User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 705 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 92 out of 705
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  1. Nov 17, 2013
    7
    this game compared to the two last assassin's creed is terrific,the game is good in various things,but it is not as good as the firsts assassin's creed but is still a good game.
  2. Dec 7, 2013
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Assassin's Creed 4 is a decent game, although it seems a bit lacking in polish when compared to its predecessors. The main plot is a bit lacking in excitement (both on the Animus and real world side) and somewhat fails to draw one in, the gameplay has gained some features, but on the whole doesn't seem like a major improvement. The only thing really worthy of credit are the graphics, effects and sound, as those are truly beautiful to behold.

    Plot: 4/10
    Without giving too much away, it can be said that the Desmond storyline is over and that our new main protagonist is pretty much without any identity whatsoever. While some of the former characters recur in a couple of scenes and one can tell that there is some connection to what has already happened, it really makes more of an impression as a side story and the initial mystery and showdown of the last games seem to have basically been forgotten about. Abstergo has interest in a device called "The Observatory" that allows one to see people wherever they want, provided they have their blood, which given the modern era of security and that they control most of the world anyway (as is hinted throughout the game) seems pretty obsolete and bland, especially when compared to something like the "Apple" from the last games. The Assassins are playing some role, but ultimately have no influence on what happens, so one again does not have the impression of much plot progression and the actual writers are just biding their time.
    In the actual game, one plays as a notorious pirate, whose whole goal for around 80% of the game is to make money to live a better life and when he hears of the observatory from the templars he plans to use it to rule the ocean and make more money. Apart from this being a rather dull goal, the character does not make a convincing effort to rule or gain anything and just wreaks havoc inbetween his drunk depressions. Finally towards the end of the game, after almost every friend he knows dies for reasons that he is actually not responsible for, the assassins more or less guilt him into joining them and the story ends with him killing the templars and returning home. So while this plot does place him into the AC universe, he really doesn't fit into it very well and is himself not particularly fun to play given his lacking ambition and accordingly little happening.

    Gameplay: 5/10
    The gameplay of AC has expanded in some ways, as the sailing has now become an integral component and has been somewhat revamped and there are some new minigames such as fishing and a fleet. Some assassination techniques, like the double assassination have also been made easier and the controls are more player-friendly (although I myself found some of them more difficult to get used to).
    So in that aspect the game is all well, but there are also some major pitfalls. For instance a huge number of missions involve tailing somebody, then tailing somebody else, then listening to them and then *maybe* killing somebody. This is all fine to do once in a while, but doing this every second mission or so becomes very tedious and ultimately boring.
    Further criticism can be made to the side quests, where one has to complete shape fitting puzzles that require the intelligence of a 3-year-old in order to get an armor, or mindlessly collect 200 animus fragments that do nothing other than get you an achievement. This, in combination with a map/level design of very small cities (with little to do in them) and numerous islands of which many look the exact same does feel very repetitive and takes some of the fun out of the game.
    The array of tools and weapons in the game has also been reduced, allowing for a dozen dual swords/pistols of one type with slightly different skins and stats and no daggers whatsoever. One final aspect that bothered me, was that the enemy AI has taken to a whole new level of disappointingly easy to the extent, that running up to somebody and jumping on them was a substantially easier method of "assassination" than employing stealth and planning. Admittedly, some of these criticisms are a matter of preference, but with others, it's pretty obvious the game developers were just plain lazy, which does not merit a good score.

    Graphics/Effects: 9/10
    So after all this complaining, it can at least be said that the graphics of the actual game are wonderful to the extent that some PC players may experience quite a bit of lag when compared to the predecessors. Is it worth it? Yes, as the game world is very picturesque and a good level of detail has been applied to make it feel real. The combat animations are also smooth and the characters designs have been put together nicely. One can at the very least say that the artists and graphics engineers know what they're doing.

