what the future holds for the series - this time in true next-gen fashion.
  12. Oct 29, 2013
    90
    There’s a ton of content, and the game’s presentation is really impressive. While I was disappointed in the need to grind out ship upgrades, it wasn’t enough to dull my enthusiasm for the rest of the package.
  13. Oct 29, 2013
    90
    Even if you’ve never played an Assassin’s Creed game before, Black Flag is a great place to start, most notably due to its emphasis on a concise narrative with likeable and engaging characters.
  14. Oct 29, 2013
    90
    Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is not a trivial Assassin's Creed 3.5, as we had ironically suggested when the game has been announced. Quite the contrary: it is a game that performs some important steps forward compared to its predecessor, making it better in every aspect.
  15. Oct 29, 2013
    90
    Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is the franchise's best episode since Assassin's Creed II. By mixing the series classic gameplay based on stealth, action and exploration with the new naval features, Ubisoft Montreal created an exciting open world game in which lands and sea are both fully explorable without any kind of interruption.
  16. Oct 29, 2013
    90
    It took Ubisoft some time and Assassin's Creed 4 hasn't totally freed itself from all its past sins, but the fourth numbered entry in the series managed to capture me from start to finish, thoroughly entertaining me, wrapping me up in the engaging, often truly joyful proceedings.
  17. 90
    Where Assassin's Creed 3 kept players at arm's length for hours, refusing to let you make your own way, Assassin's Creed 4 spreads those arms wide. We don't miss Connor, so much, but somebody should get this new guy a trilogy.
  18. 90
    After weathering the somewhat diminishing returns of Revelations and ACIII, Black Flag is exactly the shot in the arm Assassin’s Creed needed. It’s dependably fun, endlessly engrossing, and filled with tons of ready distractions everywhere you look, all while bringing to life a fascinating period of history with an engaging story and memorable characters. And if that isn’t enough, it’s the best game about pirates we’ve ever played.
  19. Nov 12, 2013
    88
    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.
  20. Oct 26, 2013
    86
    After fighting our way through the newborn America, Ubisoft takes us back to the past to relive the Golden Age of Pirates with the most polished Assassin's Creed experience ever made. The core mechanics look better than ever, although they are going to need freshening in the next iteration. A true pirate's life, the whole Caribbean is ours to enjoy what we do best in the series.
  21. Oct 29, 2013
    85
    No matter what historic setting is chosen by Ubisoft for Assassin's Creed, it remains very authentic and immersive and it keeps you involved. But you can't ignore that the series begins to be seriously stuck on its basis and there isn't really any attempt to fix its problems. AI is as lame as usual, we already know all the types of missions we are offered... Hopefully Ubisoft will make something big for the next installment.
  22. Oct 29, 2013
    85
    If a great adventure is what you’re looking for, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag can be easily recommended. It’s a pleasure to discover troubled waters and bays by ship, and it’s easy to get lost in the many things to do. All the while, the returning sneaking and fighting still manages to captivate. Getting somewhat annoyed by the excessive hand-holding, the limited artificial intelligence and during climbing it isn’t uncommon.
  23. Oct 29, 2013
    85
    We liked all the sea based activities: battles are challenging and deeper than before, underwater wrecks exploration is a nice addition and every pirate stories fan will find much to like here. Nevertheless, with Black Flag the series shows some fatigue especially in the ground sections like combat and the free-running mechanics, leaving us hoping for a strong overhaul starting with the next game.
  24. Jan 3, 2014
    80
    Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is a game that feels locked between two worlds. Not only between to generations of consoles but between a run of the mill AC-game and an astonishing pirate game. It’s not only a well needed spark to the series as much it’s a redefining of it. Everything that is use is great and everything old feels like it should be thrown overboard. Try it regardless of your thoughts about earlier Assassin’s Creed games.
  25. 80
    Black Flag tightens enough screws and adds enough cool new stuff to make it the best in ages. [Issue#105, p.79]
  26. Nov 4, 2013
    80
    Despite having huge shoes to fill and obstacles to overcome, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is definitely the best Assassin’s Creed game to date.
  27. Nov 1, 2013
    80
    A much needed breath of fresh air for the franchise. The new environment, new protagonists and the awesome naval battles will satisfy even the most demanding Assassin's Creed fan.
  28. Oct 29, 2013
    80
    I don’t know if it’s time to rest, might be a good time for it, especially if we consider the huge projects Ubisoft has got in their hands (I’m thinking Tom Clancy’s: The Division here). Last year, the freshness was on the wild nature, this time it’s on the theme and tone of the Caribbean world. Everything we love of Assassin’s Creed plus a pirate commander’s life? Yes please.
  29. Oct 29, 2013
    80
    Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag isn't perfect, but an intriguing story, great cast of characters and improved stealth gameplay helps steer the series over choppy waters.
  30. Oct 29, 2013
    80
    Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag doesn’t reinvent the franchise, nor does it move the story on. Instead, it refines the best bits of III and wisely sacrifices some of the po-faced historical accuracy for an adventure with pirates.
  31. Oct 29, 2013
    80
    Ubisoft needs to dial it down. It has the gameplay, it just needs to present it in a fashion that doesn't spoil an otherwise completely absorbing set of characters, locations and gameplay tools.
  32. Oct 31, 2013
    79
    You’ll get a mixture of everything that people want from a new Assassin’s Creed. But all the known challenge-free mechanics fail to impress me like they did in older games of the franchise, although I like the rediscovered focus on stealth – as semi-automatic as it may be while the few new ones are not strong enough to carry the burden. There is no doubt about the excellent visuals though.
  33. 75
    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.
  34. Nov 1, 2013
    70
    Black Flag is a good game not because of its meandering plot or lumbering main missions, but because of its invigorating interpretation of swashbuckling on the high seas. A thrilling pirate’s life for us.
  35. Oct 29, 2013
    60
    Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is probably the weakest in the series, yet it’s not a bad game. It gives you just about what you’d expect, but not so much more than that. The dynamic sailing experience is one of the highlights, and the naval battles with the subsequent boarding of enemy ships will stick to your mind.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 546 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 26 out of 149
  1. Oct 29, 2013
    10
    Easily the best entry in the franchise. The scope and depth is unmatched by most games to date. Sunning visuals and and interesting character and engaging if sometimes shaky story make this one of the best games of the year. Full Review »
  2. Oct 29, 2013
    4
    Stop paying full price for minor updates. This is a glorified dlc campaign, nothing more. If you must play it wait for a sale. Ubisoft don't deserve full price for this lazy dlc pack. Whatever you do don't listen to the mindless drones giving this a 10, it does not deserve it. They are just fanboys.

    Btw Metacritic have been deleting user reviews all day that don't think highly of this game. Thats just pathetic...
    Full Review »
  3. Oct 29, 2013
    3
    AC IV? More like AC3.1. I honestly don't know why I even bother with AC anymore after they brutally murdered the series with AC3. This is literally AC3 with a different lead, a very minor change to setting and location, and it's completely based around the naval things of AC3, which weren't all that great. My advice? If you liked AC prior to AC3, don't get it. If you somehow even liked AC3, get it. If you're new to the series, don't bother getting it, go with the better ones in the series like AC2 or Brotherhood. Full Review »