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on October 30, 2013
I'm one of those gamers who has played all of the Assassin's Creed games more than once and hated, just HATED, Assassin's Creed 3. I was really hesitant to pay another $60 for AC4, but am very glad I gave the franchise another go. AC4 is exactly what I've come to expect from Ubisoft. They have definitely redeemed themselves in my eyes. The action picks up immediately, the cut-scenes are crisp and seamless without the looonnngg dead spaces between them as in AC3. And they stopped dragging you around by the nose, which I really appreciate. I can go where I please and explore the gorgeous cities, picking and choosing whether I hunt treasure or rescue pirates or follow the story line. I can do all the sneaking and shooting and assassinating in whatever sequence pleases me and the story, so far, is really fun! I haven't run into any real bugs yet. Edward is occasionally a little slow climbing or hiding, but you can get used to that. The naval scenes are great. So, Ubisoft, all is almost forgiven. AC4 Rocks!!
1515 comments| 205 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 30, 2013
As a Skyrim fan, I'm surprised to find out that AC IV has a more appealing and vast world. With its fascinating ocean, colorful tropical islands and exotic cities, AC IV is such a visual feast. The world is really huge for you to explore, you can chase sea shanties, seek buried treasures, rob cargos to upgrade your ship, get materials for cool costumes, raid tombs for some Mayan mysteries, leap in a tropical jungle to hunt panthers or just abuse your mighty powers and gadgets over some poor guys, etc, roaming the AC IV world freely is pure fun.

Anybody disappointed by AC III should give it a try. The core mechanics of the game stays largely the same, however, improvements and modifications bring it a totally new feel. I, whom AC III's clumsy gameplay system gave a constant headache, could hardly believe that AC IV's gameplay gives me a satisfying experience. Combat is faster, so timing of counter/attack is more challenging. Enemies can do much more harm and can shoot you down if you're climbing up the wall trying to escape, making the combat much more intense. And you have all these new upgradeable gadgets to use, switching between different tools is much more convenient than in AC III. Besides, since the world is much more sandbox-y than ACIII with a much more diversified and open environment, the game really encourages different approaches. I love stealth approach a lot, which you can really do in nearly every task, and the it's incredibly fun and fulfilling.

The system is totally revamped, easy to understand and handy to use, which helps me recover from suffering of AC III's confusing system. I haven't gotten into the story too much yet but I think an average Hollywood plot will be enough for such a fun game. There are some bugs, but it's already pretty good for such a vast open world in which you can do a lot of difficult interactive movements.

And the naval world? Couldn't be better. This game has totally lived up to the hype around the pirate theme. The ocean itself is breathtaking. Dense fog with deadly ships rising from legend, monstrous waves and tornados coming at you in a scary storm, rosy sunset over the horizon with white sea gulls flying by, or just a tranquil ocean under a starry sky, Ubisoft has done a legendary job bringing all the beauty on high seas to your TV screen. The naval combat couldn't be more fun and has become my new hobby. Don't get it wrong because the original formula from old AC games has been polished to such a new height that the land part is already much better than older installments, it's just that Ubisoft has built a parallel naval world that is as appealing, if not more. Two worlds are integrated seamlessly together, making AC IV the best pirate game ever.

Overall, this is an amazing game with a fantastic world. For me, it's like playing a much more nimble, no-magic dragonborn(a Nord I guess) in a world similar to Skyrim, but much more colorful, light and diversified.

The only big problem might be that AC IV would keep you occupied and unwilling to quit for a long time. I'm writing this comment after a long night's exploration of Havana and some islands. Anybody who want a highly-disciplined life should NOT get this game because it can suck you many hours without you noticing it.

BTW, I really love the soundtrack. It has a really sweet Caribbean flavor and really fits in with the environment. This game is an auditory feast as well.

