Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag Review




    • Epic storyline
    • Vast world to explore
    • Good combat mechanics
    • Intriguing naval battles
    • Fresh gameplay
    • Gorgeous cities
    • The Jackdaw


    • Repetitive missions
    • Textures felt bit pale

Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag proves to be a perfect pirate adventure; and one of the best and biggest open world games in the series. With totally different storyline and gameplay, AC4 has been successfully blended with parkour, stealth and combats making it one hell pirate simulation video game we`ve ever played so far.
  • Review


In the early 1700, a pirate named as Edward Kenway battles the high tides and waves in search of riches but end up confronting an Assassin, whose secrets ropes him in to an age old battle between Templars and Assassin’s Creed, making him one of the deadliest Assassins later in the game- but let me make corrections here, Edward dons the role of both Assassins and Templars, whichever is profitable for him.

Assassins Creed 4

In the past, Assassin’s series have dealt with some heavy topics like aboriginal genocide, papal corruption, holy wars and Templars. But the latest in the series- Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is a completely different from earlier games. It shows Assassins Creed series is quite capable of exploring the history’s fun side too, though the agenda sounds familiar- age old war between the Assassins and Templars but with some more dramatic storyline connected well with some ancient mystery, which of course is an interesting factor for both Assassins and Templars in the game.

The Story

The game starts with you playing as a nameless character, a new hire in Abstergo Entertainment entitled with the task to relive the memories of Desmond Miles. As a best connection between the real world and Assassins, you unravel key story elements that make the organization leads ore deep into the life of Assassins and Templars.

Assassins Creed IV Black Flag Game

Talking about whose who, let me introduce Edward Kenway to you. He is the grandfather of Ratonhnhaké:to aka Connor, the lead character of AC3, an Assassin of Eighteenth Century and the son of Haytham Kenway. Unlike the two characters shown in Assassins Creed 3, Edward Kenway is quite an epitome of a bad boy, who seems to be bit careless; though he is quite determined to make better life for himself by hook or crook.

The Bloodline

Without wasting much time- the main story starts with Edward Kenway’s fleet being fired up, most of the crews drowned, and he manages to swim to an island along with an Assassin, who is later killed by Edward when he tries to shoot him. Edward discovers a map that leads him to Templars, and later he starts his own quest in search of the treasure. He hijacks a ship, rescues some pirates, upgrades the ship and names it the Jackdaw. FYI- Edward’s Jackdaw is very much an integral part of Black Flag experience.

The Captain and Jackdaw

Jackdaw’s briny decks act as the access points for Edward to visualize the sultry shores of the Caribbean. Cities like Nassau, Havana and Kingston provide ample playgrounds for Edward to perform some land-lubbing actions; still Jackdaw offers a huge and vast wildernesses and seascapes to explore. And with Jackdaw’s wheel control on the hand, Edward acts as a Captain who leads the crew to victory again and again throughout the quest. Naval battles make a comeback; and unlike AC3, you can now have much more time floating on the ocean.

Assassins Creed Game

As a captain, Edward performs every action that is best for his crew and Jackdaw. He sails through various territories and explores plethora of tiny islands located all around the Bahamas. When you sail from island to island, you can make Jackdaw engage in naval battles with Spanish ships firing canons, chain shots and swivel guns. Steer, control the speed, and order your crew to fire the weapons or brace n incoming attacks; playing as an Edward is sheer exhilarating. You can either sink the Opposition ships to gain cargos or board them to salvage metals, sugar, cloth and other materials for repairing Jackdaw, or another option is to hire Spaniards into your crew.

Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag

Talking about the sea- it looks spectacular and Jackdaw floating over it made me experience The Pirates of Caribbean look alike feel. I remember whenever the fierce storms used to send huge swells to buffet the Jackdaw, spray of water lashes on the crew. While controlling the ship, you will face various enemies, forts and other opponents who are quite eager to sink down Jackdaw once and forever. Jackdaw might avoid the Canons hit at most of the time, but running away from Mortars felt bit difficult- especially when the ship gets surrounded by other guard ships who too are constantly firing the canons; but that’s what make the gameplay more intriguing. And trust me; AC4 Sea missions are sure to test your will and guts.

Black Flag Video Game

Your ship also acts as a content gate-keeper. Edward can change his outfits, select new weapons and access various treasure maps through Captain’s cabin in the ship. You can choose to harpoon sea beasties, dive down into the deep in search of valuables. And if you think, sailing keeps getting boring- you can dock the ship to nearest port- fetch some drinks, get into fights or play games. If harpooning is not in your list, then sail off to some island and hunt down the wilds for salvaging.

