Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Xbox 360)
Ubisoft moves its killer franchise to the age when pirates ruled the seas
- Well-tuned ship mechanics that make sailing and sea combat a breeze
- No extended tutorial mode stopping you from enjoying the story
- All of the side quests and added content can be overwhelming
- Story and setting not quite as interesting as the renaissance era
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is the closest thing you can get to a virtual pirate experience. While it doesn’t quite reach the highs of Assassin's Creed II, it’s still one of the best entries in the series.
Price$ 69.00 (AUD)
Another year has passed, and with it an additional Assassin’s Creed game arrives in time for the Christmas season. After diverting the series to the American civil war era with last year’s Assassin’s Creed III, Ubisoft has this year moved it to the age of high seas and piracy with Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. It is a change designed to invigorate a long running franchise, which that has not taken a break since its debut in 2007 with the original Assassin’s Creed.
A pirate’s life for me
Black Flag stars Edward Kenway, a privateer in the Caribbean and West Indies during the 18th century. He is a new protagonist in a new setting that is completely different from past Assassin’s Creed games.
In past games, the protagonist was inducted into the order of assassins through their lineage, but Kenway is a regular pirate that happens to take on the identity of an eliminated assassin. Kenway’s intention was to complete the assassin’s delivery job to get paid, but he instead finds himself taken on a path towards becoming a real member of the assassin’s order.
Third-person environmental exploration has formed the core of the Assassin’s Creed series, though the pirate setting in Black Flag means that ocean adventuring gets pushed to the forefront. The ship sailing mechanic was briefly introduced in Assassin’s Creed III, but it forms a major component of the gameplay in Black Flag.
In fact, you will be in control of a ship soon after starting the game, and before long you will graduate towards open-sea piracy. In addition to climbing up tall buildings and monuments in order to scout out historical figures and kill them, you’ll also be navigating the Carribean with your ship to visit other exotic islands in the region.
Straight into the action
The Assassin’s Creed series went from strength to strength with the trio of renaissance era games (Assassin's Creed II, Brotherhood and Revelations), though last year’s Assassin’s Creed III stumbled somewhat. The colonial setting was not very interesting, the protagonist wasn’t memorable, and the game featured an extended prologue that acted as the in-game tutorial. More than that, it seemed as if the series was finally struggling under the weight of its own scale and ambition, to the point where it felt somewhat bloated and a chore to play.
While Black Flag comes with its fair share of content, both existing and new, Ubisoft seems to have taken the criticism on board to make the game more streamlined and manageable than Assassin’s Creed III. Not all of the fat has been trimmed, but the key shortcomings seem to have been addressed in Black Flag.
The Caribbean setting and piracy gameplay are both exotic and enjoyable, respectively, and there is no extended prologue stopping you from playing the actual game. Kenway is not quite as interesting as a character as the renaissance era’s Ezio Auditore, but he is a significant improvement over Assassin’s Creed III’s Connor. Together, these improvements amount to what is likely the best entry in the series since Assassin’s Creed II.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Huawei Mate 9
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Lexar® Portable SSD
Acer Swift 7
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Surface Pro 4
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
- 2 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 3 Fetch TV Mighty review: Better than Foxtel
- 4 Fetch TV Mini review: Make your TV a smart TV
- 5 Panasonic Viera DX900U UHD 4K smart TV review
Latest News Articles
- You can download Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes for iOS and Android today
- Nintendo's Fire Emblem Heroes looks sharp, but will it survive the freemium transition?
- Nintendo's bringing Super Mario Run to Android in March, but Fire Emblem's coming first
- The Switch is a mix of Nintendo's past consoles
- Dead Rising 4 impressions: 'Tis the season to BBQ zombies with your flaming sword
PCW Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
- Horizon Zero Dawn review
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Japan's pop culture, anime-friendly, J-Pop shrine, Kanda Myojin
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- CCBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- CCTest Capability LeadNSW
- CCADABAS Natural DeveloperNSW
- FTFull Stack Web Developer .NET or JAVANSW
- CCWicked Front-End DeveloperQLD
- CCNetwork Engineer/ Network AdministratorQLD
- CCSecurity Analyst - multiple rolesACT
- CCCrystal Reports DeveloperSA
- CCUnix Systems AdministratorNSW
- CCSQL Database AdministratorQLD
- FTProject Manager (Software product development)VIC
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- TPBusiness AnalystVIC
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistACT
- FTJunior / Entry Level IT role - Recent IT TAFE GraduateNSW
- FTDigital Strategist - Global Consulting FirmACT
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Adelaide Based (PV, NV2 or NV1 required)VIC
- CCFinance Analyst/ Project SpecialistVIC
- FTLife/400 Resource - PermanentNSW
- CCNetwork Engineer (cisco)NSW
- CCSolution Architect - VMwareVIC
- CCLevel 1/2 SAP Support AnalystACT
- FTPMO Coordinator-Permanent Opportunity-Education/Government Background EssentialNSW
- FTEnterprise Account ManagerNSW
- TPMid-Level Java DeveloperNSW