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on September 19, 2017
I am familiar with the franchise but wasn't a huge fan. The visuals and setting were too impressive to pass up. You won't be disappointed, but you will get tired quickly of blowing up and taking over ships, guards and assassinations, and looting small amounts of money from the chests. The game blocks off your ability to explore due to the nature of the storyline and that "Area Not Available" crap really sucked. AGE LEVEL: No, this isn't suitable for a child hence the M rating. First you'd have to explain why it's okay to kill people for money. There's also live animal skinning (sleep dart, then skin), moderate gore, etc... Stick to games with E for everyone ratings.

TIP: If you need money fast or wood and metal, I found that with a bit of good timing I was able to swim over to enemy ships, climb the rope ladder to the crow's nest, take out all the officers (like shooting fish in a barrel!), return to my own ship with no damage to either myself or it, and shoot down the empty ship (do NOT sink!), and gain everything. There is also a glitch that allows this from a particular viewpoint which just keeps giving you anchored ships very close to the shore and where you are making it even easier. There are many of activities, but it all gets old really fast. Also, no way to abort missions.
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on March 17, 2016
Here's what you need to know: there are two games contained on this disc.

Assassin's Creed IV: A continuation of the popular AC franchise.

Black Flag: A great pirate simulator.

The fact that these two games share the same setting, characters, and plot is mostly incidental. They contrast each other sharply.

The Assassin's Creed portion of the game is not exactly bad. It's more entertaining than ACIII's American Revolution setting and the plot is moderately interesting. But it's still a stunningly mediocre entry into the franchise. It's yet another game about a handsome, brash young man who finds himself caught between ancient rivals and who must grow up, take responsibility, and become a hero. The same story we've already played several times over.

The positive side here is the player character, Edward Kenway. He's an extremely likable character and a lot of fun to play. He spends the majority of the game as an amoral poser, willing to go along with the assassins as long as it pays off for him down the line. His stupidity and greed have real consequences, so at least his growth as a character feels organic. The cast of supporting characters are also great and I liked pretty much all of them.

But dear god, the Assassin's Creed game mechanics have become so stale it's ridiculous. Yes, it's still fun to parkour around, especially in the colorful cities like Havana. Yes, it's still a hoot to cause mayhem on the rooftops. Wielding pirate pistols and double swords in a black Jolly Roger cloak makes you feel like an angel of death in the Caribbean. But the assassin missions seem to focus almost exclusively on tailing and eavesdropping, boxing you into narrow constraints with almost no room to improvise. They become increasingly frustrating as the game goes on. ACIV adds nothing significant to the already muddled Assassin's Creed mythology, leaving me underwhelmed all around.

By contrast, the Black Flag portion of the game is some of the most fun I've had with a video game...ever. As a lover of all things pirate, this is probably the best pirate simulator on the market. When you're not on Assassin missions, you are free to roam the Caribbean in your ship the Jackdaw. And the Caribbean is packed full of things to do:

Explore smuggler's caves
Defeat and take over naval forts
Explore uncharted islands
Hunt exotic creatures
Hunt dangerous sea creatures such as Great White Sharks
Accept naval missions as a privateer
Use treasure maps to find valuable collectibles
Challenge legendary vessels
And, of course, become a terror on the high seas by boarding enemy ships and taking their booty, from little boats to massive Men-O-War

The AC mechanics are implemented beautifully in the pirate parts of the game. Swinging between ships, running along the rigging, and battling furiously on the deck with your crew is all wild, frenetic fun. Hazards such as brutal storms add an element of excitement to chases, and the tropical ocean environment is beautifully rendered. It's a joy to play. I dreaded being forced ashore for assassin missions because I was having so much fun as a pirate, but it's unavoidable. You must complete the storyline in chunks to earn upgrades to your ship and take full advantage of the pirate elements.

Despite this being one of my favorite 360 games of all time, I'm forced to knock a star off because the Assassin's Creed elements are just so boring. I understand needing to slap a blockbuster label on this game to increase sales, but it really does feel tacked on. Had this been a straight pirate game, it would have been amazing.

If you are a fan of the AC franchise or you love pirates, this game is absolutely worth it.
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on November 9, 2015
Love the campaign. Not many options available for free-roam after all the side quests have been completed. Combat in ships was exceptional and well-balanced, and person-to-person combat was equally gratifying. I gave it 4 out of 5 stars because it's a really good game, but just shy of awesome. Thanks to my son for dictating his gaming experience. He is 13 and played the heck out of this game.

As a parent, it has the typical amount of blood an violence, as I observed. There were a couple of ladies of the night, but they didn't say a lot and they weren't dressed too provocatively. I don't recall that language was a big deal either, considering he is a freshman in high school, it wasn't prolific and nothing he doesn't hear every day, I'm sure.

I wish there were more games he enjoyed this much, that I felt comfortable buying for him. I far prefer this type of game to first-person shooter, gory, and risque.
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on July 6, 2017
Difficult to recommend as having played the majority of up to then current AC games. Liked rags to riches story, felt forced many times but character felt real. As a whole felt it was most watered down and trite in the franchise to date. Severely disappointed in how short it was, felt like a true case of the devs pandering to the masses for a cash crop and a big ******* to loyal and hardcore fans. Of the ilk who was more impressed by three. Water combat was great.... at first. Traveling was enormously tedious and naval combat overall after long. However I felt it was a smoother transition of main characters than most other franchises. Montreal does really fine work despite the misgivings. Enjoyed it despite tediousness and shortness, would recommend at sale price.
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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.


