For a generation, TVs have been in the background – in more ways than one – of household entertainment.
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 newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo A5X review: A winning blend of long battery, solid performance and low-price
- 2 Huawei FreeBuds review: Solid as a value-add, less so standalone
- 3 HP Omen 15 (2018): Full, in-depth review
- 4 Oppo Find X review: Damn.
- 5 Moto G6 review: A solid mid-tier effort with few compromises
Latest News Articles
- The Away Team to get Lost Exodus update on October 22nd
- The full schedule for PAX Australia 2018 is now live
- Microsoft teams up with Razer to bring mouse & keyboard gaming and RGB lighting to Xbox One
- Razer launches Broadcaster headset
- MasterCard signs with League of Legends as first global partner
PCW Evaluation Team
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.
If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.
Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category
The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use
I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9: Full, in-depth, Australian review
- Oppo Find X: Full, in-depth review
- Panasonic FZ1000U OLED TV: Full, in-depth, review
- Everything you need to know about Smart TVs
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?