Now that I've finished the main plot line of AC IV (still have a lot of the side missions left), here's my opinions/Observations. Overall it was a fun game, I loved the setting and the game play. I especially loved that I could approach most of the missions my own way (unlike III which was far too restrictive).

The ending, with Anne singing in that Irish accent while Edward saw a vision of all those whom he lost along the way, was perhaps one of the most melancholy endings I've ever seen in any game. Ubisoft also did a great job of portraying these once real life characters in a very human way (Speaking of which, I'll be raising a glass to Ed Thatch on November 22nd). Of course they've always managed to succeed on that front for all of these games.

As for Edward himself, I loved the character, and I feel like they left room for a few follow up games concerning him. I have no idea if this will ever happen, but I certainly wouldn't mind reliving even more of his life. I liked his overall evolution and growth as a person, and how he genuinely didn't care about Templar's or Assassins at first.

My only criticisms: The controls are still pretty unforgiving/sometimes just flat wrong. This has always been a problem for this series, and I can't tell you the number of times Altair, Ezio, Connor, and Edward all climbed the wrong wall or jumped the wrong way no matter how hard I tried. 100% sync requirements can also be a bit frustrating. for example, if the game says I have to air-assassinate someone for 100% sync, that usually means there isn't a climbable object within 1000' of them. The laser accurate snipers where a bit annoying too.

So, the bottom line: Was it worth the $60? Yes. Did it make me look forward to the next installment? Definitely. The game is a win in my book, the best since Brotherhood and arguably the best in the series.

One more thing, the naval warfare in this game is outstanding, and if anyone from Ubisoft is reading this I would strongly encourage you to produce a series of games based on the 18th/19th Century Naval Warfare.