AC4: Black Flag

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Fairweather Pure
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AC4: Black Flag

Post by Fairweather Pure »

This game is fucking amazing. The setting and open world you are handed to explore is extremely fleshed out and entertaining. The emergent game play you find yourself apart of while simply traversing the world is the best I have ever experienced in a video game.

I was on my way to a mission in the open sea. I came upon a tiny island with a chest so I pull my ship to the side and check it out. Suddenly, a battle breaks out among 2 ships while I am on the island observing. I swim to my ship and fight the winner only to have a goddamn pack of enemy ships engage me as I was already in a fight with the previous ship. It quickly became a swirling melee of gunpowder, swift maneuvering, and careful target selection. I clean up the ships by the skin of my teeth, sending several off to join my pirate fleet and using another to repair my ship. Just as I get underway again, a goddamn white whale breaches right next to my ship. I jump in my rowboat and head out for the hunt. And what a hunt it was! I was down to just a handful of harpoons and my rowboat could take one more hit. Meanwhile, the white whale also needed one more shot to finish him off. He breaks my line and submerges. Just then, the skies darken and a heavy rain starts coming down in sheets. It was goddamn amazing. I could almost taste seawater. I was on the edge of my seat. Suddenly, that monster rises and charges my boat. I missed with the first harpoon, but the second one killed him just before he rammed me and finished me off. So, I head back to my ship, craft some stuff, sell some stuff, upgrade some stuff, and mess with my pirate fleet for another 20 minutes. Eventually, I even returned to my mission... only to be intercepted by another couple of ships! Later I got stuck in a tunnel deep underwater, far away from my diving bell. I was actually holding my breath and feeling anxious to gtfo of there.

This game is just bursting at the seams with stuff to do and I love it all. Every scene is wallpaper material. Every sea battle is worthy of poems.

Interestingly, I think I did everything completely out of order. My ship was mostly upgraded, my gear was top of the line, and I discovered most of the locations on the disgustingly huge map before I ever dug into the story. Hell, my pirate fleet has a handful of Man O Wars already! Now I'm way overpowered for everything I have to do up to this point, but the game's story is extremely engaging so it's still a blast. Fast travel is a life saver for missions too! Sometimes I find myself just gawking at this game's beauty.

And this is a cross gen game, so I can only imagine how much better these games are going to look in the coming years.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Aslanna »

A white whale!

I ordered from Ubisoft when they had it for $30 but it still hasn't shipped. And when I go to check orders it doesn't show up so I'm not sure what shenanigans they are trying to pull!
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Kluden »

yarrr! pirates took hold of yea order!

It was fun, but after you become invincible at sea...it gets uber repetative, sadly :( The side mission thing for your fleet is clunky and kind of dumb and overly easy. I liked AC3's better, with trade routes, and defending them sometimes, etc.

But beyond those few minor complaints, the game itself is fun. I plaid through and did a ton of side stuff, took out the big ships, and took about 20 hours to be done.

The story was just ok for me. It started out really fun, then I just didn't care as much about the storyline as I did in previous AC's.

But again, not to say it was a bad game, in fact it was an above average game for sure, just didn't live up to AC3 for me.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Aslanna »

Kluden wrote:But again, not to say it was a bad game, in fact it was an above average game for sure, just didn't live up to AC3 for me.
Everyone I hear says AC3 was the worst of the bunch! I have it but never got around to playing it. For me AC2 was probably the best of the series.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Fairweather Pure »

Kluden wrote:yarrr! pirates took hold of yea order!

It was fun, but after you become invincible at sea...it gets uber repetative, sadly :( The side mission thing for your fleet is clunky and kind of dumb and overly easy. I liked AC3's better, with trade routes, and defending them sometimes, etc.

But beyond those few minor complaints, the game itself is fun. I plaid through and did a ton of side stuff, took out the big ships, and took about 20 hours to be done.

The story was just ok for me. It started out really fun, then I just didn't care as much about the storyline as I did in previous AC's.

But again, not to say it was a bad game, in fact it was an above average game for sure, just didn't live up to AC3 for me.
My wife manages my fleet on the second screen app via the iPad while I play. The second screen is really well done for this game IMO. You don't have to be in your cabin. She can do the missions while I'm doing whatever in the game.