So what else to say? AC IV comes at a special time when the whole industry is ready to move onto next gen. This is a symbolic end of current gen and I'm not sure if I'll keep gaming like before. But AC IV comes along and for me it puts an glorious end of current gen. So...everything aside, just grab your pistols and sword, hop onto your ship and sail under the black flag to this wonderful world!
99 comments| 151 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 6, 2013
In a nutshell, it's easier to understand this game if you break the title into 2 distinct sections

Assassin's Creed IV:
You get all the action and gameplay from the franchise, though the story is not as compelling or interesting as its predecessors. On top of that, it's harder to like Edward Kenway (the protagonist) than any of the previous ones, Ezio Aldatore being my personal favorite. And while the single player is filled with famous characters from the golden age of pirates, your character seems selfish and disinterested in the world around them, looking to gain fame and wealth for about 90% of the game before you are accepted as a true assassin. Basically, you're just a selfish dick with sick parkour skills for most of the game, which doesn't really fit well with the "Creed" part of Assassins Creed. But, you still get that great multiplayer experience which will definitely keep you busy and entertained for a while.

Black Flag:
Probably the best pirating game of all time. The open world of AC4 gives a very grand scope to this game; it's HUGE and dynamic, filled with great collectables, like messages in bottles, buried loot, and much more. Levelling up your ship is no easy task, capturing and plundering other vessels is always a joy, and naval contracts and big sea battles are the cherry on top of the cake. If you love pirates and want a completely different experience, look no further.
11 comment| 27 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
One of my early faves on my C64 (yep...dated reference and I already know that scores of younger gamers will now just groan and move on to a much more technical review, but there are at least a few old timers who never gave it up) was "Pirate's" by Sid Meier. As a fan of the pirate genre, I have seen many attempts at recreating that gem with all the new engines, and graphics bells and whistles that have come to the gaming world, but none have ever really been able to re-create that feeling.

I have only had the game for a short while. And that can be deceptive. Assassin's Creed III initially hit me with a "wow" factor, but I guess I just got too side tracked and eventually forgot the story and just quit playing. Assassin's Creed II had sort of spoiled me.

I promise to update over the next few days as I delve deeper...but already I am blown away. Sound is amazing, and the graphics pull you in. But I got this title for the Pirate theme...and so far I am NOT disappointed. I will update tonight, but if you are feeling the vibe I am trying to put across and wondering..."DO I spend the bucks?" SO far the answer is YES!

So, after a day, the game has given me none of the frustration I felt with AC III. If anything, the fighting sequences feel more fluid. Perhaps I am just more used to the controls. However, this is a very open world! And the scenery is amazing. This is a game that I will probably become engrossed in for extended periods. I haven't even got to the real "piratey" stuff yet!
99 comments| 94 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 29, 2013
I've never been an Assassin's Creed fan (I know, blasphemy!) But what I loved about AC 3 were the ship battles by far, and here we go. The very first thing you do is take hold of a vessel in the middle of combat, a great way to start. And thankfully the whole "Animus/Desmond" portion has been considerably cut down, never cared for it; it took you out of the world. I have both the 360 and the digital PS3 versions. Both run excellently.

If I had a complaint at this point, it would be the case, it contains two disks (pretty much norm now for DVD console games) but this is the first time I've seen them practically sitting on top of each, as opposed to having a divider of some kind. But that is minor. Also I've only seen this on the 360, but on Xbox Live it has unlock add-ons already. And not just for single player, but multiplayer as well (and for $24.99 a piece at that). That move I do not understand, you just release the game then release add-ons that allows anyone in multiplayer to boast way up. Anyways, minor complaints, the game itself is solid.
0Comment| 50 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 14, 2013
I like it. I don't want to make you read too much. Here's what I think:

PROS
- Stunning environments and graphics, the sea, the islands, the towns, the character design, music and voice acting.
- Original game play, trips on the ship are fun and there are many new features like upgrading the ship and hiring pirates among others.
- Enormous-gigantic MAP!
-Ship battle and gameplay is really fun.

