Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (2013) MicroReview
Pirate-themed Assassin’s Creed entry smartly distances itself from much of the self-seriousness of the previous games. The experience of piloting a pirate craft alone is incredibly well-tuned, with brilliant, branching systems that interlock in meaningful and interesting ways. I enjoyed the game’s seafaring so thoroughly in fact, that I never used the fast-travel system at all throughout its considerable runtime, instead opting to circumnavigate the globe to my destinations, listening to sea shanties and ducking imperial watchdogs along the way. The game begins to falter in its more structured elements, with story missions being mediocre at best, and the series’ trademark sci-fi framing device beginning to feel irrelevant, but its sandbox mechanics are more than enough to keep it afloat. If you know your pirate lore, this one is well worth playing if only for the colorful and inspired portraits of many of the era’s most prevalent swashbucklers.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag / Ubisoft / October 29, 2013
This review was conducted on the PC version of the game.
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