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Reviews Comments: A title I SHOULD despise. Assassins Creed IV Black Flag game review by Blood Raw Knuckle

To me, one of the worst things a game can do is mitigate the definitive aspects of what gives the franchise it belongs to its quality for the sake of glossing up an otherwise gimmicky or poorly-carrying change in procedure. This game, on a design standpoint, has some of the most severe fundamental issues to the series since the first game, and here they all are.

The main campaign missions are absolutely MIND-NUMBING. The ratio between original or exciting missions and overplayed, slow-paced, tedious, and all around frustrating tailing missions is practically 1:10. An even bigger problem arises when nearly half of the side quests become relegated to that same mission structure (at least the ones based on being on land).

Combat is the absolute worst since AC 1 and maybe even worse than that. Edward fights sloppily, clunky, is almost unresponsive in even the most basic scenarios and ALL of the most common ones, and it's what REALLY drags down the fun that the boarding segments could have had.

I'm gonna get plenty of hate for this, but I didn't much care for Edward. comes off as a gleefully stubborn tool for so long that I was long since disengaged in his comparatively petty plight for the level of his development—his 'charming lovable rogue' BS felt like little more than a facade, which I felt was clearly unintentional on the writers' part after a relatively early point. I found both Ezio and Connor to be far more sincere and to that end, simply better protagonists.

Really, there's not much I can say that lived up to the bare minimum, if that. HOWEVER, the game emphasized one thing based all upon its ocean-themed world: Playing at YOUR pace. Rarely was anything kept from you during the course of the game while roaming the open seas, and most of what was came around to the player soon enough. Anything relating to the naval combat-ESPECIALLY the battling to take over the sea forts-ranged between impressive to exhilarating, and the dynamic nature of the ocean itself such as storms, waves, other battles going on, ships hunting down your ass, all kept the world from growing stagnant and aided in replay value. In all, this is one of the few breaks from standard procedure that actually made something of it. Is it overrated? Not as much as I think AC 3 is underrated, but I think that balance really helps me hold both in a high regard.


  • McSomeguy
  • 17th Apr 14
How was Edward unresponsive? The combat was nearly identical to all other AC games which is usually this franchise's greatest failing. AC combat has always been more swashbuckling than sneaky stabbing which is why it fit into a pirate setting better than any of the others.

As for Edward's character, did you not finish the main story? The entire point was that he considered himself as the charming rogue on an adventure where great riches await at the end of the road as he gradually lost friend after friend. The wife he always dreamed he'd return to as a wealthy man died before ever seeing him again. "The jackdaw who thought he was an eagle."
  • BloodRawKnuckle
  • 17th Apr 14
Indeed it was nearly identiccal, only less polished on a technical level. Edward's unresponsiveness came from the designers clearly focusing more on his dual cutlasses looking flashy in each animation and attack than wondering how well they translate to smoothness in relation to the other mechanics of the fighting.

And it's the fact that I did finish the main story that I have such a problem with Edwards character in terms of overall execution. Suffice to say "too little too late." as far as his development is concerned, because his portrayal felt more static than dynamic for the vast majority of the campaign, and the problem with it is that it stopped being very interesting to watch alot earlier on than it took to try a bit of shifting with it.
  • omegafire17
  • 23rd Apr 14
That's more because unlike the usual WHAM moment that changes everything in a relative instant, Edward's Humiliation Conga was far more chip-by-chip than anything imo.

Usually those chips would be replaced soon after (the standard warnings against his actions, which were ignored), then were steadily ramped up in intensity (friends dying right in front of him, or forced by his own hand). Finally came to a head with Mary's death, then his Drowning His Sorrows sequence, where his inner selfishness heavily clashed with the selflessness everyone else had been demanding of him all story.

So it only really seemed static on the surface, intentionally so (because Edward really only did care about the money, so he deliberately tried to ignore 'shiftings' against his behavior), but overall that wasn't the case, I think
  • BloodRawKnuckle
  • 23rd Apr 14
I understand that, but then the problem for me just became how I didn't really like how they handled that "chip-by-chip" method as you call it. I felt like the spent more time making these wham moments just as downplayed as the last despite their intensity that by Mary's death, Edward's Heroic BSOD just didn't feel all that impactful to me when it was equally justified at least two or three times before, and to that end, I just don't think it spent enough time giving Edward all that much depth, and such to the point that really, the ending cinematic before the credits felt like a senseless contrivance to me. I understand Edward had a load of care for all the people he saw before departing, but I get the feeling that the writers didn't give a big enough damn for Edward to make it all that substantiated by the pas events in the story.

In short, I think in their attempt to be subtle, they made it feel rushed by downplaying too much for too long, and that's definitely unfortunate for me, because of how much I still liked all of these characters in Edward's life—moreso than Edward, frankly. I know this is basically just repeating what I said a paragraph ago, but while I do agree with what you call a chip-b-chip humiliation conga, my problem then just becomes—to reiterate—how each part, despite supposedly meaning to be reaching some sort of emotional high-point, never felt like they built up from one to the next for Edward. I'm not arguing against the possibility of only trying to LOOK static on the surface, just saying that I couldn't enjoy quite how it was done when looking beneath it either.

That, and at the end of the day, Edward's choices later in life still basically fucked him over as well as his family line—he got his own ass killed, his son brainwashed, and his already borderline Resenter daughter turned into a concubine for the man he thought was his friend. In my opinion, Edward's actions after the game's story felt more like setting into motion what Connor would eventually have to undo. Granted, that's almost unarguably more of a secondary effect to Connor's top priority in having to swallow his own earlier ambitions. But I digress.
  • omegafire17
  • 23rd Apr 14
And you did make your point; I was just making sure all the intended angles were understood (and they were). So all that's really left is simple opinion over whether this and that was done well, or not, and such. Agree-to-disagree in effect XD

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