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Assassins Creed Black Flag Review

I haven’t really liked an “Assassins Creed” since the first game, but I keep playing because the story is amazing.

You play as Edward Kenway, father of Haytham Kenway and grandfather of Ratonhnhaké:ton, aka Connor, both of whom are the playable characters from the previous “Assassins Creed” game. Edward is a privateer turned pirate during the Golden Age of Piracy, who accidentally happens across the Assassins Order.

Visually, the game is beautiful. The tropical islands are warm and vibrant. The details of the people and buildings are great and te open ocean is magnificent. I can only imagine what the game would look like on a next-gen console, but the game is so beautiful that you don’t need a PS4 or Xbox One to appreciate it.

Sailing the open ocean is a lot of fun, more fun than I would have thought. It doesn’t take nearly as long as you would think to get the hang of the controls. I pretty much figured everything out after the fourth time I had to maneuver around typhoons. Although, trying to take on a Brig is a whole other beast. While on the open seas you can take part in mini games of harpooning; this is how you acquire the materials needed to upgrade armor, amount of ammo you can carry, clothing, etc.

I still feel like combat can be improved, and it really just comes from a blocking and countering perspective. I cannot count how many times I’ve had to restart a mission because I died from damage being taken even though I was countering their attack. Prime example is when I took down my first Brig: it took three tries to learn how the Brig moves, reach of weaponry and speed. Once that was squared away it was a matter of pulling them in and plundering. Too bad counter attacks did jack squat to the enemies and that’s pretty much what I noticed about all of the “Assassins Creed” games. The counter/parrying system needs an overhaul badly, and everything else plays exactly the same as all the other games with little improvements.

Besides the combat issues, the only other issue I had was from a technical aspect. “Black Flag” froze on me a couple of times but never in the same place, except for the beginning cut-scene of the mission “A Man They Call The Sage,” where I had to restart my console three times.

When all is said and done “Assassins Creed Black Flag” is a good game with amazing graphics and story, but that doesn’t make up for clunky controls.

Final Verdict for Assassins Creed Black Flag:

3 out of 5