I was very skeptical when this game was announced last year, after just experiencing Assassin's Creed III i wasn't in any hurry to play the next. In my opinion i thought Ubisoft had taken the series back a step and it wasn't quite as good as i'd hoped. A disapointing antagonist, dull and boring storyline, lack of anything exciting to do once the story was over. I thought Assassin's Creed IV Black flag would just follow suit, and nail the coffin even tighter on the AC series coffin.
Fortunately i was so wrong ! Assassin's Creed IV is great. Vastly improving on Assassin's Creed III in every possible way i can think of, it is definitely one of the better games of the year.
You play as Edward Kenway, father to Haytham and grandfather to the miserable Conner from ACIII. Edward is very likeable from the get go, and immediately you feel a lot more interaction with him than you ever did with Conner. He is a lot like Ezio in ways, hes cocky, arrogant and has a somehow likeability factor to him.
While the story is anything from spectacular, it's not that which makes it great. It's everything you can do outside of the story that really makes this game shine. A lot of the time i found myself wanting to go exploring the massive open sea for different locations to explore and treasure to plunder. Pretty much everything from previous AC games is back, and there is hours and hours of fun to be had here.
Though at times when playing the game you do sit and think, how does this have anything to do with the assassin's, the game does tie it all in with the pirate setting unbelievably well.
The gameplay is great, combat is just as exciting as ACIII and naval combat has been improved also, making it a lot more engaging. Stealth mechanics feel a lot more polished too, fair enough tailing somebody or eavesdropping a converstion still feels like a bit of a bore, but it doesn't feel quite as clumbsy as before.
Presentation of this game iv'e got to say is superb, the open sea looks beautiful, and definitely contends with one of the best looking games of this generation. Iv'e yet to find a glitch in this game, which i know was a big problem with ACIII.
Sound hits top marks also, the voice acting is great and appealing. It feels great to be sailing the open sea and your crew start singing sea shantys, really draws you into this world of pirates.
Multiplayer is back and not much can be said really, it's the same as before. From comparing it to ACIII's online, i really couldn't tell the difference apart from a few nice customization tweaks and new abilities sets nothing has changed. Which isn't a bad thing, i like Assassin's Creed's online component.
Overall this game is pretty damn good, a major improvement on Assassins Creed III. The game is engaging and at times very hard to put down as it gives you so much stuff to do, a lot of bang for your buck. If you miss how AC used to be then get this game ! If you liked ACIII and the others, then get this game ! Enough said !