Good afternoon! I’ve been playing Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and it was really enjoyable. It seemed like a good blog topic, so I’m going to discuss the strongest and weakest elements of the game. Even though Black Flag was released back in 2013, gamers still remember it today. This game was quite popular in the Assassin’s Creed franchise and it was definitely one of the most unique installments. Keep reading to find out how I felt about it.
The story takes place in the Caribbean during the 18th-century, focusing on a pirate and privateer named Edward Kenway. He’s searching for wealth that can help his family, but complications and new developments alter his priorities. Eventually, he joins the Assassin Order and battles the Knight Templars. Kenway also encounters several historical pirates and tries to help them build an utopia that is free of governmental or monarchial control. The story can change a little bit, depending on the player’s decisions.
I’ll start with the positive elements. First of all, it’s a really fun game. I had a blast with sword fighting and swashbuckling. The player has a chance to use a variety of weapons, including guns, smoke bombs, poisonous darts, and more. There are many opportunities for stealth kills and evasions from more difficult enemies. I really enjoy the underwater sequences to search for treasure and other valuable items. The player has a chance to upgrade Kenway’s weapons and equipment, which is helpful in later chapters. There are countless side missions and the player can choose any combinations of them. Most of the side missions are really fun and the main story is entertaining as well. The game has a brisk pace from one activity and battle to another. There was enough variety and options to keep me intrigued.
Black Flag has a fabulous open world environment with lush tropical environments, bustling Caribbean towns, cool ships, and wonderful underwater locations. Modern players might not be impressed with the graphics, but it was cutting age back in 2013. This was also Assassin’s Creed largest environment at the time. The player sails to multiple islands and each one has different opportunities, altercations, and visual elements. Actually, the environment can be really helpful. Some of the background elements helped me hide from enemies, escape from them, and complete stealth assassinations. It’s really fun to explore each area because there are treats everywhere. You can find money, weapons, useful allies, and new missions simply by exploring the map. It’s hard to become disinterested with the vast open world setting.
This game gives flexible options to the player. Do you prefer leaping into combat head on? That’s totally an option. Would you prefer to kill your enemies with stealth approaches? That works too. Kenway can pick up multiple allies through the game if you give them an incentive, which makes the game play much easier. It’s also fine to take the solo approach as well. Basically, the player can find the best way to proceed through the main story on an individual level. Each player is different and this game is quite accommodating. You can spend weeks or even months exploring the entire game.
Black Flag is a good option for players who are less familiar with the Assassin’s Creed series. It’s less difficult than some of the installments and the game play helps the player develop many skills along the way. I thought it was easier to play and smoother than Unity. Trial and error experiences work pretty well in the long run. This game also works really well for experts in the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Black Flag is significantly different than the other games and it gives experienced players a lot of freedom. Overall, everybody wins.
The player also meets historical pirates through the main story, including Black Beard, Calico Jack, Charles Vane, Benjamin Hornigold, and Anne Bonny. I thought it was fun to interact with the characters. The player can turn these historical figures into allies, but it’s also easy to wind up on their bad side. We get to see plenty of pirates in this game, which is a plus.
I have a handful of minor complaints. The biggest issue is twitchy game play. Sometimes my character randomly jumped around, ran in the wrong direction, and climbed up the scenery for no particular reason. Unfortunately, these mistakes can lead to death or failing missions in worst case scenarios. I got killed by angry mobs several times because Kenway grabbed unnecessary scenery during big chase scenes.
Certain missions are very tedious. The player has to chase other characters and capture them sometimes. Kenway also has to follow enemies and eavesdrop on their conversations frequently. These missions aren’t particularly fun and they can be frustrating. Granted, this isn’t a new problem in Assassin’s Creed. Nearly all of the games in this series include similarly annoying missions.
Money drains very quickly without warning. It’s necessary to spend money on weapons, clothes, bribing other characters, etc. Apparently, being a pirate and assassin is pricy business. I spent a lot of time searching for loot and going on side missions to obtain more money. Some players might get frustrated enough to lose interest because of this aspect.
Personally, I had a difficult time with most of the nautical missions. The ships don’t handle very well and the aiming system requires a lot of practice. However, some players might not struggle that much. It’s probably an individual situation. I think players will handle the nautical battles and traveling well if they click with racing games.
The story isn’t particularly interesting. It’s pretty thin and mostly focuses on a pirate who eventually becomes an assassin. That’s about it. You’re not going to find a lot of deep themes, multiple layers, subplots, or anything else. It’s totally fine for Assassin’s Creed, but some modern games have more complexity.
It was also really easy for me to get lost in the huge environment. The maps are massive and the player can head in all kinds of directions. That was a little bit of problem for me because I’m directionally challenged. Open world environments can be difficult for me. However, the maps are helpful and expert gamers will probably be fine. Eventually, I was able to get back on track after taking the scenic route.
What’s my verdict? I absolutely recommend this game. It’s old news, but many players will enjoy the experience. Black Flag is fun, interesting, and full of opportunities. Expect to spend a lot of timing playing missions. It’s a huge game and you probably won’t beat the main story right away. I’m just letting you know because some gamers want to finish everything within a week. You don’t even have to be a fan of Assassin’s Creed to like this game. Just have fun and try it out.
That’s the end of my review for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Have you guys played this game yet? What did you think about the experience? Leave a comment and tell me about it. Watch out for more news, photos, reviews, discussions, and interviews. You’ll always be able to find something interesting on my website. Enjoy the rest of your week and come back for my next post.
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