    Anyways, after all this the verdict is 6/10. This doesn't mean it is a great game or a bad game, but rather one to enjoy more for the effects than the story or novelties of game play.
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  3. Nov 19, 2013
    7
    Its an okay game I liked it. Why so many of the bad reviews were taken off metacritic i dont understand. Not cool when we look to you for reviews guys. It is not worth 60 bones though not for what you get. If you are a fan you will like it, I should have waited a little though bit expensive......
  4. Nov 21, 2013
    7
    Remains a fun game but the game essentially hasn't improved since the first game in this series. Enjoyable but not original. Still worth playing though.
  5. Jan 27, 2014
    7
    this game to me is probably the best one in its series yet, with all the shanties, the loot, secrets and even the pirates itself are amazing. the down side to the game is how short the story is but all the secrets and treasures you can find make it more interesting and longer. for me this game gos up into the top of my list for the assassin creed series
  6. 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
    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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  7. Nov 6, 2013
    7
    Much better than AC3 but still lacking in a few departments.First off, I wanted to play Assassin's Creed, not "Pirates of the Caribbean with a slight AC twist". You play as Edward Kenway who is a pirate, he likes to hang out with pirates, and he likes to do pirate things, he likes doing this so much that he literally does them the entire game. Half way through i was getting sick ofMuch better than AC3 but still lacking in a few departments.First off, I wanted to play Assassin's Creed, not "Pirates of the Caribbean with a slight AC twist". You play as Edward Kenway who is a pirate, he likes to hang out with pirates, and he likes to do pirate things, he likes doing this so much that he literally does them the entire game. Half way through i was getting sick of hearing about how he wanted to achieve certain things just for the money, hell even the characters you come across like James Kidd have something to say about his one dimensional attitude to every problem that arises. Finally some form of character development arrives and then BAM!! credit screen. Overall the game play is fun, the combat follows Assassin's Creed protocol but the real improvement lies in the ship combat. Huge amount of ship customization with a hefty amount of new toys to make sure your adversaries sink to the bottom of the ocean. I rate this a 7 because the game play I expected was delivered, I took away points because, like AC3, the main character lacks depth. Maybe one day Ubisoft will realize that is what made Ezio such a great character and such a great enjoyment to play. Expand
  8. Apr 22, 2014
    7
    Finally Ubisoft found their way back to what made AC fun - assassinations. BF still doesn't do as good a job as AC1 or AC2 but it is better than the last 2 entries. BF is a mixture of assassinations and sailing. BF wisely gets rid of (most) of the mass combat aspects that recent entries had and returns to the "hidden is better" formula. Each mission has 1 or 2 optional objectives thatFinally Ubisoft found their way back to what made AC fun - assassinations. BF still doesn't do as good a job as AC1 or AC2 but it is better than the last 2 entries. BF is a mixture of assassinations and sailing. BF wisely gets rid of (most) of the mass combat aspects that recent entries had and returns to the "hidden is better" formula. Each mission has 1 or 2 optional objectives that (mostly) fit the mission. Unlike some of the previous entries you don't have to be perfect to get 100% on this game.

    Unfortunately BF contains RTS stuff that has littered the series of late. It is scaled back but still there and mandatory even if you don't want it. The most glaring is Kenway's Fleet which is a borefest that extends for days (because of the moronic hours long missions). The "companion app" only works with a few devices so is mostly useless. Once I got the item I needed from KF I stopped playing it because it is useless, dull and slow.

    The story itself would be OK except for 1 very big plot hole, where did Kenway learn the assassin skills? Every game in the series has a mentor of some sort. BF just gives you the powers of an assassin and never even bothers to explain how. Suddenly you can kill like Ezio with no training whatsoever, go figure. The modern day parts are still lame and boring. Why Ubisoft continues to include it is beyond me. Does anybody actually care (or even follow) the crappy modern day end of times story line? I doubt it. Fortunately the sequences aren't too long so you can skip past them pretty quick. Kudos to the designers though for at least an interesting backstory for BF.

    Since you're a pirate sailing seems reasonable but it still isn't really enjoyable (better than AC3). Ships are hard to control, you see more rogue waves in the span of a single battle than has been recorded in all of modern history and every water funnel seems to aim straight for you. The underwater wrecks should have been a highlight but the implementation is horribly bad. You have to get air every so often and you are continually attacked by sharks (which give little warning) and other creatures (which give no warning). Rather than being fun they are an act of frustration marred with reality over entertainment. I dreaded each time I had to dive.

