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#1 Edited by minivan (172 posts) -

Polygon: 7.5/10

For all of its mechanical improvements; for the wonder I felt as I sailed the ocean, with orca, dolphins, even great whites breaking the surface to my port side as I outran a royal trade armada; for the excellent performances and character moments throughout ... it felt disjointed. Directionless. Black Flag, like its protagonist, is constantly waiting for its dare-to-be-great moment.

Kotaku: Yes you should play this game

Like many of the characters who populate its world, Black Flag seems keen to slough off the vestiges of its ancestry and fly free. It is a significant improvement for the Assassin's Creedseries, a gorgeous piece of digital entertainment that makes good on its outsized ambition with remarkable regularity. And yet here I am, still locked in that metaphorical loading screen, running forward while wondering if I'm getting anywhere at all.P

At least this time I'm dressed as a pirate. For now, that's enough.

Eurogamer: 9/10

But the developers have worked around the series' foibles brilliantly. The obligatory present-day sections of the game are a case in point, showing you behind the Templar curtain and telling a neat short story that ties into Edward's adventures and keeps you sated, even though it doesn't advance the meta-narrative that much. Back in the 1700s, clumsy mechanics are downplayed in favour of the thrill of the open sea, where everything feels fresh and exciting. If I ever felt down while roaming rooftops, I just answered the call of the ocean and everything was right with the world again.

IGN: 8.5/10

The amazing world of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag has kept me gladly occupied for longer than any other game in the series, even though its story isn’t the strongest. At no point in my dozens of hours was I ever at a loss for something to do. Simply sailing wherever the wind takes me and seeing what sort of trouble I can get into is a complete joy. Beyond the underwhelming main campaign, Black Flag delivers a world brimming with gorgeous places to go, amazing secrets to discover, and nefarious pirates to stab.

Gamespot: 9/10

Black Flag presents a world full of adventure and opportunity, where treasures scavenged in a remote jungle can be used to turn the tide in a massive naval battle against mighty Spanish warships. It's a game where you can sail the seas for hours at a time, either hunting great white sharks or simply listening to your crew sing one infectious sea shanty after the next. There's an incredible scope to what you can do in Black Flag, with a level of harmony between its component parts that encourages you to try it all, and a story that keeps you invested throughout the whole thing. If there was ever any question that Assassin's Creed needed something ambitious to get the series back on track, Black Flag is that game and then some.

Edge: 9/10

The naval combat missions were the best thing about ACIII, and their foregrounding here shows that Ubisoft knows it. Plundering other ships is a multi-stage process of disabling them and then swinging aboard for a deck-based skirmish. The emergent wrinkles of dynamic weather and potential engagement from nearby ships helps to keep these battles eternally fresh. But the same freedom you enjoy while circling rivals on the ocean like a shark also extends to stealth objectives in Havana, Nassau, and other settlements. Stealth games are only as good as the flexibility of their encounters, and in that regard Black Flag is the most generous Assassin’s Creed game to date.

Joystiq: 4/5

Beyond its present-day feature set, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag is a vibrant historical adventure, drawn from bold characters and edge-of-your-seat sailing. It's not the proper return to form for the series, but it is a concerted acknowledgement of what that form is today, and what works for the monster of gameplay systems, stealth, ships and oceans that lurks underneath. I'm told that we might expect the mythical squat button in a sequel someday, but for now I'm happy to leap between the roles of assassin, pirate and one-time whaler wracked with guilt.

Rev3Games: 4/5

I wasn't planning to buy this after 3, but it might just be the open world pirate game I've always wanted. Too bad PC release is still weeks away.

#2 Edited by Fredchuckdave (5187 posts) -

Sounds nifty, about to go buy this though mainly for the multiplayer. Review from an actually respected source.

#3 Posted by SharkEthic (1003 posts) -

I'm actually glad that the PC release is a ways off. Gives other people time to play the game, let it settle in and then give a much more precise critique of the game, hence making my purchasing decision all the more informed. Let's not forget that AC3 initially scored pretty well as well.

#4 Edited by SeanFoster (854 posts) -

Feels like one I'll pick up during a Steam sale in the not too distant future!

#5 Posted by Rafaelfc (1311 posts) -

I guess i'll have to buy this if I want to actually play something on my Ps4...

