Customer Reviews: Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag [Online Game Code]
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Platform: PC Download|Edition: Standard - Steam|Change
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on November 21, 2013
This is probably the best Assassin's creed game that I have ever played. Having been a fan of the series and playing AC 1, 2 and 3, my interest definitely dropped after AC3 but the coverage and previews for AC4 pulled me back in with it's premise of West Indian piracy. Being West Indian myself definitely made me curious to see the franchise's take on this period of history. So far i have played about 10 hours in game and it is very addictive, with the ship combat and huge ocean maps being the the big draw here. The atmosphere is spot on and really immerses you in this world. The present day stuff is clearly the weakest point of the whole game, with Desmond being just a side note, and that is a shame as I did like that story-line; however the in-animus action makes up for this. (IMO, this could have been a great standalone pirate game!) Overall my impression is that this is best AC game yet and I can't wait to see where they go from here.

In terms of Graphics this is the best looking AC game as well. I have two pc's that I game on; one with a EVGA GTX 770 4GB, Intel i5 3570K, 8GB RAM and one with an XFX HD7870 2GB, AMD FX 6300 and 8GB RAM. The game looks absolutely awesome on both, but the edge goes to my GTX 770. With the optimizations put in for the Nvidia cards (game was optimized for Nvidia on PC) the game does look stunning with all its lighting effects and enhanced soft shadowing. (No issue like Boston slowdown in AC3)

I bought the steam version, so there are two DRMs running when playing the game (Uplay and Steam) but it runs seamlessly enough that it is not a huge issue.
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on December 3, 2013
I purchased AC4 Black Flag through Steam, not Amazon, but reviewing here as I was checking the link to send the sale price to a friend.

I have been very pleasantly surprised by AC4 -- it takes the best parts of Brotherhood and AC3 to make a better game. First and foremost, Ubisoft Montreal has really ironed out the AnvilNext engine. For me, personally, AC3 was a buggy nightmare, but AC4 has ran without a hitch. No randomly disappearing NPCs, less environment glitching, less stealth detection bugs (though stealth detection is still not the best). All around it's a much more solid experience.

The general game design has improved to match. AC4 wastes no time getting you into the action, you do not have that feeling of an extended tutorial that some of the earlier games fell victim to. Likewise, some of the quest structure was made a good deal less frustrating -- AC4 has a much lower threshold of missions that auto-fail based on first detection. Naval fleet activities supplant assassin order contract work but fill the same basic role, naval battles return in full glory, and there are plenty of collectibles if you're in to that.

This is also an absolutely gorgeous game. Battlefield 4 has been quickly replaced when it comes to current graphical powerhouses on PC. I have an core i5 3570k + GTX670 and cannot come close to maxing the game out, but even what I have looks amazing. The soundtrack was not done by series veteran Lorne Balfe, but newcomers Brian Tyler and Oliver Deriviere do an outstanding job.

It's not a perfect game, and there will be occasional annoyances: at least 2-3 times I have spent more than a few minutes trekking cross-map for a specific optional item / event, only to find myself barred by the animus blue wall of death "You cannot access this area during this memory." But really, these moments are few and far between. In the last 4-5 years, I've found myself more and more fond of short 10-hour games and doing minimal-requirement run-throughs due to a constantly decreasing amount of time for gaming. Last night, I played AC4 all night without doing a single main-story mission. For me, that's as high of praise as I can give.
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on December 1, 2013
Wow. That about sums it up. I'm surprised I haven't heard more about how awesome this game is. I was looking for a new game to get immersed in so I gave it a try. I hadn't played Assassin's Creed since ACII but I remember having a good time with that. This version is even better x100. Not only do you have all the things that ACII offered, like rooftop chases, pickpocketing, assassination missions, tower synchronizing, but it adds so much more that provides all the diversity you could ask for and more. I've played about 10 hours so far and I can barely walk away to use the bathroom or eat because there's always something around the next corner, or island. The graphics are beautiful too so I keep finding myself taking screenshots. All in all, this is an amazing game and I highly recommend it. Btw, I bought just the basic version and not once have I felt short-sheeted... but who knows, I may go back and get some of the upgrades too. With a game like this, I want to support the developers with hope that they'll make more and more content for me to get lost in.
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on December 3, 2013
(Author's Note: Reposted from the PC retail review since I assumed it would show up in the other versions as well but that wasn't the case.)