    Glitches are not as bad as AC3 but still present. At one point I started boarding a ship but my ship kept moving forward and began dragging the other ship. I was trying to kill a captain but I couldn't get to them because the boat was on its side and the captain was underwater. Combat is iffy as has been the norm since they tried to turn it into an FPS. Climbing continues to be iffy as well. Please explain why I would be high above the ground and suddenly decide to leap off into mid air where I'm going to die? Some rudimentary logic would be useful for climbing. There are times where you cannot climb even though you should be able to (you have to move down and then back up) and other times where you won't drop even though you should.

    Overall BF is better than recent entries and brings back some of the fun of the series but Ubisoft's attempts to cram RTS and boring side activities into the game in combination with the need to finish the modern thread that nobody cares about limits its potential.
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  9. Oct 30, 2013
    7
    Assassin's Creed IV definitely has disappointed me. I was expecting a much better game than what I got.
    I primarily play AC for the story, and this story was definitely the worst the series has to offer. It's boring to go through repetitive and terribly annoying "follow the enemy and hear what he says" missions that AC IV has to offer. The story is also too jubilant and is not engaging at
    Assassin's Creed IV definitely has disappointed me. I was expecting a much better game than what I got.
    I primarily play AC for the story, and this story was definitely the worst the series has to offer. It's boring to go through repetitive and terribly annoying "follow the enemy and hear what he says" missions that AC IV has to offer. The story is also too jubilant and is not engaging at all. Edward's story gave me no reason to keep playing in order to achieve a deep and vengeful goal, like AC II, AC Brotherhood, and AC III did. The only motive of Edward is money, which doesn't appeal to me.The last con of mine is the fact that the game was based around naval combat, which I thought was the worst aspect of AC III. These missions were, in my opinion, tedious, boring and did not excite me at all.
    However, while the story and missions are subpar, the gameplay and visuals are some of the best of the franchise. The gameplay has been polished and works well, and the visuals improve on the visual improvements made by AC III. Also, the multiplayer has been improved a bit as well.
    While the open world of the Caribbean is huge, it is a bit dull and uninteresting. Most of the islands you discover are just woodlands, and the cities, unlike Florence and Venice from AC II, Rome from Brotherhood, Istanbul from Revelations, and even New York and Boston from AC III, are uninteresting and not worth exploring.
    While this game certainly has the best gameplay, visuals, and multiplayer the franchise has ever offered, the rest of the aspects of the game did not appeal to me.
    Overall, I would say: "Buy at your own risk." If you loved AC III and it's open world, then you should buy this game, but if you are more into the story and the beautiful, diverse cities that AC II, Brotherhood, and Revelations has to offer, then this game is not for you.
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  10. Jan 4, 2014
    7
    My first AC game and a good purchase. The only reason I am writing this review is because I was so disappointed with one thing in this game.... the first person stages. Everyone once in a while you have to do these Tedious tasks in an office which completely throws off the theme and takes forever! You are forced to ride elevators talk to managers and what not and hack computers (StupidMy first AC game and a good purchase. The only reason I am writing this review is because I was so disappointed with one thing in this game.... the first person stages. Everyone once in a while you have to do these Tedious tasks in an office which completely throws off the theme and takes forever! You are forced to ride elevators talk to managers and what not and hack computers (Stupid boring easy puzzle). Anyways I wish you could skip that I didn't even want to play the campaign because of the risk of being thrown into another stupid ass stage. Expand
  11. Nov 8, 2013
    5
    what a stupid repetitive game!!! I think when you play GTA V all other games become so silly.
    stupid missions,stupid characters, very huge map for nothing but repeating the same again and again.
  12. Nov 10, 2013
