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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.
21 helpful votes
22 helpful votes
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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.
7 helpful votes
8 helpful votes
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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.)
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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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).
1 helpful vote
2 helpful votes
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on January 20, 2014
I've played a lot of the Assassins Creed games, the original, the second, and Revelations. I feel like this is the best in the series by far.

First of all, they don't hold your hand like Revelations did, after about two hours in the story, the game will let you do what you want. Most of the world is open and, excluding deep sea diving, you're free to do what you want because a pirate is free!

Graphics 5/5, really incredible IMO; the waves at sea both calm and frighteningly large are great to look at, every time I am caught in a storm at sea, I often pause to appreciate the visuals. Lightning, giant waves, even waterspouts that threaten your livelihood make the game feel epic. There's seamless transition between spotting a ship ripe for pirating, firing your cannons until they're immobile and on fire, and positioning your ship for your crew to pull the two together for some on-boat pirating. No loading screens, no hiccups.

I'd give the audio 4/5 stars because the voice acting often sounds lower quality than some of the other audio in the game, which I notice on my headphones. However, the music...

The music is 5/5 stars. I'd even give it 6/5 stars if I may; seriously, as a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean soundtrack by Hans Zimmer - this music is perfect. It's epic music that really gets you into the mood to be a pirate, blasting cannons and sinking ships. In particular, the Storm Sailing Theme #1 is my favorite and gives me chills when I listen to it, which is ample excuse to charge head-first into a distant hurricane.

There's also the sea shanties, your crew singing as you sail around the world map, and you'll find yourself compelled to be running around to collect additional shanties across the world.

The flaws I find with this game come from the gameplay, while it is varied and fun, very entertaining, and tons to do; this isn't a very difficult game. The most trouble I've had in the game comes from the pre-scripted stealth missions, where the game needs you to go on a somewhat linear path to follow an NPC. One mission in particular, in a swamps, there seems to be only a single path you can take, and every time I tried to be creative to take a different route, I'd hit an invisible wall and get a failed mission.

The game has no difficulty slider, it's up to you to control your difficulty in the open world. Areas of the world map are 'higher level' than others, requiring you to upgrade your ship before you can take out the ships and tasks in the south west and west sides of the map.

However, you CAN make the game more difficult by tailoring your interface. If you're finding the game to be trivially easy, try disabling interface elements such as the minimap, the SSI, wanted meter, the healthbars, etc. There's ways to figure out all the information without the interface elements being enabled - your crew will shout out if there's a stranded pirate at sea, the hull of your ship is splintered and messy when damaged, the enemy ships have holes and tattered sails when they are damaged. It's much more of a challenge when you don't have indicators pointing out where and how many enemy ships there are, especially in the midst of a storm.

In addition, the stealth combat is much more difficult with SSI and/or the minimap disabled - you still have audio indicators when you're being spotted, but you don't know where the enemy is that saw you. The combat, without SSI, has no indicator for countering, which I prefer; you have to be aware and watch for their flourish before an attack.

Overall, the stealth assassination and land combat gameplay, combined with the frequent and fun naval exploration and battles at sea provides the game with a nice pace that's easy to get lost in. They break up the monotony of each other very well.
1 helpful vote
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on May 17, 2014
This game is still much better than AC3, just want to get that out of the way- this game is still fantastic- but it has a few glaring flaws in it.
I.e the dated combat system which always ends up in an imprecise button-mash, the generally poor, un-optimized performance (Frequent dips below 60 and barely uses 2 full CPUs!) on top of not looking as great as it should be for the lackluster performance I received (Though still looking great in its own regard).

There also seems to be an issue with the V-Sync in the game as well, as soon as your frame-rate drops a hair below 60 it drags it back down all the way to 30... for some reason. CTRL+ALT+DELETE while in game and clicking back fixes this until you tab out.

All in all I have had a great time with this, sailing across the high seas is incredible and much better than in AC 3, the levels are back to the AC 2 quality with thoughtfully placed pathways to parkour your way everywhere, the sea shanties are all amazingly sung and always fun to listen to.