The GamePlay

If you have already experience the fun back in previous five "Assassin's Creed" games then you are sure to find the mechanics of Black Flag quite similar. Most of the things might look familiar while running on the landscape- jumping from rooftop to rooftop hasn’t changed since Altaïr did it first in Assassin’s Creed. The pirate turned Assassin can tackle multiple enemies with swords, pistols and hidden blades just like the Italian Renaissance killer Ezio. Moreover, exploring the wilderness and hunting down the rare animals is sure to remind you about Connor from AC3. Most of the actions of Edward will look similar to earlier Assassins games, but dunking down into the deeps with a diving bell to recover the loot or search for a treasure is something new.

Assassins Creed

The aquatic mechanics of Edward are quite impressive- he can jump from ship to ship, swim long distance, and even perform stealth dive to hide from the enemies. Sharks?? Yes- there are sharks, and you can either harpoon them or prepare to become a meal for one when under water. Altogether- Assassin’s Creed 4 has synthesized all old experiences in a new and exciting ways.

Assassins Creed Edward Kenway

The combat mechanics are similar as it has been in the last games; the only difference here is that now you can wield two swords instead of a single one. Other things include bombs, darts, hidden blades, pistols and more. Edward can counter the attacks without much difficulty but taking down the brutes isn’t a cake walk- they give a tough fight. Also, defeating the commanders felt quite challenging, and I think that’s the best part; at least you get to engage in a equal fight (though at the end its Edward who always won).


A 20 hours of gameplay, and I did notice few glitches that aren’t so worrying. But there are things that might irritate you and might not hold any use in certain scenes. Like- whenever an enemy ship is taken over, Edward have the option to upgrade Jackdaw, and every time same cut scene is shown- Come on guys, you don’t need to show it every time, simply upgrade the ship like done back in the harbor.

Assassins Creed PlayStation Game

Most of the side missions felt repetitive and bored me. Eavesdropping, tailing targets and even following ships in the Jackdaw felt nice for first and second time, but looked boring after that. Also, there were some visual glitches. I was able to see a guard standing behind the rock without using eagle vision. Also, some minor screen tearing occurred while playing the game, which though was acceptable- as it was within the narrative framework of Animus.

Night Hunt

The game looked as bright as the brights are, but darkness did suffer at various points. During night- it was impossible to see anything clearly until and unless you get some lights. It was quite dark when I was tasked to execute the Pirate Hunter and save The Sage, and was to infiltrate the mansion where he was hiding; I was just able to see outline of a highlighted enemy.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Features

Apart from aforesaid issues, the game design is more vibrant, colorful and visually enhanced. What enchanted me were the character designs and animations along with some exceptional audio. While on the sea, the water and weather felt really good and realistic. There are scenes when you are engaged in naval battles and suddenly weather gets rough, and then there is typhoon circulating all around the ship. That was Awesome.

Assassins Creed Black Flag

Talking about cities- it was as impressive as the AC3 (Remember the lively Boston). Each place has been beautifully constructed, though you might notice some texture differentiation in buildings and characters, but still they are nothing to worry about as it does not hamper the Black Flag experience.

Then there is a multiplayer mode, which has always been as interesting as ever. It has been provided with six different competitive game modes, 4 player co-op mode and also includes Gamelab (where you can create custom matches).

Assassins Creed Prequel

Further, it is not easy to tell when the game might punish or reward you for the actions undertaken- AC4 portraits a flexible definition of rules within the game. A guard may or may not notice or impel an action if you just pass directly in front of him in restricted areas. There are plenty of patrolling guards throughout the game; even if you manage to dodge them all- they won’t give up on tracking you unlike the past games. In fact the guards are quite fast and most of time they jumped over Edward to catch him.


Final Verdict

The tale is same- Templars v/s Assassins; in search of a key that might decide the future of the world. A pirate who with a dream to make it big ropes in an old age battle that makes him one of the deadliest Assassins we have ever seen. On-foot gameplay, long sea voyages, naval battles, strong environment designs, more persistent enemy and Edward Kenway’s character makes Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag the best Assassin's Creed yet. If you are an Assassins fan, then I am sure Black Flag won’t disappoint you, and even if you aren’t- then I bet you will love it. There are some downers like repetitive missions and few glitches, still AC4 is one such game you don’t want miss this holiday. Spoiler: Edward gets betrayed in the end by Sage. You get to see 6 years old Haytham Kenway. And Yes- I am expecting another sequel of Black Flag. Because I want to know what actually made Haytham Kenway change his sides? Was he betrayed by Assassins or did Templars brainwash him. Hope- we get something more interesting in New Assassin Game, if any.

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Laique Khan

Laique Khan

Laique is an Avid Writer and has always been fascinated by tech. When not getting up close and personal with the Latest Gadgets and Smartphones, he can be found saving the world from Horde of Zombies, Rescue the Princess and Assassinate the Templars.