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. black flag is gorgeous and naval combat is much improved. you have much more oufit options and the outfits are better than ever. that being said its about all this game has going for it. now for the bad parts. they got rid of daggers axes and heavy weapons. there are no longer any double barrel weapons or a bow. they dont give you the ropedart until the last 2 or 3 missions making it pretty much useless. before the game was released ubisoft claimed it boasted a 20 hour campaign and 60 hours of other content. not even close. the campaign took me about ten hours and almost every single mission was tailing and eavesdropping on people who for no reason feel the need to stop and look around every ten feet. the main missions that didnt have me repetitively tailing on land it was tailing ships and 'sneak sailing' thats right sneak sailing witch just means instead of yelling orders edward whispers them to his crew. the side missions took me about thirty hours to finish all of them. thats including the obvious filler that is collectibles chasing sea shanties opening chests collecting the hundreds of animus fragments. the story was extremely weak. the assassins hate edward until the very end of the game and for good reason edward is selfish greedy and often times dimwitted. james kidd is actually mary read which is painfully obvious from the second you meet her. it really makes edward look stupid as he continues call her james until she 'reveals' she is a woman. even though her voice actor often slips up and talks like a woman prior to us knowing who she is.the story is so predictable they actually thought it would be ok to name the achievement for beating the game 'saw that one coming' almost every single supporting character dies or betrays you. edward doesnt seem to care whenever he is betrayed. at one point your friend and quarter master ?adeu? steals your ship and leaves you for dead with roberts. and then adeu just shows up and gives the jackdaw back and edward couldnt care less that he was betrayed and left for dead though. and thats followed by a scene where edward hallucinates his dead friends and stabs a couple assassins. the scene is never really explained. it seems they got tired of people complaining about desmond so rather than writing an interesting character they just made you a first person mute with no personal story just left to watch things happen and stare blankly at characters as they ask you questions that you cant answer. i will say the modern day sage twist was good though. and for the worst part of it all they already had a trailer released for dlc before the game even came out as well as the option for a season pass. and the season pass doesnt include any of the time saver packs. there are like six or so packs that you have to purchase seperately. the jackdaw thankfully has tons of upgrades which require massive amounts of materials which leads to the most repetitive part of the game aside from tail missions. ship boarding. to fully upgrade the jackdaw you will need to battle and board hundreds of ships over and over and over. for something you will spend so much time doing it seems to have the most problems. if you miss the rope swing over to the ship you will have to climb the side of the ship to board but the enemies will see you and proceed to magically swing their swords through the side of the ship and knock you down. once you board the ship you will be prompted to kill the captain and about twenty crew members as well as blowing up powder reserves which inevitably blows up some of your own crew. your own crew will even shoot or stab you multiple times if your between him and an enemy. though it does no damage it does leave you vulnerable for enemy attacks and even interrupts combos. sometimes the combat controls are just completely unresponsive and refuse to do as you say. which would be a lot worse if the combat wasnt so simple to begin with. counter combo combo counter combo and so on. hunting is still required to craft upgrades but they took away your bait and snares so its either shoot the animals or do a boring qte to kill them. all in all a very dissapointing game the only reason i put so much time into the game is because im a completionist and already bought the game. Expand
  13. Nov 4, 2013
    7
    A nice refresher game from the failure of AC3, AC4 gives us a great story tied in with an impressive open world environment combined with a ton of activities spread along the Caribbean. The story is a lot stronger than that of AC3 and possibly AC1, however the story suffers from plot twists that were really not surprising and too much one-dimensional character development for Edward. IA nice refresher game from the failure of AC3, AC4 gives us a great story tied in with an impressive open world environment combined with a ton of activities spread along the Caribbean. The story is a lot stronger than that of AC3 and possibly AC1, however the story suffers from plot twists that were really not surprising and too much one-dimensional character development for Edward. I found Edward's quartermaster and Kidd to have better character development than the main character himself, but it isnt anywhere near Connor "One-Dimensional Character" Kenway bad.

    The setting of the game is what bothers me the most. The Age of Pirates is a great time for this game, but it gets really gimmicky as the story progresses. The setting seems like a ploy to take the two best mechanics from AC3 (free running in forests and naval) and then shoving it down our throats. Naval goes from being a fun and niche mechanic from AC3 to a major storybound mechanic in AC4, to the point where it seems more of an inconvenience and a hassle then actually fun and innovating. The lack of rather climbable cities kind of makes me sad, but expected due to the time period and area.

