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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 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 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.


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 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 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 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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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 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 January 14, 2014
I am a fan of the Assassin's Creed series, but I must say that this is the best yet! By time I played AC3, I was getting tired of the repetitive game play. The ship portions added a welcomed freshness to AC3, but there wasn't nearly enough ship missions. Well... lucky me! They made a game that had the best part of AC3!

I will admit that I am not a huge fan of Kenway as a character in the series. He just doesn't make the same connection with me that Ezio did. But the rich assortment of NPCs make up for Kenway's often aggravatingly oxymoronic character. One of the best parts for me was the blending of history with the game. In college I took a history class all about the Golden Age of piracy, so it was great to see names that I've read about. I only wish that they could have made Blackbeard's death as epic as it was in real life! Of course they did their own twist on the death, but it was pretty close! The real Blackbeard was shot over 4 times and stabbed over 20 before he went down!

The other thing that I wish they would have done, is create more of an assortment to boarding ships. It does get a little tiring doing and seeing the same thing again and again as you capture ship after ship. Still, this is the best edition to the AC series yet! And from what I hear, this might not be the end to pirates from Ubisoft!
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on December 8, 2014
AC IV: Black Flag has been out for over a year now and chances are you've already heard of it, so this won't take long.

Do you want to be, or have ever wanted to be, a pirate? Buy this game. Do you have fond memories of Sid Meier's Pirates from gaming days of yore? Buy this game. Have you ever enjoyed any AC game of the past? Then buy this game.

This is easily the best Assassin's Creed game since ACII, and may be the best of the series, period. It's very light on the present-day sci-fi story elements (which have always been a bit forced, frankly), and very heavy on the free-world adventuring elements (which have always been one of the series' biggest strengths). Best of all, the world opens up early thanks to you getting command of your ship, and the only thing that keeps you out of certain parts of the world is the strength of the enemies you find there. Upgrade your ship appropriately, and the (game) world is your oyster.

Every AC game is loaded with side quests and collectables, but there hasn't always been a compelling reason to find and complete them (unless you simply wanted to). This time around, many of them add to the core experience, even if in subtle ways, it's very satisfying. Collect a new sea shanty, and you'll hear your crew singing it out on the open seas. Buried treasure may yield a unique plan to upgrade your ship. Hunting creatures will yield the materials for upgrades to your armor and accessories. And a bunch more. It's all optional, but there are real in-game reasons to complete at least some of the side content, aside from collecting achievements and trophies.

The world is well realized, and mostly accessed real-time without loading (with the exception of the major cities and a few other key locations). Sailing the open sea is a delight, though instant quick-travel to almost any location becomes available after you've 'discovered' it the first time. You'll play the game for hours and hours before you're tempted to use it though. The sea is chock full of uncharted treasure islands, ships to hunt down and plunder (or just blow out of the water), and forts to capture.

Combat is mostly the standard 'counter to win' AC affair, with some twists thrown in from higher-level enemy units or your special abilities. You can still take on crowds of enemies alone and emerge victorious, which can make you feel like a hero or like the combat is just too ridiculously easy, depending on your point of view. Stealth is included in the game, but is almost never required aside from a few baked-in story sequences.
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