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Assassin's Creed Black Flag Review

Game image Assassins Creed Black Flag
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Posted: 4 months ago, last updated 10 weeks ago.

Author: @GeekDadGamer, @EamonGaudio, @boersc and Jo Robertson.

OverviewOverview

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is an action-adventure game set in a fictional telling of real-world events around the 18th Century Caribbean during the Golden Age of Piracy. You run, jump, climb, explore and fight as a notorious Welsh pirate Edward Kenway.

This Assassin's Creed game added ships and seafaring combat for the first time. You could still explore cities and regions, but this provided resources and crew to acquire, upgrade and pilot ever bigger ships. Through the game you explore the West Indies and in particular the cities of Havana, Nassau, and Kingston, along with numerous islands, sunken ships, and forts.

The focus on a huge open world is strong with fewer barriers to exploration. You can take on the game at your own pace and direct the narrative as you see fit -- although the main through-line remains linear.

DetailsGame Details

Rating:

Release Date: 29/10/2013

Platforms: Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One

Genres: Action, Adventure, Fighting, Narrative, Open World and Simulation

Developer: @UbisoftMTL

CommitmentCommitment

Duration: This game will take between 50 hours and 90 hours to complete. Longer play time is for players who seek out all the side missions and treasures.
 
Players: This is a single player game. The game originally had multiplayer mode, although this is not supported any longer.

CostsCosts

Additional in-game purchases are offered for items that enhance the experience. This includes a regular subscription fee (known as a 'battle/season pass') to unlock access to reward items and other aspects of the game. You can purchase items and season passes to access new missions, resources and expansions:
  • Assassin’s Creed Season Pass - exclusive Kraken Ship pack, a new story.
  • Time saver: Resources Pack
  • Time saver: Technology Pack
  • Time saver: Activities Pack
  • Time saver: Collectibles Pack
  • Death Vessel Pack
  • Illustrious Pirates Pack
  • Crusader & Florentine Pack
  • Freedom Cry

Age RatingsAge Ratings

Rated PEGI 18+ for frequent strong violence and strong bad language. The game contains realistic bloody violence throughout and it is also possible to kill civilian characters. The game also contains the use of the word '*!@?*'.

ESRB MATURE 17+ for Blood, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol, Violence. Players can also engage in swordfights with armed soldiers on ground; players can also employ stealth kills using various weapons (e.g., concealed blades, blow guns) to incapacitate enemy soldiers. Some sequences depict pistol shots to the head and characters getting impaled. Large blood splashes appear when enemies are injured, and blood is sometimes depicted around corpses. During the course of the game, the dialogue references sexual material (e.g., “when you catch a dose from a whore and must treat it with quicksilver” and “they come here to sell their slaves. . .but they stir up trouble and violate our women”). Players ' character can purchase and consume alcohol at taverns, resulting in screen-distortion effects; one prolonged sequence depicts a drunken character having hallucinations. The words “f**k,” “sh*t,” and “c*nt” are heard in the dialogue.

AccessibilityAccessibility

Accessibility for this game is as follows:

Difficulty

How you can adjust the challenge of play, and assistance the game offers when you fail or get stuck.

Select Difficulty: Select difficulty from a range of presets.

Assistance

View Control Mapping: You can view a map of controls during play.

View Game Map: View a map of the game world during play, with points of interest and missions highlighted throughout entire game.

Tutorials: There are helpful tutorials, instructions and tips.

Reading

How much reading or listening comprehension is required, and how accessible this is.

Moderate Reading: Moderate reading required.

High Text Contrast: Text colour contrasts to background.

Some spoken content has subtitles: Some spoken content has subtitles.

Some Dialogue is Voiced: Some of the game dialogue and narrative is voice acted.

Controls

How you control the game, different options for alternative inputs and whether you can remap these settings to suit your needs.

Multiple Buttons & Two Sticks: Can play with multiple buttons and two sticks.

Mouse and Keys: Can play with mouse and multiple keys.

Remap Controls

You can customise the controls for the game as follows:

Remap Mouse and Keyboard: Remap mouse and keyboard.

Invert X/Y Axis: You can invert the direction required to control looking and aiming.

Adjust Mouse/Stick Sensitivity: Adjust how sensitive mouse/stick controls are.

Image

How you can adjust the visuals to suit your needs, and offer additional information if you can't hear the game.

Adjust Head Up Display: Remove or resize head-up display to remove distraction and make more visible.

Turn Off Blood: Reduce or disable graphic content of blood and gore.

Audio

How you can adjust the audio of the game and whether audio cues compensate for aspects of the game that are hard to see.

Balance Audio Levels: Set music and game sound effects separately.

System Settings

Nintendo Switch has some built-in features, including a lockable zoom, that can be used on all games. The Wii U has some limited settings, such as disabling rumble and selecting mono audio. PlayStation 4 has a range of accessibility settings. Some are system only, some work in games (invert colours and button mapping). Xbox One has a system features, the excellent co-pilot share controls mode and adaptive controller support for all games... read more about system accessibility settings.

Supported by PlayabilityInitiative and accessibility contributors: @GeekDadGamer and @EamonGaudio


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The information on this database is designed to support and complement the in-depth discussion and advice about video game "addiction", violence, spending and online safety in the Taming Gaming book. If you have any concerns or questions in these areas, email our editor who is quick to respond or can arrange for a one-to-one conversation.

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