    The idea of the main character being a pirate just seems gimmicky to me overall. Mostly because "pirate-ninja lolz", but it just seems as a plot device for this entire game to sound decent.

    Another notable issue is enemy AI. It tends to range from "The March of the Deaf" to "Superman X-ray Vision". In some stealth portions of the game, you can sprint behind enemies and they wont become alerted. As in others, enemies will tend to spot you in hidden areas (hay, tall grass) without even being detected or checking it.

    Overall, this game has its issues but it has its strengths. Its story is nice and a great breath of fresh air from AC3. The environment is beautiful and vivid, with plenty of new adventures and activities to take part in. The game however makes naval seem less interesting and parkour in the city almost non-existent. Tied in with a rather uninteresting, one-dimensional character the game suffers a bit from what killed AC3, but its amount of activities and the beautiful environments make up for this....making it a rather fun game.
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  14. Jan 10, 2014
    5
    Here we are, another year, another Assassin's Creed installment. To be honest, this game is medicore at best. After the Assassin's Creed 3 flop, it seems the games are starting to take a step in the wrong direction. Mixing pirates and assassins in my opinion is really ridiculous... I mean, sailing the seas and taking out infinite waves of enemy ships starts to become very tiresome after aHere we are, another year, another Assassin's Creed installment. To be honest, this game is medicore at best. After the Assassin's Creed 3 flop, it seems the games are starting to take a step in the wrong direction. Mixing pirates and assassins in my opinion is really ridiculous... I mean, sailing the seas and taking out infinite waves of enemy ships starts to become very tiresome after a while. While Assassin's Creed 3's naval combat was fun, it's really nothing to boast about. It was cool because you got to sail to different islands and stuff, but the combat was really buggy and felt very unrealistic. Seriously, this is Assassin's Creed, not Pirates of the Assassin's Creed... Come on Ubisoft... I'll be saving my money as my friend let me borrow this to test it. Also, I don't know why people are giving it so much rep for the graphics. It looks exactly like AC3 at least on the Xbox 360 version. I don't know how someone could give this game a 10. No game in history deserves a perfect score in my opinion, because games are never perfect. But mindless Ubisoft drones were quick to gobble this up and crap out 9s and 10s.

    If you must play this game, just wait. It will be appearing in the game store bargin bin pretty soon.
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  15. Nov 15, 2013
    7
    A great effort by Ubisoft to follow up to AC3, which, in my opinion, paled in comparison to previous entries. However, Black Flag's character models are ugly, to the point where the main character looks inhuman. I feel that AC2 still remains the best entry in the series. However, this game gets a decent score because the all-out ship battles are fun, and the controls are intuitive. WhatA great effort by Ubisoft to follow up to AC3, which, in my opinion, paled in comparison to previous entries. However, Black Flag's character models are ugly, to the point where the main character looks inhuman. I feel that AC2 still remains the best entry in the series. However, this game gets a decent score because the all-out ship battles are fun, and the controls are intuitive. What probably impressed me the most was the broad variety of things to do while playing and the near-complete lack of loading screens. I also felt that the voice actors in this game are more "time appropriate" if that makes sense. Overall, a decent game from beginning to end. Expand
  16. Apr 30, 2014
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. My progression so far is around 30% for the campaign, if you loves arts ,graphics are matter to you ,then this game probably suits you as the graphics are pretty stunning and the environments are impressive and remarkable and i'm quite often take screenshots for wallpapers.
    My 1st AC game was AC:Brotherhood,Revelation as the following game, i think the combat is much more satisfying than the AC III and this new AC IV ,i meant the feel is not there ..felt something missing...
    The combat system in AC series are fairly easy, i don't really want to complaint about it, but i hope the following sequels will getting more challenging in combat system.
    The sea hunt side missions are a lot fun & challenging than others hunter missions on land.
    The Assassins contract mission ,its tends to be repetitive and soon you will felt tedious.
    Naval missions are one of the good features,as they are improved on control and fast pace combat.
    AC series has always being my favourite , but i would like developer will make the stealth and combat more challenging, more bad ass feeling, more blood, more realistic martial arts.
    AC series has the charm to keep me playing despite it is not perfect in some aspect ,and i am happy to see more improvement in future sequels.
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  17. Jan 15, 2014
    6
    I'm having some difficulty understanding the 10/10 scores for this game. Don't get me wrong, it's good. But it isn't a 10.