#6 Edited by armaan8014 (5319 posts) -

Man i'm so excited plus happy to see the generally positive reviews it seems to be getting. Can't wait for the pc release :/

#7 Posted by TheManWithNoPlan (5139 posts) -

I'm actually pretty excited for the game, despite being a little fatigued with the past couple of entries. It seems like a very nice launch game.

#8 Posted by minivan (172 posts) -

Sounds nifty, about to go buy this though mainly for the multiplayer. Review from an actually respected source.

Added that review to the original post. All these sites are respected by many otherwise they wouldn't be successful.

#9 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10384 posts) -

Great! Looks like I'll have at least one good game to play on my PS4!

#10 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3721 posts) -

The pirate game we have all needed!

Glad to see positive reviews. Lets not forget there have been great games in the AC series. After III, with a lot of people it's as if the series has never been good and never will be again. Part of the reason AC is so interesting as a series is because it is so full of promise.

#11 Posted by Morningstar (2128 posts) -

Pirates are cool, so I'll get this for my Ps4. And I haven't liked an AC game since ACII.

#12 Posted by mrfluke (5051 posts) -

The pirate game we have all needed!

Glad to see positive reviews. Lets not forget there have been great games in the AC series. After III, with a lot of people it's as if the series has never been good and never will be again. Part of the reason AC is so interesting as a series is because it is so full of promise.

#13 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3721 posts) -

On a side note: a second Arthur Gies review where a game isn't an 8 + because.... "a special something" bascially? Okay dude. I guess I'm probably just so anti him at this moment.

#14 Posted by probablytuna (3525 posts) -

This is the first AC I won't be buying, even though I kinda enjoyed ACIII for what it's worth.

#16 Edited by EuanDewar (4693 posts) -

Rad, no idea if I wanna go out and get this now or wait for the PS4 version tho

#17 Posted by LeYcH (216 posts) -

First AC I won't bother playing.

I can't wait to read about it on Wikipedia.

#18 Posted by pyrodactyl (1857 posts) -

Gaaaaaaa, still have to wait more than 2 weeks to pick this up with a PS4 and BF4.

#19 Posted by Ares42 (2559 posts) -

I've played the first few hours of it. It's had it's ups and downs, but I'm generally enjoying it quite a lot (although I liked AC 3 too). The boating is way better than I expected, however I'm like 4-5 (I think?) hours in and I'm still not done getting "tutorialized". After just having played Arkham Origins (where I was more annoyed by things being introduced too slowly) it's a really stark contrast.

I have to say though, I've had 2 "real world" sequences so far and it's just fucking ludicrous. I'm really hoping Jeff will be sitting in on the QL and they stumble into the first of them. Would make for a very entertaining QL =)

#20 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

Playing it now. It's very fucking good. Way better than 3.

#21 Posted by minivan (172 posts) -

@ares42 said:

I have to say though, I've had 2 "real world" sequences so far and it's just fucking ludicrous. I'm really hoping Jeff will be sitting in on the QL and they stumble into the first of them. Would make for a very entertaining QL =)

Before Ubi previewed the modern world part I had hoped they would drop that whole part of the series with no explanation. I'm ok with some meta, ludicrous, shit though. Just don't want any more Desmond.

#22 Edited by Claude (16254 posts) -

AC is dead to me. I will not be fooled again.

#23 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3721 posts) -

Some of these responses are hilarious.

@minivan said:

@ares42 said:

I have to say though, I've had 2 "real world" sequences so far and it's just fucking ludicrous. I'm really hoping Jeff will be sitting in on the QL and they stumble into the first of them. Would make for a very entertaining QL =)

Before Ubi previewed the modern world part I had hoped they would drop that whole part of the series with no explanation. I'm ok with some meta, ludicrous, shit though. Just don't want any more Desmond.

Couldn't agree more. Anything different, sure, give it a shot. II was the only game where the Desmond stuff was worth a damn.

Question though: Are there glyphs? That was actually the best modern world part of the series, I thought. When they were a part of the game that is. Just tying the story into all of history (and stuff like that customer service cable call which was in Brotherhood I believe which was so awesome).

#24 Edited by Veektarius (4541 posts) -

To anyone playing the game - is it possible to avoid wearing an 'Assassins' uniform basically ever in the story? To what degree is that element important versus the typical pirates tale?

#25 Edited by geirr (2469 posts) -

I've not liked this series since the first game, which wasn't a very good game. This actually looks kinda neat and if the ps4 version is half as pretty as it looks on PC, I might just buy this.

