My Year of Gaming: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
I purchased a Playstation 4 at the beginning of 2017 and it is the first time I have had a console since Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword came out on the Wii. Naturally, I have a lot of catching up to do and my backlog is incredibly massive. During the course of a year, I played my way through 23 games, and I figured I would take the time to share a little bit about each game. Perhaps you’ve played them and want to hear another opinion, or maybe you’ve been holding off on investing in a particular game. Either way, it’s never a bad time to spread your love of gaming.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (2013) follows Edward Kenway, a pirate captain who gets himself mixed up in the never-ending conflict between the Templars and Assassins. Set during the Golden Age of Piracy in the 18th century, players get to harness every aspect of the life of a pirate through sailing, exploring uncharted regions, harpooning, and epic sea battles.
The story is rather interesting as you travel across all of the Caribbean trying to uncover the Templar’s plot. I was actually surprised how emotional the game got in the final chapters. The dynamics of the game are much the same as the others with the hidden blade and your incredible parkour abilities. Like Assassin’s Creed III, hunting is a part of the game and helps you craft better weapons and supplies. In terms of your ship, engaging with other vessels wields supplies that can upgrade your own. I tried to max out my ship’s strength early on because the sailing missions/battles are hard. I started to get a hang of it near the end. They’re fun, but can be difficult.
The world is massive, and just as engrossing and detailed as the rest of the franchise. There’s so much to do that you can sink hours upon hours into this game without realizing it. There’s buried treasure to be found, islands to be discovered, and havoc to be caused. Like its predecessors, there are a series of challenges to be done that will unlock a mysterious armor set. In Black Flag, this involves finding Mayan statues and solving a puzzle. There was one statue in particular that had the added challenge of trying to get to it as it was way up on a cliff that you couldn’t just climb.
A lot of fans of the Assassin’s Creed franchise say that Black Flag is a great pirate game, but not a good Assassin’s Creed game. It’s true that you aren’t technically an Assassin throughout the story, but regardless of that, I still think that it is a fantastic game and a good, albeit, different, addition to the franchise. It takes your typical story of becoming an assassin through some tragedy and turns it around. Edward lies and gets in over his head, but becomes a better person because of it. At the beginning, I really didn’t like him, but as the story progressed, I fell in love with the scoundrel. For me, Black Flag is my third favorite Assassin’s Creed game.