    As you've undoubtedly read the naval combat is addictive and loads of fun, and the characters (especially Edward) are engaging and drive emotional moments. Hunting animals and boarding ships for gear/weapon upgrades is a blast, and will have you using Eagle Vision
    I'm having some difficulty understanding the 10/10 scores for this game. Don't get me wrong, it's good. But it isn't a 10.

    As you've undoubtedly read the naval combat is addictive and loads of fun, and the characters (especially Edward) are engaging and drive emotional moments. Hunting animals and boarding ships for gear/weapon upgrades is a blast, and will have you using Eagle Vision to track down monkeys instead of vile Templars, which I found particularly amusing. The element of mystery and tension featured in the portions of the game that take place outside the Animus were a big highlight for me, as are any quest lines involving the First Civ.

    However, the combat and free running elements of this franchise are tired, just like they have been for a couple of years now. If it weren't for a fun, engaging story I would have shelved this one after the first mission. The combat is button-mashingly boring, and the stealth/tailing sequences feel tacked on in order to keep this entry in line with the franchise as a whole.

    I understand rave reviews for a triple-A game with a few flaws, but you won't find that here. This could have been a unique game, about pirates of all things. Instead it's bogged down with franchise history, and chooses to follow meekly behind instead of setting its own course. This series needs a new direction.
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  18. Feb 3, 2014
    7
    Assassin's Creed 4 is a thoroughly enjoyable pirate adventure game that has no business being tied to the Assassin's Creed franchise. This is a stand alone game that happens to use the same engines and styles as Assassin's Creed, with a weak story line taking place somewhere you're not interested in.

    The positives: Great sailing and naval combat experience, beautiful sea environment,
    Assassin's Creed 4 is a thoroughly enjoyable pirate adventure game that has no business being tied to the Assassin's Creed franchise. This is a stand alone game that happens to use the same engines and styles as Assassin's Creed, with a weak story line taking place somewhere you're not interested in.

    The positives: Great sailing and naval combat experience, beautiful sea environment, excellent soundtrack, great side missions, and an awesome open world experience.

    The negatives: Very poor storyline, more follow a conversation missions, some frustrating environment interaction glitches, resource collecting requires some serious pirating farming.

