Assassin’s Creed Black Flag Review

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Hardly anyone in their mind will consider Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag as a bad game. Here everything is traditional for the typical Assassin’s Creed games: a lot of interesting events, a fascinating plot, a decent technical performance, as well as available material on historical events, personalities, and attractions. It is a worthy continuation of the series and the fourth part can be called one of the best entries in the franchise.

Old rules, old assassin

Despite the loud advertising slogan “New era. New assassin. New rules” everything on the screen is familiar and only causes Deja vu. Huge expanses, big cities, open world, free roam, and, of course, the traditional hood of the main character. The map is full of recognizable signs suggesting that we can eliminate, eavesdrop, or catch someone. At the top is still parkour. The mighty character is able to run indefinitely, and his developed fingers cling to any roughness and squiggles even on the smoothest wall. A tall building is not a problem: it is usually enough to have two minutes to climb onto the roof of a church. The ability to climb trees, which became the basis of the movement of Assassin’s Creed III, fortunately, also did not go anywhere.

It is noticeable that the authors are afraid of radical experiments. Therefore, the combat system has undergone minimal changes – now the hero fights with two sabers at the same time. Instead of the main weapon, the player still has the same choice: to beat his fists, hidden blades, or to pick up someone’s sword. With the right skill, a dozen soldiers will not be a problem, because it is enough at the right time to press the counterstrike button so that the character effectively repelled the attack of the offender. 

Robbery as a form of entertainment

However, during the Golden Era of Piracy, the character will have to walk more than moving on his own ship. In the previous part, the ship was used more as additional entertainment, and the main assistant to cross long distances was a horse. It’s different here. The Caribbean Sea is literally full of islands of different sizes. You can look for side quests in any of them. Discovery of buried treasures, letters in bottles from rum, maps of hidden treasures, hunting for wild animals – every inch of land here is soaked with pirate romance.

When we are talking about Assassin’s Creed and pirate romance and considering the fact that the game also takes place in the sea, we can feel the environment surrounding the game. The game, for the most part, occurs in Canada. We all know that pirates in the past had two main characteristics – gambling and rum. Numerous pirates played a wide variety of games to earn some money. At the same time considering the popularity of roulette Canada online in the country, supposedly there were plans from the developers to include roulette in the game. The concept was the following – pirates on the ship would have had the opportunity to play the roulette. It was like a mini-game, but the plan never realized.

And in the sea, the robber will have enough adventures. There are merchants everywhere who can be robbed, and the British and Spaniards are engaged in a never-ending struggle for power over neutral waters. Swimming and getting into battle is simple, but it is necessary to soberly assess their capabilities – a weak vessel with a dozen stunted guns will be flashed into the slivers of the enemy three-deck battleship. As before, there are dozens of improvements to our own ship. You can install a mortar, increase the power of the battering ram, strengthen the armor, and increase the capacity of the cabins.

The team is a new resource, extremely important in boarding. During the siege of the enemy ship help from comrades is not enough, but they are a good distraction for the enemy soldiers. The process of capturing someone else’s ship has also changed. Now, depending on his level, the player is given various tasks: to break a certain number of sailors, to cut off the flag, to finish off the officer, to eliminate the shooters on the mast.

In the moments of peace, you can sit in a boat and hunt whales, sharks and killer whales – their skins and bones will also be useful in order to sew a couple of bags for bullets or darts, and the most successful poachers will receive a reward costume of a whaler. And yet the most interesting innovation can be considered the search for sunken treasures. Buying himself a medieval analog of a submarine, the hero will be able to explore the depths of the sea. It is a pity that methodical swimming among dangerous predators is quite annoying because the reward for efforts is not as great as we would like.

Not an assassin, but a pirate

What difference does it make? Surely few players will reach the final credits, having completed absolutely all the additional tasks. Edward – another descendant of Desmond Miles and Grandfather of Connor in the Assassin’s Creed III – does not follow the ideals of the Assassins, does not honor the code, and in general, he is a drunkard. All that excites the main hero is money. At first, being an ordinary hired pirate, he gets into trouble and remains the only survivor of the entire team. On the island, Kenway defeats the attacker on his ship and discovers an ancient key and a letter. It is clear from the communication that the Governor himself asked to deliver him an artifact for a very generous reward.

The main character most resembles Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean – in a short period of his life, he learns details about the forerunners, dreams of becoming the richest corsair on the planet, and manages to set himself against assassins, Templars, and rulers of the Caribbean. The writers also approached the development of the modern storyline. Abstergo is positioned here as an entertainment developer (including Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation), and instead of Desmond Miles, we play as an unnamed and silent hero. In general, the intrigue is supported.

All this is fine, but the series is clearly trampled in one place. Ubisoft tries to diversify all the same game with some little things, remove something, adds something, minimally dilutes the multiplayer with new modes and insignificant details. But to be honest, it’s starting to get a little annoying. 

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