Metal is the only thing holding me back from full upgrades, so if I see a ship carrying metal that mother fucker is going down. Once my ship is fully upgraded, I'll likely just hope around the map with fast travel and complete the main game.

Aslanna, AC2 was also the peak of the series for me prior to Black Flag. I also have 3 but have yet to play it. I want to see just how bad it is because it gets slammed by pretty much everyone. Considering how much AC3 hurt the reputation of the series, Black Flag seems to have brought back from the brink of death. I wish someone would do the same with Dead Space!
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Kluden »

I never noticed the good/bad reviews of AC3. I know I liked the story of AC2 the best, and the gameplay of AC3 the best. BlackFlag was very fun gameplay, but somewhat tedious at times, with a story that lacked after halfway through it. I cared more about the current day parts of the story, over the Edward parts.

And I can't believe there are bad reviews for AC3. its a lot of fun, controls and world size and side games were a HUGE leap forward. played through it twice now.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Funkmasterr »

I liked 3 as well, although I haven't finished it yet. I like what I've played of Black Flag, but honestly I could do without the sailing. The fun in the AC games for me has always been the free run/climbing aspects, searching for hidden tombs, collectibles, etc. Whenever I'm doing something on my ship in that game I'm just trying to get it over with as fast as I can.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Animalor »

Gameplay has never been a weak point in AC IMO. I thought the story was the weakest in Revelations due to how they handled the Desmond side of things. That was the only game that really felt like they were milking it story-wise.

I personally really enjoyed AC3.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Aslanna »

I finally got a tracking number and it looks like it will show up on Friday so I'll probably play a bit of this over the weekend.

Still undecided if I'll like the boat stuff. That's not really something that interests me but I'll give it a go. Although not sure I really have a choice considering that's a large part of a game about pirates and such!
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Fairweather Pure »

Honestly, at first I was indifferent to the sailing at best. Once I was in the open sea and out of tutorial mode it really clicked with me. It only took a couple of small sea battles before I was really confident in my ability to steer and shoot.

Each side of your ship has a specialty of sorts. Your front cannons stun and slow a ship but don't do massive damage. Your rear drops fire barrels that do massive damage if a ship runs into them. Mortor fire is deadly, but long range only and takes some planning because they take a bit to land at your target once launched. And of corse, broadsides are fucking deadly. After any shot there is a chance to see a "weak point". Hold down triangle until you have the spot in your sights. These cause extra damage and it's essential in the more challanging engagements.

When you choose to board a ship, you get a random "mission" hat must be accomplished in order to take the ship. The details of the missions depend on the size of the ship you're boarding. It can be "kill 5 guys" to "kill 20 guys, the captain, 2 scouts in the crows nests, and remove their flag from the highest mast". It's all pretty fun!
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Kluden »

yeah, it is fun! The best upgrade are the swivel guns....at elite state they auto fire, you just hold down Y and they auto shoot to the weak points. Was the only way to beat those boss ships.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Aslanna »

I played this a bunch over the weekend and it's keeping me entertained although i am procrastinating when it comes to the main missions. I think I've finished 4 of them so far. That's mainly because I suck with defeating enemies so I've just been sticking to the easier ones at this point and doing side missions, opening chests, etc. I can barely beat frigates and my ship is probably half upgraded. I await the time I become invincible at sea!

I still have the complaint I had about every AC game with every single thing in the environment acting like a magnet for him to jump on when really all you're trying to do is just run forward. I don't see this in a lot of reviews so either everyone just accepts that's the way it is or I'm just not good at controlling my character. Regardless, it's quite frustrating. Especially when chasing those stupid shanties. Eventually I learned that they respawn at the same spot if you don't catch them so it's just easier to wait for them to show up again.

Collectibles abound as always. The animus fragments in trees piss me off though.

The fleet minigame thing I've spent more time with than I thought I would. However now Man o Wars are starting to show up and the best in my fleet are Brigs and I doubt I can defeat those. It would be nice if you could upgrade your ships there in some fashion.