    A very good game I like to break out when I feel the need to sail, but held back primarily by a lack of unifying story to drive the player.
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  19. Jan 2, 2014
    6
    Very ambitious but not as good as last years AC3. I had a lot of fun with last years AC3, couldn't put it down for days, but ACIV Black Flag has failed to float my boat and keep me entertained. Some of it is pretty cool, the underwater missions for instance and a few cool set pieces that I won't spoil for you. I also like the whales, sharks and dolphins jumping and splashing about, theyVery ambitious but not as good as last years AC3. I had a lot of fun with last years AC3, couldn't put it down for days, but ACIV Black Flag has failed to float my boat and keep me entertained. Some of it is pretty cool, the underwater missions for instance and a few cool set pieces that I won't spoil for you. I also like the whales, sharks and dolphins jumping and splashing about, they add a nice touch. The problem i have with this game is the combat. The combat is so so boring and repetitive this time around and has less moves than AC3, and the combat has been watered/dumbed down so you get annoying pop up messages in the middle of the combat saying "Press A to break defense" or "Press B to counter" to cater for novice gamers. Performing the same sets of moves over and over and the text pop ups soon get boring. Most of the animals are done quite well, really well in fact, the sea life looks amazing. However, the same can't be said for all the land wildlife. I came across a couple of black panthers and they are seriously broken. They run into objects, get stuck, fly around when running about, they really are bad and take away from the experience of the game. You have this cool soundtrack and following the "ok" if slightly boring story, and then come across a flying black panther going bat crazy flying around crashing and getting stuck into things. Another annoyance with ACIV Black Flag is the amount of tailing and eavesdrop missions, there are far too many and have always been tedious. There are also some seriously pathetic stealth missions which are very poorly thought out and constructed. You're sneaking around apparently in stealth mode yet you are 2 feet away from an enemy in the bright scorching sunlight of the Bahamas and they supposedly can't see you! And these enemies are supposed to be other assassins like you! They can't see you because they are all on sequence mode walking from point A to point B while you have to sit and wait for them to move before you can pass by. However if you walk at the wrong moment during their sequence, they will spot you. You can also make a lot of noise rustling around and running around in a bush directly millimeter's behind them and they don't have a clue you are there, yet if you give off a light whistle it will distract and alert them. It's all very silly and poorly done. Naval combat has added a lot of improvements over AC3, but has also taken some away. For instance, in AC3 you use the chain shot to take out an enemy sails and slow them down to a halt before finishing them off. You also heard a cool ripping cloth sound as the chain shots ripped through their sails. This has been removed from ACIV and the chain shot now seems pretty pointless and has the same effect as a normal cannon ball. And you can only fire chain shot from the front of the ship. Another problem with the naval battles is the side guns. Once you conquer a ship, you then have to board it and take it over. While boarding you can then control small side cannons to take out a few gunpowder barrels on deck or a few enemies. However, it often doesn't work. You can clearly shoot a mass of gunpowder barrels or an enemy and nothing will happen, the cannonball will do nothing and travel right through them, even at close range. Also being open world it can take quite a long time getting across the map in a slow arse sailing boat, even if it does suspiciously zip across the water like a speedboat. As an AC game it's just "ok" not the best and not the worst. Oh and be warned, the many sea shanties your crew sings will stick in your head for days and days lol. Expand
  20. Jun 22, 2014
    7
    I have always loved the Assassin's Creed franchise but, while i DO like this title, this not one of the best. Perhaps it is due to the reason that the main character of this game is a swashbuckling pirate.
    Not that there is anything wrong with that, but what does he have to do with the Assassin Order?
    Apparently, absolutely nothing. Apart from finding some silly observatory and NOT
    I have always loved the Assassin's Creed franchise but, while i DO like this title, this not one of the best. Perhaps it is due to the reason that the main character of this game is a swashbuckling pirate.
    Not that there is anything wrong with that, but what does he have to do with the Assassin Order?

    Apparently, absolutely nothing. Apart from finding some silly observatory and NOT joining the order. This game is good, don't think i do not like it, but it would have been better, were it a stand-alone pirate/adventure game. Now the whole Assassin's Creed thing (stealth, assassinations etc.) feels unnecessary and dull.

    Believe it or not, but you do get tired of following another target. And the sailing is great and good fun at first but when you have to sail to a remote island (surrounded by dangerous ships, so you have to upgrade yours again) again, after so many times.