CONS (you don't have to agree with me)
- Some side quests are repetitive or extremely boooring! such as collecting fragments or chests (although finding chest from map on corpses is fun).
- You cannot kill civilians like on AC2 (you can if you use a gun, but cannot throw people away or assassinate them).
- Lack of items (guns, swords, and other equipment), there aren't to many items to get, it would be nice to find special items on the chests like swords, helms and stuff like that (like Skyrim), items are limited.
- It would also be nice if the character learns new fighting abilities or combos (like on Batman Arkham series), that is kind of limited as well.
- Online multiplayer is fun, but the search engine is awful, for an instance, I want to play dominion but can't select or join to a server that has started the game (or at least I have't found the option). And coop mode is not that fun for me.
11 comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 20, 2014
I'm a big Assassin's Creed fan. Have been since the release of the first game of the series (despite it's repetitiveness). The Ezio trilogy, consisting of 2, Brotherhood, and Revelations are still among the best in my book, and even Assassin's Creed 3, though it's formula was somewhat altered, still held its own; serving as the exciting climax of Desmond Miles' storyline. To me, this series has always been about it's incredible story arc and how it fuses both gameplay and story as one to make for an immersive and worthwhile experience. This is where, unfortunately, Assassin's Creed 4 falls a bit short.

I, personally, was never a huge fan of the ship battles in Assassin's Creed 3, but since they were few and far between I didn't mind them so much. But to have fully integrated them in Black Flag? This alone made almost half of the missions seem more of a chore than actual fun. Mind you, I did most of the side missions as well, acquiring all but one of the elite ship plans and upgrading the entire ship as much as possible thus far. What pains me the most is the clunky control mechanics behind it all. It isn't as smooth and seamless as say the character scaling a building. Another irritating factor would be crashing. It was a constant struggle, especially when colliding with a small island when you weren't near one? Perhaps some unpolished coding there.

As for the missions, some were okay at best, and others a bit troublesome in terms of actually being able to enjoy what you were supposed to be doing. Tailing & Eavesdropping missions are the absolute worst of the bunch. You have to 'tail' a target for a number of minutes, at times unable to listen or read what they say in the subtitles due to needing to get away from restricted areas, or work your way around a guard, etc. Once the tailing is done, you then have to eavesdrop which consists of remaining within a short radius of the target without being detected all while avoiding guards. All of this takes away from actually being able to listen to the conversations that your target is having, which could be of importance in the storyline.

To me, this game left the impression that Ubisoft has strayed from what made this series as incredible as it has been. It feels as though they're trying to tailor it to a much wider audience and because of it they're sacrificing elements of the series that made it what it is today--as if its growing popularity has warranted a change to appeal to the masses instead of those whom have loved its formula from day 1.

In short, I'd recommend playing it through if you can find it for $20 or less, specifically for the side missions when outside of the animus in first person view. These missions actually offer more in depth information on previous Assassin's Creed games than when playing as Edward Kenway himself.

***SPOILER***

Lastly, what I'd say irritated me most of all was how the game ended. From what I gather, Abstergo was hell bent on finding out where the Observatory was. Once you find it as Edward, there was no mention of it anymore. Not as Edward, or in first person view when outside of the Animus. Not the vials of blood, nor the crystal skull. Or even what they'd planned on doing with it? If they'd go to its location? Nothing of the sort happened in the main story, and all you were left with was a wave of unanswered questions. I'm aware that Edward inquired about the vials of blood at the end, and where they'd gone since they were missing from the Observatory, and how he'd returned the crystal skull, but would Abstergo go and retrieve it? The storyline was seemingly cut off. If anyone could elaborate on my perhaps missing something in the game, I'd greatly appreciate it.
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on December 15, 2014
I played the first AC and it was kind of repetitive for me so I stopped playing. Never really picked up another AC until Black Flag, and OMG is this one a blast! Once you do about 6 missions you get your own ship and crew, and that's when the game becomes a whole other animal. You will need to continue the story line to unlock certain upgrades and things, but you can just take off in your ship and do whatever you want at your own pace. Go check out island, plunder ships, defeat and take over enemy ports, etc. etc. The basic AC staples are still there, you can still sneak around and climb anything and perform assassinations, but you can also just run around and do whatever you like. The world is HUGE. If you haven't played an AC game in a while, try this one. If you wanna live out your pirate fantasies, go right ahead. If you wanna just sail around and explore, well, you can do that too.
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on March 24, 2014
Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag is really one of those games that hooks you, whether or not you're an Assassin's Creed fan yet. Going into this game, I had every AC game except the original under my belt, so I was definitely excited to play this one. The hype for it was massive, and it certainly delivered! I'll divide this review into the two main sections of the game: Story & Gameplay.