A great improvement over the previous game and with a heavy emphasis on the sea-faring which was the only set of missions that I enjoyed immensely in AC 3. Also a shift in terms of protagonist, wherein despite what the advertising tells us that he is a "pirate assassin" where in fact he is actually more of the former and actually has no association with the latter when you start out in the game.

I'll try not to dive into so many story details as to not spoil it but essentially everything that I've played in the game I've enjoyed a lot without any reservations or doubts as to whether I am just playing through it to complete it (like in AC 3) or if I'm having a lot of fun with it. The locations all look lush and beautiful, the combat is still pretty much similar to previous games with an emphasis on countering, chain killing, and breaking defenses, while the sea faring aspect (like in AC 3) is incredibly engaging. Not only do you have to upgrade your ship but later on there is also a meta-game of managing a fleet using boats that you have captured in order to transport goods or engage in battles and will also give money as a reward depending on the difficulty of assignments.

Plus, another change that I also feel like has been influenced by another tropical-based, Ubisoft game (FarCry 3) is that armor, ammo capacity upgrades and certain outfits can only be obtained through crafting with animal skins and the needed blueprint is accessed from the get-go. Unlike in AC 3, upgrades are no longer locked by having the right levels for your artisans (not included in this game along with the Homestead for obvious reasons relating to setting) or requiring to obtain blue prints. Special upgrades to your ship however are the only ones that need to be obtained via plans that are hidden in treasure chests. These types of upgrades do offer a substantial boost for your ship but are not essential for progression.

This game also has very interesting implications on what the sequels are probably going to offer and in a way feels like a start of another arc. I found my time with AC 3 to be enjoyable but also had its share of disappointments and frustrations. However, AC 4 I found to be consistently entertaining from start to finish. If you've enjoyed any of the previous games and have some reservations with this game because of AC 3, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised as to how much fun you'll probably have with this game.
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on February 8, 2014
After the highs of the Ezio trilogy followed by the boredom of AC3, I was unsure of this game. Assassin's Creed has been an annual franchise since AC2 - five straight years of releasing massive open-world games. Add to that the increase in size and scope of sailing to explore and get around the world, and it looked to me to be a recipe for disaster.

I'm glad I was wrong. This is the best game in the series, and while it has some minor issues (controls on foot feel as bad as AC3), the increase in scope and activities make up for it's shortcomings. Bravo, Ubisoft - keep up the solid work.
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on May 16, 2014
I loved every moment of this game. Throughout playing, I was continually amazed and awed by the graphics, story and gameplay. I constantly wanted to know what was going to happen next. You begin to really like all the characters, as the impressive animation, graphics and above even that, the voice acting really pull you in. To me, this wasn't just a game, it was cinema.

Little touches the game has really add to the charm. From your crew on your ship singing shanties (and they sound really good, professionally recorded no doubt, by folks who can really sing), to the minor animations and graphics touches, to the atmosphere, water physics, etc, I have no reservation calling this game a masterpiece.

Previously I had thought Far Cry 3 was the best game I'd ever played. This game, no doubt, BY FAR eclipses it.

I'm now a huge fan of this series and will check out the expansion as well as (maybe) will check out the earlier iterations in the series.

If you like open world games, you will absolutely not be disappointed by this game. I've already put in over 100 hours, and while I finished the story, there is more to do (I'm going for the %100).
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on February 17, 2014
I love this game. It is probably one of the best assassins creed yet.

But dealing with ubisoft is a major, total, pain in the butt. It took me almost 1 hour to get the password activated successfully because their webpage does not work well, its full of bugs. I kept putting my password and the form was saying "something is wrong with the form". Is this a game? Am I supposed to find it out?

Their webpage help is crap and if you want to talk with someone you are out of luck. Also, they keep shoehorning this stupid play system to handle their games. This means that if you get the game from steam, you need to open steam and then it opens the ubi thing.

