Yes its got pirates!
That’s right folks, you’re still a deadly assassin but this time around, you’re also an ambitious pirate – looting, attacking and pillaging other ships and bases. It’s a bit of departure from what we are used to in an Assassin’s Creed game but it works and offers a better and more diverse experience than ever before.
I hated Assassin’s Creed 3. Hated it.
In fact, you won’t even see a review here on this site because I couldn’t even finish it. My first impressions of the game weren’t glowing and it didn’t get much better than that to a point where I just didn’t want to play it anymore. This is coming from a guy who has played and finished every single Assassin’s Creed game. From the stupid hunting missions, frequent technical glitches, lame characters and a emo/whiny Assassin Connor, the game just sucked. I am told that it does get better after a number of hours but I didn’t even want to bother. After getting burned so badly I was worried about Black Flag to a point where I was considering just skipping it. Thanks to a few fellow GamerVets who had nothing but great things to say about it, I took the plunge. Thankfully, Black Flag is nothing like Assassin’s Creed 3.
It’s damn fun ride.
The introduction of “pirating” really adds a lot more to the traditional Assassin’s Creed style gameplay. You could potentially just spend time just pirating for for hours on end without even touching the main story line. There’s surprisingly a lot of depth here in regards to upgrading your ship in armor and weaponry. Ship battles are just part of the action. You have the option to sink or board it. It’s more advantageous to board the ship as you get all the resources (you only get half if you sink it) and also give you more options including repairing you own ship, drop your wanted levels or add it to your own fleet. It’s an exciting event where you generally have to kill a number of enemies on the ship and capture their flag. Fun stuff.
The main story is actually pretty interesting
One thing about Assassin’s Creed is that there has always been some magical/mystical element to it. It’s usually some kind of hidden message that you may or may not care about. At times it gets convoluted and a bit ridiculous. Black Flag has some of it but actually doesn’t really shove it down your throat. Also, as some of you may recall from previous games, there’s always been 2 primary story lines. One where you are the Assassin in the Animus (aka memories) and another in the “real world” where you generally do a few minor missions. The real world still comes to play but you generally have to do a few objectives. Yes it’s a bit boring but thankfully it doesn’t come that often and it’s not as brutal as those days of playing as Desmond doing those weird block mission things. It does provide a bit of back story and touches a bit on the Templar vs Assassins element.
As for the story, you are Edward Kenway, badass pirate. To be honest that’s all you need to know. All you want is fortune and… more fortune. It just happens that you cross paths with the Assassin’s and the Templars along the way where you must choose sides as their goals soon coincide with your own.
The Old Guy in Me Says
The gameplay is solid and the 1080p resolution jump on the PS4 is welcome addition that makes the scenery and water really pop. It’s an easy game to just play for a few minutes to a few hours. The Black Flag world is huge so you can really take your time playing the game. If time is not always on your side, it’s a great game to just jump into for 30 minutes where you can pirate and battle some ships. If you feel like it, you can hit the main story or even do a bunch of side missions as well. While you are at it, go hunting, or crafting or send your fleet to battle. There’s tons of stuff to do to keep you entertained. Highly recommended.