STORY:

Unfortunately, the story was one of the weakest parts of AC4. In past AC games, we're used to riveting stories with some of the most memorable characters, stories that both make sense and are a fun ride. While this game opened pretty strongly, and the first half or so was pretty good story-wise, the last half is just a drag and you find yourself just not caring about any of the characters anymore. Although the new main character as well as a couple of the supporting ones are good, others are just plain awful. For example, I found the main Assassin master in the game to be one of the most boring, uninteresting characters in it. That's not good at all, and even though the gameplay outweighs this con by a lot, I still was disappointed that the story and characters in this game were generally lackluster.

GAMEPLAY:

The gameplay is what really saves AC4. It stays true to the traditional easy to pick up, hard to master Assassin's Creed gameplay, and adds some minor tweaks to improve it where it can. The downside to that is we still have some of the ever-lingering problems that we've seen with the series, such as the sometimes-inaccurate freerunnning and annoying weapon switching. Even though there were some interesting elements added into combat, it's still a bit over-simplistic and button-mashy. The naval combat is undoubtedly one of the most memorable parts of the game. You have your own ship that you're free to use and upgrade however you choose, and exploring the entirety of the Caribbean in this badboy will provide you with many hours of fun. It's even cleverly added into some campaign & side missions as well, allowing you to seamlessly go from land to sea without any loading whatsoever. And boarding ships in true pirate fashion, brawling it out with the crew, and collecting your plunder? Easily some of the most fun things about the game. AC4 allows you to explore every nook and cranny of the Caribbean, and this is one of its major strengths. Although most of the campaign missions are fairly linear, this open-world exploration makes for many hours of pure fun and entertainment along your ride. You're greatly encouraged to explore, as exploring will allow you to find new places, missions, and upgrades to your character. There's a very wide variety of missions and tasks in this game, nearly all of them rewarding. That being said, it still has some bad missions, and some ever-annoying gameplay elements such as eavesdropping and tailing will bore you to death at times. Fortunately, these can easily be overlooked when compared to the game's beautiful graphics, naval combat, and variety of things to do. It even has a multiplayer mode as well, which I haven't been able to check out extensively yet. However, the multiplayer leaves plenty of room for customization and fun with friends.

OVERALL:

AC4: Black Flag is a wonderful game, boasting great graphics and mostly excellent gameplay. It's at its best when it doesn't try to be an Assassin's Creed game, and this is completely fine. Some of the issues plaguing the series are still here, but these can be overlooked when compared to the rest of the fun things to do throughout your journey. With an extensive multiplayer and lots of DLC, combined with its excellent story mode, AC4 is one of the must-have games of the year, for AC diehards and newcomers alike.
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on October 30, 2013
Game is great...I am not going to go into detail mainly because my review is similar to one already written. Simply put, if you like the AC series involving Ezio, then this is right in tune with it as far as gameplay and controls...do not judge it on AC3 if you did not like that game, which I didn't...I almost did not get this one due to that one but I am glad that I did.

update: 11-04-13: I changed my rating to a 5 star because frankly, this game is just awesome the more I get into it.
my only complaint is sometimes it is so dark that I can't see what I am doing but that is just a minor complaint.
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