The only things that have really hindered my game-play are the technical gobbledygook by Ubisoft. Most people would probably have expected this but U-play is still horrible compared to Steam, it erased all of my progress twice, changed my username ( Which took me a day to actually change back) and even threatened to take my first born.
1 helpful vote
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on January 7, 2014
I am speechless for the game play so I'll do mostly complaining and give recommendations that MAY remedy some problems with the PC version.

fps/screen tears:
There are a ton of complaints about framing tearing and I must admit I see why they are complaining but if you are like me and can bare with that just so that I can run it at full details but limit it to 30 guaranteed fps, then enable V-Sync. Yes you are only getting 30 but I'd rather see full clear images rather than screen tearing, and besides this isn't exactly like Starcraft where you MUST need the latest frame to win for those elitist/super enthusiast. If it is that much of a problem, drop money on a much better and expensive card.

Crashes:
1.Do a driver update. It seemed as if a driver update fixed most issues on the Nvidia side. If you do have problems after this go further on. Nvidia users however might want to read 3 before 2.

2. A huge problem I ran into was a ACBFSP.exe crash on startup through steam while it was being installed onto a 3rd usb 3.0 3TB drive. The way I found around this is to copy the entire directory to either the primary C or whatever the drive is or anything that is run directly off of the motherboard via SATA. Checked this method on a 64GB SSD and a 250GB SATA drive and it fixed it. You may or may not need a bypass like me to get it running without Steam but still with Uplay using a modified ACBFSP.exe(I hope you get the hint).

3. There were others types of fixes while I read through the countless pages of support forums to find a fix. Some, and this applies to more Nvidia folks, managed to get their game working by either modifying the setting file to a lower resolution..Others more fortunate individuals simply needed to do a quick Alt-Tab or Ctrl-Alt-Del during the start up and wait a few seconds before going back to the game itself.
1 helpful vote
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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.
1 helpful vote
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on April 17, 2014
There are not many games that amazes me every time that I play them. Assassin's Creed IV is one of them. I am still amazed at how brilliantly this game was executed overall. The graphics are incredible, the breath of the game is huge, there is no shortage activity, the main story has finally been branched off from the previous titles'.

I have played and completed all games in the series and this is by far the best looking and the most fun to play. There are times that I simply stop and enjoy the view from the ship or at a town because it is so good looking. The movement of the water is very impressive and fluid.

I don't have the latest and greatest PC hardware (mostly 2 yr old mid-level parts) so I cannot play with maxed out settings. However, the graphics are still very impressive even when toned down a bit.

The land gameplay has not changed much. The fights are easy. The eavesdropping and the tailing missions are relatively more challenging and fun. The naval gameplay is very entertaining. I like that you work to make your ship stronger, so there is a progression to look forward to. The story is not great but it is ok. I did lose some interest in the story towards the end, however.

I don't play multi-player so I cannot comment on that aspect but as a single-player game I think this is a must-have title.
1 helpful vote
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on December 6, 2013
Pros:
- Good Story
- Great Characters
- A lot to do
- Good Graphics
- Got it for a low cost
- Great combat
- Good memories (pardon the pun)

Cons:
- Ubisoft gave up on original story (see other thoughts)
- No Fullscreen Windowed support (see other thoughts)

Other Thoughts:
I got this game for half off ($30) and I also had a $5 game credit so I ended up getting it for $25, not a bad deal! I would probably give this game 4.5 stars instead. This game is very simple, yet complex at the same time. Hard to describe. It's like my memories I had with games as a kid. For some reason the scenes/gameplay are really sticking to me, almost like the Zelda games. Probably just me :P

I listed the cons because I don't believe any product is perfect. There are always cons to an extent, just depends on how big or small. I never finished ACIII, but I did read about the ending. I know a lot of people had gripes about the story, but I enjoyed it. They pretty much scrapped the story line for this one (outside of the Animus), but it is still somewhat there. I just wish they had continued it in some way. The way the story is now though, will allow more entries into the series, so Ubisoft was smart about it. As for not having fullscreen borderless mode, it can be a pain for some people. I like to play in fullscreen borderless because I have multiple monitors. I would play this game with the triple monitors, but this game definitely doesn't benefit from it like an FPS or MMO. Therefore, I went for single monitor and when you do that, the game appears on all three screens, forcing me to turn off the outer two. Not that big of a deal, but kind of annoying.
Overall, I would highly recommend this game.
1 helpful vote
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