    Apart from that, this game is a lot of fun to play. Especially when you consider all the mini games and extras you can do.
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  21. Aug 20, 2014
    5
    This game is just normal. I didn't really enj0oy it. The game felt so repetitive, and felt no different forn the other Assassin's Creeds. It failed to live up to my standards, I took back. Ubisoft always disappoints me. As for the online it was terrible. Not realy any glitches but having to assasinate an assigned target was boring, and stupid.
  22. Jul 17, 2014
    7
    After being disappointed by AC3 I found AC4 to be an unexpectedly enjoyable game. The protagonist and the characters in this game are so much more interesting than 3. The controls while not as good as AC2 are a solid improvement over 3. While you will be spending a lot of time in the ocean the rooftops and towns you can explore are much more enjoyable than 3. If AC3 disappointed you likeAfter being disappointed by AC3 I found AC4 to be an unexpectedly enjoyable game. The protagonist and the characters in this game are so much more interesting than 3. The controls while not as good as AC2 are a solid improvement over 3. While you will be spending a lot of time in the ocean the rooftops and towns you can explore are much more enjoyable than 3. If AC3 disappointed you like it did me I think there is a chance this one will give you a glimmer of hope/interest for the series(which I'm sure we will see more of). Expand
  23. Nov 14, 2014
    7
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. This is a great game...But I cant seem to get the elite barrel plan? It says i've only found 20/22 chests even though when I go on my map and search all the different islands, everything has been done including chests. I've went to the place where the plan is but the chest is already opened? even though I apparently havent got it? Pisses me off as I cant complete the game now, the only other thing I can do is start again but i shouldnt have to do this! but is it going to happen again?? I dont know...but I'm not willing to play the whole game again just for them two chests...Needs sorting out!!!!!!!!!! Expand
  24. Nov 15, 2014
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The game ok and not lived up to AC exspectation. 1st the story holy god i forgot what happened in most the story it was boring and missed a few oprotunites like when mary and other girl said they were pregnent anyoyed me alot it should of been just a lie ti get them out jail insted they were telling the truth. 2nd the world is mostly water and the land that is there is small or medium sized. But i did like the small secret islands are fun also the underwater missons are realy cool and i dyed ALOT because it looks realy good. 3rd graphics wich hasent chaned alot it looks like ac3. 4th equitment The wepons selection is very small i only chaned my gun 2 times and sowrd 4 but you will be ok by the middel of the game. The eqitment has inproved just a littel bit from sleep darts bezerk darts wich both can be Extreamly useful. 5th the sea battels are easy at times but just a littel the rest of the time it realy challenging and fun at the same time but the final conlusin is that the story is forgetibel and the world is just ok not Amazing like every one says it but the game is ok and thats final Expand
  25. Jan 28, 2015
    6
    Good game, but gets boring before you finish. It's a good Pirate Sim, definitely the best I've played. But MAN the sea battles get dull. The same 30m by 30m by 40m battle arena every single time. Every-single-time.

    Assassinations aren't special. Land on a guy from a building and run. Or shoot him from a distance. Big whop! Nothing new since the Original Assassins Creed in
    Good game, but gets boring before you finish. It's a good Pirate Sim, definitely the best I've played. But MAN the sea battles get dull. The same 30m by 30m by 40m battle arena every single time. Every-single-time.

    Assassinations aren't special. Land on a guy from a building and run. Or shoot him from a distance. Big whop!

    Nothing new since the Original Assassins Creed in terms of land-game play and combat (easy to kill 25 guards, and no real consequence).

    Trade system is terrible, which largely detracts from the Pirate Sim experience.

    Basically be prepared to like this game for the first 10hrs, and then put it down due to boredom after that,
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  26. Dec 11, 2016
    7
    Well this is a bit weird. A fan favourite in the series, I personally found it to be the weakest assassin's creed game yet. Did I have fun though? Hell yes:

    Pros: -Beautiful graphics and soundtrack -Awesome kill animations -Naval combat/boarding ships is easily the best part of the game -Good amount of weapons -Cool setting -Good amount of historical characters -Gargantuan sized
    Well this is a bit weird. A fan favourite in the series, I personally found it to be the weakest assassin's creed game yet. Did I have fun though? Hell yes:

    Pros:
    -Beautiful graphics and soundtrack
    -Awesome kill animations
    -Naval combat/boarding ships is easily the best part of the game
    -Good amount of weapons
    -Cool setting
    -Good amount of historical characters
    -Gargantuan sized map with heaps of content

    Cons:
    -The story has little to do with assassins
    -Edward is a pretty selfish and weak character, despite having some good moments
    -Too many tailing missions
    -Tailing missions..... in boats. For gods sake no.

    In the end:
    -Story: 6/10
    -Gameplay: 8/10
    Graphics/sound design: 8/10
    Overall: 7/10

    Note: The 7/10 rating is judging it as an assassin's creed game.

    If I was judging it as a pirate game it is an easy 8/10. But as an assassin's creed game, it falls short.
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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. Pelit (Finland)
    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]
  2. 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.
  3. X-ONE Magazine UK
    Dec 7, 2013
    80
    Black Flag tightens enough screws and adds enough cool new stuff to make it the best in ages. [Issue#105, p.79]