Why cant games just be a freaking icon on my desktop that I click and it starts?
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on May 14, 2014
This is a great game, nonetheless. It works perfectly with a 360 controller and it's even better playing in widescreen/surround mode (triple-screen gaming). Ever since Sid Meier's Pirates (yes, I'm old), I've always wanted another great pirate game. This comes really close. The only strange thing is that Steam will launch U-Play and the game cannot be shared via Steam's family share which is a shame. Otherwise, it's great.
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on January 15, 2014
Although Assassin's Creed 3 wasn't a bad game, it wasn't very good either, definitely not on par with what I had come to expect from Ubisoft and the Assassin's Creed franchise. AC3 seemed like a step in the wrong direction for the now annual franchise. What often occurs with franchises that release games annually is that they get stale very quickly. Some might disagree, but Call of Duty is a perfect example of such an occurence, and I felt as though Assassin's Creed was heading down that same path. It seems as if the developers might have unadmittedly shared that notion with me, because Black Flag is a much needed refresh of the franchise.
This game was released with the new generation of consoles on the horizon and it is most definitely a next-gen game in every sense of the phrase. While it has been thoroughly cited that there is a great graphical improvement between the PS3 vs PS4 and XBOX360 vs XBOX1 versions of the game, it is a absolutely stunning on a high-end gaming PC paired with a high-resolution monitor. Graphically, this game is something to behold. The depth of field goes as far as you would expect the human eye to see. The shrubs and the trees that the protagonist has to hide in and climb look as real as I have ever seen in any game, covering the entirety of the character's body and swaying gently as he makes his way through them. They sway more vigorously and violently as a storm plows inland across the islands bringing heavy winds and rain. The sky turns dark, lightening strikes and the waters begin to rise and become more violent bringing larger waves. It's fitting that water is also a major graphical step forward in a game that obviously relies on it heavily.
Graphics are not the only thing that this game has going for it though. Ditching the old character in present day, Desmond leaves room for exploring other story-lines in the present as well as the last. It was time for a change and Ubisoft did just that. While the mission structure remains largely the same, in terms of follow, listen and execute, the combat is refined and still as satisfying as it's ever been. A bigger focus has been given to the naval combat first introduced in AC3 and it is enjoyable to capture ships and improve yours, which gets outfitted with new equipment that you can see as it becomes an exponentially more imposing figure in the sea.
Much like the first Assassin's Creed introduced us to the new generation of consoles when the 360 and PS3 came out, Black Flag has done the same for this generation. While I wasn't too excited for Black Flag because I was disappointed by AC3 and wasn't expecting much from Ubisoft, I know have had my faith mostly restored and am excited for the next installment.
I am running this game on an i5-3570k and GTX780ti at 2560*1440. (I was previously running it on a GTX780 and the difference in peformance is negligible.) I would give this game a 9 out of 10 if that rating was possible but since it is not, I will gladly give it a 5, especially since some of the lower ratings on here are unwarranted. I paid $59.99 for it, but seeing it on here for half that right now, I would definitely advise anyone that hasn't played it to make the purchase and you won't regret it. (As long as your system can run it, because it is very graphically demanding, especially in the big city and highly populated areas.)
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on January 5, 2014
I won't bother getting into how much of a mess AC3 was, but this game more than makes up for it. AC4 fully embraces the potential of naval combat which could easily be the most addictive thing about the game, and it polishes the game play enough to make it a worthy successor to previous AC titles. Other mechanics such as hunting and crafting have also been refined to a level where they are actually meaningful who's was sorely lacking from the series. Edward is also a worthy spiritual successor to Ezio, and it didn't hurt to bring back a little bit of the charisma and swagger that we were used to from the AC2 trilogy.

The only disappointing thing about this installment is that the focus of most of the game play lies in the naval segments. I understand that the devs wanted to play up the pirate theme, but it detracted from some of the land based elements that I miss from previous games. Future installments would also benefit from far fewer eavesdropping missions. Man are those tedious. The main story could also use a bit of work as well since I feel like the series is starting to stray away from the legacy of the early assassins a bit. Characters like Connor and Edward come around by the end of things, but getting there is something of a chore.

Controls have been polished for the most part, and I can honestly say that many of the free running missteps I have faced have been my own fault, but the swimming is touchy. This is especially true during the diving bell sequences where accuracy is most vital. Other than that, this game has restored my faith in the franchise for the most part, and it takes away the sting that AC3 left behind. If the rest of the games are like this one, I would be happy with that. Heck, I might even consider buying the DLC for this game.
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