It looks nice but not decidedly next-gen which is understandable considering the cross-gen environment consoles are in now. It will be nice when developers move on past having to include PS3/360 versions in the development cycle.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Fairweather Pure »

Next time I dig into the game, I intend on sticking to the missions only. I can always go back and find every little thing if I want after I beat the game.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Animalor »

If you're going to be a completionist with the collections, you're probably going to try to get 100% on all missions as well. That will get you that mostly sequential mission play as well.

Half the fun I get from AC is going to a goal and constantly getting distracted with the rest.

BTW - the Freedom Cry DLC was a very decent piece of content where you get to play as Adewale after he becomes an assassin in this whole freedom from slavery story arc that happens in what is now known as Haiti. If you have a few bucks and are wanting more AC4, it's worthwhile.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

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I might be getting better! I managed to defeat a Man of War in one of the naval contract missions. I have my hull upgraded almost fully other than the elite stuff I can't get yet. If you're short on metal just keep downing ships until the Hunters come after you. They always have metal and they are pretty gimp, at least to me now, so after awhile it's a steady stream of materials. I got to Wanted Level 3 before I was ganged up on and sunk. I was a bit disappointed that my wanted level was then reset.

So far I like the forts and the smuggler dens. It's a little diversity in the formula even if it is just killing everybody and looting stuff just like the rest of the game.

I could do without the tailing missions both on foot and on ships. Luckily those have been sparse so far. But really.. How can you tail a boat and nobody on it sees you? I can see them!

I love the berserk darts. They do make many of the "Don't get detected" or "Don't enter combat" objectives pretty easy though. Regardless, it's fun to watch them freak out.

Some improvements over the previous AC games I played: The looting of bodies. Before it always spun the camera in crazy directions so you didn't know what way you were originally facing. Now it doesn't do that. Also you can just hold O down and walk around if there are a bunch of bodies and he will stop on each one. So you don't have to mess around with being in the right spot, accidentally picking up a weapon, etc.

The fast travel is pretty nice also once you've had your share of sailing for awhile.
Half the fun I get from AC is going to a goal and constantly getting distracted with the rest.
Same. I'm like.. "Oooo a chest.. gotta stop and get it!".. "Ooo a fragment.. Gotta stop and get it!". If going for 100%, although I am dreading the multiplayer, I'll have to get them eventually so figure it makes sense to stop and grab them where they are nearby.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Fairweather Pure »

I love how whenever you climb back onto your ship the entire crew cheers. Thise guys think you're fucking awesome!

I haven't played since last week and it sounds like Aslanna has already caught up to me lol.

The darts are a nice way to mix things up, but they indeed make the game even easier. I've taken to using breserk darts on the guards around my contracted target and then just letting them kill him while I watch from the bushes.

I'll try the wanted levels to get metal next time. Do you board every ship still or sink them and get 50% less?
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

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Fairweather Pure wrote:I love how whenever you climb back onto your ship the entire crew cheers. These guys think you're fucking awesome!
I am!
Fairweather Pure wrote:I haven't played since last week and it sounds like Aslanna has already caught up to me lol.
I may have. I've played a lot over the weekend. My completion rate shows 38% although I've only completed the first 4 memory sequences. I sort of got pissed off at that one though where you're having to sneak through the whole island of assassins without getting detected. I literally spent over two hours on it and still hadn't beaten it. Thinking I was doing something wrong I went to the YouTubes and watched other people and they had the Knock Out option available while in the bushes when an enemy got near. I wasn't getting that! So that was pretty frustrating. I rated that mission 1 star once I finally managed to complete it. It would have been 0 if that was an option. So that's pretty much why I just started working on other stuff at that point. Maybe I'll start on 5 today or one of the Templar contracts although I'm on Kingston now so probably will get all the collectibles there first. So many choices!
Fairweather Pure wrote:I'll try the wanted levels to get metal next time. Do you board every ship still or sink them and get 50% less?
I board them since I'm still in the process of building my fleet. So I do the 'Send to Kenway's Fleet' option or whatever and then scrap them for gems to buy dock unlocks. Or if I'm pretty damaged I'll use one to repair my ship.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Funkmasterr »

You should get the option to knock them out of you "equip" your fists instead of a weapon.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

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Funkmasterr wrote:You should get the option to knock them out of you "equip" your fists instead of a weapon.
I had fists equipped! If I had a weapon the option would have been assassinate. I was getting neither of them.

