If there’s ever a time when Assassin’s Creed needed a boot in a new direction, Black Flag takes that exact direction heading out to the open next-gen seas with a solid crew and pirate ship. I think it’s fair to say that the franchise had gone a little stale with the whole idea of the animus and jumping between your present self and your ancestors in the past. Sure you’re still doing this, but it’s the past which holds a new image.
Think Sid Meier’s Pirates or that Pirates of the Caribbean game you’ve always wanted. The game is full of possibilities and there’s so much to explore in this huge Caribbean open world. Lush green forests, desert islands filled with pirate booty and a whole ocean which is just waiting to gobble you up in one storm. That’s just to name a few. You’ll really be taken by surprise at how different this Assassin’s Creed title looks.
Alright, it might not be the best pirate-related game, but it’s a pretty good one. Whilst you might be a pirate, you’re also an assassin at heart, as you play as Edward Kenway, a pirate and eventual member of the Assassin Order. The controls feel very familiar, so there’s not really anything you have to learn that you haven’t done so before. It does take awhile to pick up the combat again after not playing an Assassin’s Creed title in almost a year. But once you’ve got your counters nailed, you shouldn’t find a mass of enemy guards in front of you a problem.
Since this is a next-gen review, you’re probably wondering what changes are there between the Xbox 360 and Xbox One version? Honestly, not much. The game looks stunning as the graphics have been up-scaled, which is expected of any next-gen title arriving on both platforms. At times the graphics do look a little too pushed, with grainy textures and graphical bugs, but I expect the next step in the Assassin’s Creed franchise to iron out these small noticeable graphical issues.
As for the activities, there’s still the usual from shark hunting, playing chess and even assassination contracts. I often found myself distracted from the main storyline, when I came across a manuscript or fragment piece, so I think it’s pretty clear that exploration is encouraged with Assassin’s Creed IV.
There is also multiplayer, but I’ve never really been much of a fan of that. The online games just seem to lack that spark and pace you’re expecting to find when taking the action against other players around the world. Most of the fun you’ll be having with Black flag will be taking place in the single player anyway.
If you held off for the Xbox One version of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, you won’t be disappointed by what you find. Xbox 360 owners won’t find an incentive to buy the game again though, which is a shame as Ubisoft could have added some new gameplay features for next-gen.
- Just the same goodness from the Xbox 360 version
- Received the much needed fresh look to the franchise
- Huge open world to explore
- Upscaled graphics aren't the best
- Is multiplayer really needed?