View Full Version : My AC 4: Black Flag Review (All spoilers CLEARLY marked)

11-03-2013, 07:29 PM
First off wanted to say that if there is an inclusive thread (usually they are stickied) for all reviews sorry for making a separate topic, the only one I see has to do with just gameplay and I'm not reviewing just the gameplay, although that is a portion. If I missed something then my mistake.

First off wanted to say that I haven't 100% completed the game in terms of all content, I'm probably sitting around 80% with all the main story done, which is probably decent enough to give a good review. I'll break it down in sections to make it manageable, and I'll keep all spoilers marked in bold beforehand as well as spoiler tags obviously just to make it extra obvious- don't want anyone raging about me ruining the game for them.


This is probably the hardest aspect of Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag for me to judge clearly. For this sake, I'll assume Edward's progression himself is not a part of the story, and leave that for its own section. Overall, the story in the game is about average, maybe a little below or above depending on personal preference I suppose. The reason for this is the Templars are honestly quite bland, to the point where I can hardly remember their names after playing. That's a real problem. They aren't "evil" like in AC2/B however they just don't have a strong presence in the game and personally I never felt an urgent need to kill any of them, nor was what they did wrong heavily explained at all in the game. Contrast this to AC3 which probably had the best Templar cast in the game, and I felt really underwhelmed overall by the Templar presence in AC4. The story itself was also jumbled up and almost seemed random at times. There were literally points in the game where after a cutscene had ended I thought to myself, "what now?", in terms of where is Edward supposed to be going/doing next. This seems like a really negative view on the story but honestly I did see it as a bit of a let down overall. One other thing that nagged me was that...

SPOILERS (heavy)
Edward doesn't really become an Assassin at any point throughout the game, except for maybe during the ending but if that does happen it isn't clearly explained.

SPOILERS (heavy)
The best parts of the story probably occurred around the middle, when they were trying so hard to hold onto the dream that was Nassau, and the scenes where Blackbeard decided he was done and went North. Blackbeard's death however, was another underwhelming point in the story. It came off as a part where we should truly feel sadness and remorse for the character, but the entire hour before that Blackbeard was acting like an *** and really not being likable at all, they should have developed his friendship with Edward more before having him die, to make that scene have a greater impact, kind of like "he's truly an ***, but he was a good/loyal friend and comrade" or something of the sort.

Overall, I'd give the story (not considering Edward himself) a 6/10, because it was up and down, seemed inconsistent, but overall still had me hooked and wondering what would happen next.


Edward himself is probably what makes Assassin's Creed 4 the best AC game yet in my opinion. Going into this game I was really excited for the character, but my expectations were far well exceeded and that really made me enjoy this game tremendously. My expectations leading up to it were that they would try to make him an ******* for a few sequences then he would quickly become a hero in the game- something that obviously did not happen. The ENTIRE game Edward is out for pretty much himself, despite him telling himself it was for his family back home, until very near towards the end. Everything from here will be a spoiler because I don't know what some people consider too much information.

SPOILERS (heavy)
Edward realizing there is more to life than piracy and plunder, as well as having a vision of riches is expected from the beginning, but how it happens only after "James Kidd" dies and Edward realizing that in his search for glory and riches, he's lost everything that truly should have mattered to him was hard hitting and had a strong impact. It really resonated with me at least in terms of being able to empathize with him. This whole time Edward has been surrounded be people whose company he enjoyed as well as who he would trust (for the most part anyways) until the search for riches tore them all apart. The ending of the game in terms of Edward looking over to the table while seeing all of his old friends and listening to Anne sing The Parting Glass was truly an incredible scene and resonated with me more than The Last of Us did, which was an incredible feat to be totally honest. The game ending full circle in the theater and on a happy note was truly refreshing not only from the AC cliffhangers, but in general from sad or unhappy endings (or at best bittersweet) that has become the fad lately in literature. While you could argue the ending was bittersweet, I'd say it was far more on the happy side and you end up feeling happy for Edward.

I'd give Edward as a character, and his story, a 9.5/10, and if you combine Edward with the main story in the game together, I'd give it a solid 9/10 because I enjoyed Edward that much, without him being written so well the story of the game would have flopped incredibly hard in my eyes.

NOTE: Since I'm pressed for time I'll finish this with my gameplay review later, which will be split into naval and regular, as well as my location/time period review.