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.


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.


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 December 7, 2017
From the sea shanties to the architecture and landscapes, this game is by far one of my favorite Assassin's Creed (AC) games. For parents: there is mild British foul language, "dancers" (which aren't as scantily clad as some of the other AC games, and the blood can be turned of on the options menu if you are concerned about gore. Not too much to worry about and I would rate the earliest age I would allow for playing this at 10 years old and up. Thanks for a great experience!
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on May 20, 2014
As someone who had a special affection for AC: Brotherhood, and yes that was after Revelations and AC III. But this game blew me away. Now I don't like Edward more than Ezio, but he's very close. A very interesting character with an interesting story. Also the story with the world after Desmond's arc continues in a very well done way. The world in the Animus and outside are absolutely beautiful. There's plenty of minigames outside the Animus you need to complete to advance through the story, or feed your curiosity. In the game, there's no shortage of things you can do!

The temptation is to just play through the story, but after you get your ship, play the game slowly. Adventure, explore, pirate those Brits and Spaniards! And the DLC of Assassin's Creed, Freedom Cry places you in the shoes of Adewale, an African assassin. There's issues of slavery and race, and this game deals with them in a mature and accurate manner.

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on March 28, 2015
Loving this game so far.

I'm a pretty big ''n00b'' when it comes to console games, I prefer mmorpg's on pc, and I had a heck of a time getting into assassin's creed 3, but the reviews for this one convinced me I might like ac4;bf better so I gave it a try and I'm glad I did.

The first time I ever played Assassin's Creed was ac3 and I immediately liked how easy movement was as compared to other console games I had played. I just couldn't get into the single player version and got distracted playing other games.

Recently I gave ac3 a try again and wanted so much to enjoy it but just couldn't get into it. I went into multi-player and it was just too hard to get a good match due to not many players being online when I was playing, so I thought maybe a newer title would have more players, and the reviews for ac4bf sounded like exactly what I was looking for.

I haven't gotten very far into the single player game yet, taking my time and enjoying it. I love the inclusion of ships though.

I played multiplayer a bit and there were definitely more players on when I played than there had been for ac3, so that was nice, I actually was able to play enough to start noticing improvement.
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on October 27, 2014
There were two reviews that were the reason for my purchasing this game. First it was compared to Sid Meier's Pirates. The old Sid Meier's Pirates DOS game was one of my favorites as a kid. I can't remember how may hours I put into that one. And I must say some of those elements are in Black Flag.

The second and main reason I got Black Flag was because someone in a review compared it to Skyrim (my favorite game). Sadly though this was a horrible comparison. Skyrim is by far the best game out there, everything about it is done in an amazing way. I thought that a pirate game like that would be fantastic. However, Black Flag is far too story driven, there is a lot you can do in the open world but you have to do so much of the story first. In skyrim after the first mission you can do whatever you want to.

I would compare Black Flag more to Red Dead Redemption, which is also a great game, but like Black Flag is very story driven. Black Flag is fun, you can go hunting for whales, sharks and land animals too. The navel combat is awesome, and attacking other ships and forts is incredibly fun. After reading the comparison to Skyrim my hopes were high, and a little let down. If the game were truly more like Skyrim I would love the game.

Maybe someday we'll see Bethesda make a pirate game, if they did it would have the potential to be one of the best games made!!
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on August 3, 2015
Hands down, the best Assassin's Creed game. Rather than hand-hold you through ridiculously tedious fetch quests and relentlessly tie you to the main storyline, Black Flag offers a welcome breath of freedom and variety the game's preceding titles so often sorely lacked.

Replete with the parkour acrobatics and impressive, historically accurate locales that made previous entries such robust affairs, ACIV pushes the envelope with a truly open world ripe to be explored and plundered. Within the space of an hour, you'll captain a ship, ferrying across the Caribbean to islands uninhabited and bustling alike. Cities and towns are wondrously detailed and filled with fun distractions from the very beginning. The seas themselves provide perhaps the most enticing draw of all: naval battles. Building off the ACIII's jaunt into ship-to-ship warfare, Black Flag nails a multi-faceted and strategically engrossing combat system that easily overshadows the paltry melee offerings of the first few titles. Controls are easy to grasp, and it never gets old blasting a ship halfway to oblivion before storming its decks and claiming it for your own.

While the storyline is still steeped in totally underwhelming, half-baked Templar-Assassin sci-fi mythos, Black Flag's entertaining cast of rapscallion pirates ARRRGH undeniably flavorful and well-acted all around. Likewise, the "meanwhile IRL" subplot about Abstergo Entertainment is a welcome change to the franchise's signature framing device, offering a hearty heap of gaming industry humor to the high-seas yarn truly at hand.

The visuals are breathtaking, even on aging hardware like the 360. Both the digital denizens and fauna of ACIV's Caribbean behave organically with the immersive environments around them, and a wide spectrum of locations makes for an unending sense of adventure. In honesty, this game is nearly as rewarding and astounding as any GTA title has ever been: it is leaps and bounds more accomplished that ACIII and should be recognized as a developer's guide to properly evolving an ongoing franchise. Terrific purchase.
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