Anyway, I started on Sequence 5 and yay it's a stupid tail/eavesdrop one though a bunch of restricted zones with enemies all over. I failed it about 6 times before I quit in frustration. I'm not sure why they make their main missions so retarded.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Aslanna »

Seriously, is every main mission follow/eavesdrop/assassinate? Running out of steam when it comes to finishing the main story! I'm up to escorting the fire ship and failed two times and decided that was enough AC4 for awhile. Unfortunately I can't just quit the sequence and go sail around doing other things since the blockade wont let me leave.

Anyway, helpful tips for the fleet minigame thing not that they are really needed: Get schooners with a speed of 70. There might be some rated faster in the harder area of the world map but I haven't really ventured down there yet. In the minigame battle put that ship in the first slot with the speed bonus and against anything other than a fast gunboat you'll get multiple rounds before the enemy gets off a shot. For a lot of battles I run just 3 speed 70 schooners although against a Frigate or MoW I'll usually add a more powerful ship to help with damage. Speed is the key stat!

Also if you get a matchup that doesn't look too favorable, 2 MoWs and a Frigate for example, just back out and hit triangle again and you'll usually get different enemies. A lot of times even on Treacherous missions I can get a schooner or gunboat on the enemy side which makes it cake. Haven't lost a ship yet and I seldom even get damaged.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Niffoni »

Almost finished the main story, having long exhausted the side missions, and bled them for all they're worth. This game is so amazing when it's not being Assassin's Creed, and so middling when it is.

I will say that this game goes a long way towards making me feel like a graceful traversal master, the way I did in the first AC2 game. The subsequent games have all been set in cities designed to show off how pretty and realistic things can be, but were a pain in the ass to navigate. I would stumble and fumble around the city, with my nose in the map screen like a dad on a bad family road trip, and would frequently fall off of buildings into the waiting arms of a city watchman and his 38 closest friends, because I lunged for a pretty wall texture that wasn't flagged for climbing. Brotherhood and Revelations basically felt like "Ezio: The Bumblefuck Years." AC4 has had almost none of that.

But seriously, if these last few missions have a bunch of "Tail this, and eavesdrop that through arbitrarily restricted areas" shit, then maybe it's time to just go back to the drawing board with their story mission structure. "OoooHHHHHHhhhh, well this half of the turnip garden is fort fucking knox, but feel free to wave your willy at the guards standing over by the carrots." Fuck off.

The story itself is really good, though, even if it does jump around. Edward has one of the best "hit bottom" sequences I've seen in a game.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Aslanna »

I finished this a couple days ago. There are one or two more follow missions after the one I complained about but overall not that bad other than the A Governor No Longer mission in Sequence 12. The first part was dumb when you had to follow and kill the Italian diplomat. It took me numerous tries to complete that without being detected. I really hope they have less of these in future games or tweak how they work because I don't enjoy them at all and I'm not sure many others do either.

Anyway, now on to the platinum trophy! I have to defeat the legendary ships, complete all main missions at 100% (ugh) and do the multiplayer trophies for that. I was dreading the MP stuff because I don't enjoy the AC online at all but apparently you can do this all solo, at least the getting to level 55 one, in Wolfpack mode so I'll probably do that. The estimate is 15-20 hours so I'll just do an hour or so a day and I'll get there eventually. I got to level 3 tonight!
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Animalor »

You can do Wolfpack Solo? Holy shit thank you!
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

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Animalor wrote:You can do Wolfpack Solo? Holy shit thank you!
YOU CAN! Just do the custom match thing, select Wolfpack as type and set private. Then mode isn't Discovery but the other thing? Something like that. I'm not at home at the moment so don't know the exact terminology but it should be easy to figure out. I tested it out for two rounds last night.

I think you could do that in AC3 as well.

