A Swashbuckling Review
by J. Smith
Rating: 9.5/10 Cannonballs
Released: 29 October, 2013
Genre: Pirate Ninja RPG
Platforms: PC, PS4, XBOX One, Wii U
I’m going to level with you: this game is exactly what any pirate fanatic wants. It has sea battles to wage, bounties to discover, and island forts to invade. For the record this game still embodies the stealth and parkour that each of the previous instalments so masterfully used, however it adds the exploratory fun of an open world. Here the player takes the reins of Edward Kenway, a Welsh privater turned to piracy and later the Assassin Order. His life is set into motion as part of an intel gathering mission sponsored by Abstergo Industries. There are two choices when deciding how to play: either strictly following the main quest line of spycraft and revenge or explore the vast map and upgrade your weapons. Initially I chose the latter, Black Flag offers a vast array of surprises amongst the islands of the Caribbean.
The player can take on side quests that range from assassinations to targeting ships at sea. This freedom to explore took me deep into jungles and ancient ruins that offered challenges in stealth and combat. The environment is rich with the classic high vantage points and hay bales that we’ve come to know and love. The game stays true to the struggle between the Templars and the Order; throughout the campaign conflict erupts in the past and present alike. More importantly it must be noted that the player gets to interact with pirates like Blackbeard! Admittedly they should not be considered role models but it is fun to play a swashbuckler in what I would say is my favourite installment in the Assassin's Creed franchise.