Customer Reviews: Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag - Xbox 360
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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!!
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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!
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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.
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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!
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on December 5, 2013
Format: Video Game|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Assasin's Creed Does it Again!

I actually liked AC3, unlike many people. Part of it is, as a history teacher, I really enjoy the American Revolution, so I found it a great setting in which to play the game. I wasn't particularly excited about AC4, because again as history teacher, I know about pirates as the disgusting and brutal creatures that they were, as opposed to the romance novel version that most people think of. Nevertheless, the images of naval combat drew me in, and I sure am glad to be here!

Graphically, this is a pretty major improvement on AC3. The graphics of AC3 left me a bit underwhelmed, especially when viewed against Skyrim or HALO 4. Not so here. AC4 visuals are much clearer and more vivid. The characters clothing are all outstanding.

Combat is quicker and a bit more complicated, but not particularly difficult to get used to. The world is more open to exploration (except in some sequences) than in AC3, too, which allows you more variation in your tactics.

All in all, if you like Assasins Creed at all, you must get this one. If you were turned off by AC3, please give this one a try. I think it will win you back!
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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.
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on November 2, 2013
I'll keep this short because there is a ton of info and more reviews coming of course but to sum it up this is a heck of a lot FUN! The world is open and I keep finding new things to do. I actually liked AC3 unlike most people reviewing here - I liked it a lot. This game, though using the same basic engine is COMPLETELY different. Many many people were dubious whether or not AC could work in a "pirate" world but it is amazing how much of the gameplay you would expect from this franchise transitions PERFECTLY to a "pirate's life". I remember reading about the devs saying exactly that many months ago but seeing and playing it firsthand I have to agree whole-heartedly. I'll just sum it up by saying that this is somehow the most ADDICTING gameplay I've experienced yet in an Assassin's Creed title (and I love them all honestly)... I played yesterday for nearly 10 hours and have no idea how it became 2:30am suddenly and where all the time went I don't know! I was on the high seas, matey!

edit: after probably another 12 hrs of play... I honestly don't know how many i've logged so far, but i just got to the point where the diving bell is introduced and that first sequence is mind blowing. Changing my total review from 4 to 5 stars. Outstanding game... so much diversity. Just outstanding.
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on December 14, 2013
I like it. I don't want to make you read too much. Here's what I think:

- 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.
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on October 30, 2013
I swore after the wretched Assassin's Creed 3 that I would never pay full price for an AC game again. Then they had to go and make a game about pirates. Oh well. So is it any good?

Well, if you like the Assassin's Creed series, but hated AC3 then there's good news and bad news. Good news is for the most part they've ditched the handholding. Gone is the awful 6 hour long tutorial - the tutorial levels in Black Flag feel like they forward the story and you can get through them pretty quickly. They've also mixed up the formula a bit by giving you more pirate-y things to do, so while there's still the same old "chase after the courier here" type busy work, there's also a lot of freedom to take to the ocean and explore. The bad news with the game is, much like AC3 and Revelations, it still lacks polish. The actual fights can be frustrating, there's texture pop in and bugs that obviously need to be patched. It would be nice if Ubisoft would stop releasing beta versions of their software and expecting people to plunk down $60.

On the whole though, the formula might be getting a little stale but it's a relief that AC feels fun again after the awful AC3 and that alone is worth giving it 4 starts.
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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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