You can find some tips here to get the most points per round which will make things go quicker.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Boogahz »

Picked this up for $24.99 last week at Best Buy for the PS3. Looking forward to having time to sit down and actually play it. I haven't done much console gaming at all lately, just PC gaming.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Winnow »

Downloaded this a week or so ago as Xbox Live freebie. Liking it. I've already had fun and when I checked my total synchronization I was at zero percent so that's a good sign.

AC games are always well presented. I think it was the American Colonial AC that make me sour on AC games. This one seems like fun although I'm not a big fan of chase missions so I'll probably quit playing at some point.

I'd be nice if the AC team would stop making AC games and use their talents for maybe a cyber punk game or epic galaxy romp type game. I like their presentation, just bored of the AC theme and 1400-1700 time period.

At least Black Flag is a little bit of a change of pace. I think the next one is back to the old cities. I'd buy a game put out by same team that has a future focus and isn't AC themed. (only so many times you can swan dive into hay carts, hay bales and mounds of palm leaves.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

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I never did get around to getting the platinum trophy for this. I sort of ran out of steam doing the multiplayer stuff. Not sure what level I made it to maybe 30. There's nothing hard about it it's just tedious.

I'm hoping Rogue gets a next-gen (non-PC) port eventually. Supposedly that's not a bad game but I'm not going to bother playing a PS3 game any longer. And that's why I don't care about backwards compatibility. Move on people, stop living in the past (gen)!
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Winnow »

The running around town jumping into haystacks is starting to remind me why I got tired of these games. Running from authorities every 5 minutes isn't fun. Will play some again later.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

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Aslanna wrote:I'm hoping Rogue gets a next-gen (non-PC) port eventually. Supposedly that's not a bad game but I'm not going to bother playing a PS3 game any longer.
So if it's been 5 years since you played Black Flag and you're thinking.. "I wish they'd make another Black Flag" well then you are in luck because they made it years ago that game is Assassin's Creed Rogue and has recently gotten a remaster to current gen consoles.

I finally got around to getting Rogue ($15 on the latest PSN sale) and let me tell you it's a lot like Black Flag. However it's been a long time since I played BF so this is just going by memory. If you love running around collecting many many shiny things this is a game for you. It can definitely be on the grindy side and may be even more so than Black Flag was.

Basic premise:
Introducing Assassin’s Creed Rogue, the darkest chapter in the Assassin’s Creed franchise yet

As Shay, you will experience the slow transformation from Assassin to Assassin hunter. Follow your own creed and set off on an extraordinary journey through New York City, the wild river valley, and far away to the icy cold waters of the North Atlantic in pursuit of your ultimate goal, to bring down the Assassins.

18th century, North America. Amidst the chaos and violence of the French and Indian War, Shay Patrick Cormac, a fearless young member of the Brotherhood of Assassins, undergoes a dark transformation that will forever shape the future of the American colonies. After a dangerous mission gone tragically wrong, Shay turns his back on the Assassins who, in response, attempt to end his life. Cast aside by those he once called brothers, Shay sets out on a mission to wipe out all who turned against him and ultimately become the most feared Assassin hunter in history.
This came out about the same time as Unity and was only on 360 and PS3 so it was overlooked by a bunch of people. I'm probably about 1/3 through so far. It took awhile for me to get back into things but so far I think it's pretty good especially for only $15. Bonus: No multiplayer which means no lame multiplayer trophies. I'm not sure if I'm going to platinum this or not because there is a ton of busywork in it in regards to many different shiny things to collect.

Note: If you've played Origins and/or Odyssey I don't know how easy it would be to go back to the older style of AC games. I skipped Origins but I did buy Odyssey (also in the PSN sale) but decided to play these older games first. Also with Odyssey Season Pass I get the AC3 and AC Liberation remasters when those are released at the end of March. I'll probably play those before moving on to Odyssey.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Winnow »

Wat too many Assassins Creed games. The very first one was a great game.

There is a lot of talent in the studios that produce Assassins Creed games. It would be nice if it was used on something other than more Assassin's Creed games.
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Re: AC4: Black Flag

Post by Aslanna »

The first AC wasn't that great from what I hear. More like a proof of concept for the most part. AC2 was where they got it right.
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