#26 Posted by Deranged (1837 posts) -

So from what I'm hearing, the story is essentially pointless? I'll wait until I play it myself. I felt that AC3 was unnecessarily hated on.

#27 Posted by Rattle618 (1463 posts) -

I´ll have to play it to believe it cause Im kind of burned on AC, but if they finally get one right and its pirate themed... God damn it.

#28 Posted by RonGalaxy (2847 posts) -

Umm, I dont think this is getting any better reviews than 3 did... Because 3 got good reviews (85 on metacritic). If yall hated it so much, maybe you shouldn't be going by reviews. I liked 3, so this is an easy buy for me (gonna wait until I get a ps4 though).

#29 Posted by MildMolasses (3213 posts) -

On a side note: a second Arthur Gies review where a game isn't an 8 + because.... "a special something" bascially? Okay dude. I guess I'm probably just so anti him at this moment.

Normally I roll my eyes at reviewer-specific hate (I will defend every Jim Sterling review, for example) but Gies is extremely unlikable, and at this point I don't know why anyone would care what he or Polygon has to say about anything

#30 Posted by AMyggen (2463 posts) -

@naru_joe93: Well, most positive reviews say that it's better than AC3, so...that's something? I'm one of those who'll probably not go back to the franchise after AC3, but I hope people like AC4!

Online
#31 Posted by Humanity (8729 posts) -

Kinda tempted to pick this up for console today but I think I will hold out so I can see the "power" of nextgen consoles. Like, I really want to be able to put in a game and feel a noticeable difference in quality.

#32 Posted by MildMolasses (3213 posts) -

@humanity said:

Kinda tempted to pick this up for console today but I think I will hold out so I can see the "power" of nextgen consoles. Like, I really want to be able to put in a game and feel a noticeable difference in quality.

I'm sort of tempted too, but I can remember looking at ACIII and thinking about how done I am with current gen visuals. I want some pretty water and foliage to look at when I get my PS4 and I don't imagine NFS: Rivals will satisfy that

#33 Posted by SharkEthic (1003 posts) -

"A few too many eavesdropping missions"

I mean, it's like they don't WAN'T to learn... If I ever meet the focus tester that keeps telling Ubisoft that "Dude, the eavesdropping missions are THE BEST! Those and the chase sequences!", I'm gonna flip my shit.

#34 Posted by EuanDewar (4693 posts) -

@humanity said:

Kinda tempted to pick this up for console today but I think I will hold out so I can see the "power" of nextgen consoles. Like, I really want to be able to put in a game and feel a noticeable difference in quality.

They're doing a thing at GAME stores over here where you buy the current gen version of a game and can trade it in later for pretty much what you bought it for in order to get the next gen version but for some reason AC4 isn't one of the games included in that program. Well annoying, if it was i would definitely run out and get it.

#35 Posted by GaspoweR (2755 posts) -

Oh so excited! Glad I got the discount from Gamefly for the PC version! YESH! :D

#36 Edited by GaspoweR (2755 posts) -

@humanity said:

Kinda tempted to pick this up for console today but I think I will hold out so I can see the "power" of nextgen consoles. Like, I really want to be able to put in a game and feel a noticeable difference in quality.

They're doing a thing at GAME stores over here where you buy the current gen version of a game and can trade it in later for pretty much what you bought it for in order to get the next gen version but for some reason AC4 isn't one of the games included in that program. Well annoying, if it was i would definitely run out and get it.

Gamestop I think is doing it as well in the US.

#37 Posted by Nekroskop (2786 posts) -

As long as it's better than that clusterfuck AC3(such a disappointment and shitty MC), I'm buying it.

#38 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3721 posts) -

@artisanbreads said:

On a side note: a second Arthur Gies review where a game isn't an 8 + because.... "a special something" bascially? Okay dude. I guess I'm probably just so anti him at this moment.

Normally I roll my eyes at reviewer-specific hate (I will defend every Jim Sterling review, for example) but Gies is extremely unlikable, and at this point I don't know why anyone would care what he or Polygon has to say about anything

Yeah, trust me I'm the last to usually pick apart a review but I'm also just shaking my head at Gies at every chance these days, dude has reached all new levels.

#39 Posted by GiantLizardKing (244 posts) -

On a side note: a second Arthur Gies review where a game isn't an 8 + because.... "a special something" bascially? Okay dude. I guess I'm probably just so anti him at this moment.

