REVIEW : Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag (PS4/ PC)

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Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is a 2013 historical action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is the sixth major installment in the Assassin’s Creed series, a sequel to 2012’s Assassin’s Creed III’s modern story and a prequel to its historical storyline. It is the best the series has to offer and here is why.

Black Flag on the PS4 doesn’t offer anything that really separates it from the last-gen versions, when it comes to gameplay. It’s a carbon copy of what can be found on the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. The game also uses a lot of common systems that have been used throughout the series. The combat, exploration, and mission structure are similar yo previous games in the series , games that certainly aren’t lacking in content, and neither is this one. There is plenty to explore in Black Flag. The major change in this game from previous games is the major portion of sea faring.

Naval combat is better implemented than any other feature Ubisoft tried to bring in previous games. Naval combat forms the major portion of the game. Your ship, The Jackdaw is the main option to travel between islands and there is plenty of trouble, collectibles and area to explore along the way. The sense of ownership and upgrade possibility of Jackdaw make completing missions just to upgrade Jackdaw worthwhile.

If anything, the legacy mission structure hold Black Flag back. The combat encounters still don’t feel very challenging. The free running systems still needs some refinement. Edward Kenway fells the most powerful man from the start of the game. Only thing that brings Assassin’s Creed 4 experience down is the refinement required in all assassin’s games to make them more enjoyable. Assassination contracts, Synchronization Points, Seashanty Collections, Treasures to be found, and Animus fragments to be discovered — there’s no shortage of things to keep you busy in Assassin’s Creed 4.

The basic problem of all open world games is that they offer alot of content but most of the content is not worthwhile to collect or complete. In Assassin’s Creed 4 the progression of your ship makes it enjoyable to complete and collect the extra content. This game is a must have for gamers who like to collect.

Assassin’s Creed 4 is not the best showcase of the new hardware but it is still a step up from last gen consoles. High resolution textures, lush environments and every other facet of the game has been improved. Fans can definitely expect amazing visuals in future Assassin’s creed games based on the experience in Black Flag.

Edward Kenway is one of the more likable protagonists in recent memory. He’s certainly more interesting that Conor was in Assassin’s Creed 3. Assassin’s Creed 4 doesn’t follow the same story progression of previous games, infact story takes a back seat for those who just want to explore life of a pirate. Ubisoft have done well to balance out in-game content and story progression. Kenway’s goals at the game’s onset are to simply gain money, the goals are what you would expect from a pirate. This initial story aligns perfectly with what you’re doing for the first half of the game. Ubisoft have still implemented abstergo and Animus story threads but Black Flag feels less reliant upon them to progress and provide an enjoyable story. Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag has one of the best story in recent times which is nicely written and different from previous games in the series.

For those that own the PlayStation Vita, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is probably the best experience of remote play. Game blends well with the limited controls and looks amazing on Vita OLED screen. Considering the vast scale of Assassin’s Creed Black Flag, it still plays well via remote play. Even better than some of Sony first party titles.

ACIV can take you 40 hours to complete in its entirety including the Multiplayer content. Following in the tradition set with Brotherhood, this multiplayer has familiar aspects as well as some brand new modes to try out. Black Flag’s multiplayer component is familiar in that it’s themed in the same way as previous games. The Abstergo labs and Animus aspects of multiplayer are prevalent in the game. Abstergo organises pirate based cooperative events which outline the background story of these Multiplayer games.

The hide and seek style of gameplay is still the essential part of Multiplayer. You seek other players while hiding or disguised and then kill them.

There’s also a new cooperative mode called Wolfpack. This mode puts the players in groups and provides them tasks of assassination or protecting the chest against enemies. Players have to work in groups in order to complete the tasks.

The online offering of Assassin’s Creed 4 Black Flag is equivalent to Single Player in terms of amount of content. Not everyone will like the multiplayer as it is an acquired taste but those who do will get hours of enjoyment out of it.

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