My main problem with Gies is that despite his outward appearance, he plays the part of a highly paid MS suit quite well. I don't know why they are paying Major Nelson big bucks when they have Arthur out there shilling for free. You would be hard pressed to find another games journo that toes the corporate line and buys PR spin quite as much as Arthur.

#40 Posted by xyzygy (9871 posts) -

Not surprised to hear that the story is underwhelming. The game does go back in time from the events of 3 after all, which I thought was weird to begin with.

#41 Edited by shinjin977 (743 posts) -

@mildmolasses said:

@artisanbreads said:

On a side note: a second Arthur Gies review where a game isn't an 8 + because.... "a special something" bascially? Okay dude. I guess I'm probably just so anti him at this moment.

Normally I roll my eyes at reviewer-specific hate (I will defend every Jim Sterling review, for example) but Gies is extremely unlikable, and at this point I don't know why anyone would care what he or Polygon has to say about anything

Yeah, trust me I'm the last to usually pick apart a review but I'm also just shaking my head at Gies at every chance these days, dude has reached all new levels.

He has always been pretty unlikable. Also, Jim sterling is the one hitting out of the park these days.

#42 Edited by ArbitraryWater (11423 posts) -

Sounds interesting... but I'm playing through AC III right now. Call me about Black Flag in like a year when Assassin's Creed 5 or whatever comes out.

#43 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4328 posts) -

Looks like it will be fun to play and I'm not worried about a weak, aimless story considering that AC 3 took a shit and set whatever was left of that story on fire. Shame that it's not out on PC yet but I have other things to catch up on still anyways.

#44 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3721 posts) -

@xyzygy said:

Not surprised to hear that the story is underwhelming. The game does go back in time from the events of 3 after all, which I thought was weird to begin with.

Also, has to be very hard to make a story in a game that is worked on literally across the globe and multiple giant studios.

#45 Edited by chiablo (893 posts) -

Question for people playing it... have they finally abandoned the stupid Desmond storyline? I hate that guy and everyone who surrounds him. If not, how prevalent is it?

#46 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3721 posts) -

@chiablo said:

Question for people playing it... have they finally abandoned the stupid Desmond storyline? I hate that guy and everyone who surrounds him. If not, how prevalent is it?

Read the reviews, it's a totally different modern story now about an Abstergo employee.

#47 Posted by chiablo (893 posts) -

@chiablo said:

Question for people playing it... have they finally abandoned the stupid Desmond storyline? I hate that guy and everyone who surrounds him. If not, how prevalent is it?

Read the reviews, it's a totally different modern story now about an Abstergo employee.

I could hug you.

#48 Posted by Humanity (8729 posts) -

@gaspower said:

@euandewar said:

@humanity said:

Kinda tempted to pick this up for console today but I think I will hold out so I can see the "power" of nextgen consoles. Like, I really want to be able to put in a game and feel a noticeable difference in quality.

They're doing a thing at GAME stores over here where you buy the current gen version of a game and can trade it in later for pretty much what you bought it for in order to get the next gen version but for some reason AC4 isn't one of the games included in that program. Well annoying, if it was i would definitely run out and get it.

Gamestop I think is doing it as well in the US.

That would be almost tempting but I currently mainly game on 360 and I'd be getting the PS4 version for nextgen. Also, I wouldn't want to replay the same missions from scratch. I can wait, but it's a good deal for multiplayer centric games.

#49 Posted by Lumley (941 posts) -

I've played them all so far apart from 3 and I really enjoyed 2 and Brotherhood. I guess I can jump straight into 4 without playing 3 if it's set before it, right?

#50 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3721 posts) -

@chiablo said:

@artisanbreads said:

@chiablo said:

Question for people playing it... have they finally abandoned the stupid Desmond storyline? I hate that guy and everyone who surrounds him. If not, how prevalent is it?

Read the reviews, it's a totally different modern story now about an Abstergo employee.

I could hug you.

I don't know how good it is, but yes ANYTHING different is a positive. It actually sounds silly and bizarre almost which is a plus.

@lumley said:

I've played them all so far apart from 3 and I really enjoyed 2 and Brotherhood. I guess I can jump straight into 4 without playing 3 if it's set before it, right?

Seems like very minimal ties, so yes. As I was posting above, not even Desmond in this game so yeah.