November 06, 2013

Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag Mini-Review

If a person were to pirate this, the world may explode from the biggest case of irony in gaming history.


So this game was also done relatively fast thanks to fast-forward, which skipped the boring and repetitive bits and got straight to the juicy stuff. 

Basic Plot:

Edward Kenway, a 18th century pirate and miscreant, sets off on an epic adventure after a chance encounter with a mysterious hooded man. Along the way, he meets several historic pirates, and comes across several enemies.

In the present day, an unnamed employee is tasked with traveling into the memories of Edward Kenway and retrieving the best bits for an innovative film production company, which quickly dissolves into a conspiracy-filled tale full of corporate espionage and treachery.

Release Date: October 2013.

Developer/Publisher: Ubisoft.

Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PC, Wii U.

Genre: Action-Adventure.

Reviewed By: Kyle van Rensburg.

Areas of Concern:


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

General Violence:

--Naval combat is portrayed; lots of explosions, wreckage, and intense sequences are depicted as ships fire cannons at each other, tearing ships apart.

-You can also fire at crew on ships, with explosions knocking them back and sending them flying.

--Hand-to-hand combat is depicted, with punches, kicks, and stomps being shown and a bit of blood spurting out. 

--Swordplay is depicted, with a LOT of stabbings, slashings, and bones being broken with cracking noises. Blood is shown spraying out realistically throughout these sequences. Cries of pain are heard.

-Your character stabs people through several areas, like the neck, eyes, head, chest, groin, legs and arms. Throat slittings are also depicted with gurgling being heard. He can also "air assassinate" people by jumping from a height and stabbing them when he lands.

--Gunplay is depicted: Blood sprays out, staining the environment when people are shot. You can also shoot people with sleep darts, and "berserk" darts, causing them to go, ahem, berserk, and kill nearby enemies.

--You can harpoon sharks and engage in "whaling". We see lots of blood splatter and spray out on the screen when the blade impales the creature, and lots of blood leaks into the water as the animal tries to swim away.

--You can hunt and skin animals; blood is shown when they are stabbed, shot, and air assassinated (!). When you skin them, you see your character stab and afterwards we see the bloody carcass of the dead animal. 

--A few environments are stained with blood, and corpses stained with gore.

Storyline Violence: 

--After the assassinations are complete, the target lies in pain, with blood staining his clothes as he converses with your character. A short while later, he eventually dies.

--A man removes a sharp object from his side, and blood leaks out of it onto the ground for an extended period of time as he walks around, injured.

--A man is shown with a burnt hand, with some bloody tissue being shown.

--A man is slashed, shot, and stabbed multiple times; we see his bloody face and blood sprays out as he is decapitated off-screen.

--A wall of fire disintegrates several men, who scream and dissolve into ashes. 


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--A man threatens to cut a man another "c**t".

--You can hire dancers to distract guards. They dance suggestively as the guards whistle at them. 

--One character later turns out to have been posing as the opposite gender (rather obviously, at that).

--A woman is shown to be in a revealing outfit exposing cleavage and leg. In one scene, we see what appears to be her passed out with a man on a table, still fully clothed, implying that had "relations".

--A man and a woman make some joking remarks about "hard and soft parts", and a man asks a woman if she'd like to know his secret...and hands her a gun.


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

Uses of C**t, F**k, S**t, Pr**k, Wh**e, A*s, B**t**d, P**s, H**l, D**n, S*d, Git, B**ger, Bl**dy, and Fussock.

--God and Jesus' names are used in vain.

Spiritual Content:

Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--List of symbols:

-Skull. (Death, obviously)

-Spirals. (Sun worship)

--A cult makes a reference to the "Father of Understanding" which is a different name for Baphomet in a different language.

--The creed of the Assassins is "Nothing is true. Everything is permitted" and that it is the world's only certainty.

--Some may take issue with the backstory of Assassin's Creed: (some spoilers ahoy) The story goes that mankind was created by another race aptly called the "First Race", who merged their DNA with that of their creation. Two of their first creations were called "Adam and Eve" who rebelled against them.

Thus, the story is an inversion of the Biblical story. The most "blasphemous" parts do not feature in Black Flag. 

--Two men have a conversation about slaves being converted to the Christian faith and scoff at the idea.

-The pirates are shown to be rebellious against all manner of government and faith. One pirate remarks that will he meet with another man in the world below.


Mild Moderate Heavy Very Heavy Extreme Offensive

--A few scenes features characters drinking alcohol, some to the point of drunkenness. Being a game about pirates, several references are made to rum.

(Here are a few verses related to drunkenness. And may I add a little something: Drinking in EXCESS is the problem. In moderation, I personally believe it is fine. And drunkenness in a social context is not suddenly acceptable.

God says no drunkenness other than the intoxication of his Holy Spirit, and of a man and a woman in marriage, is allowed. Besides, isn't a video game party more fun and less hangover-inducing?)

--A few people are shown smoking. 

Gross Stuff/Gore:

--A man is shown urinating, the stream shown


Abysmal Bad So-so Okay Good Very Good

With the setting being about the Golden Age of Piracy and the main character being a pre-internet version of a pirate, this game doesn't feature the best example of morality.

However, character growth is shown, albeit not in a very substantial way.

Thoughts & Impressions:

Boredom is never a good sign, walkthrough or not.

While there are some entertaining moments and the game benefits from being considerably lighter than past instalments, the story is mostly non-existent in the historic era plot, and disappointing in the modern era.

The Kenway story is entertaining and may evoke memories of Pirates of the Caribbean for some, though slightly more realistic and without the craziness of Johnny Depp.

I would actually rather watch that movie instead of playing this game, but hey, lets not compare.

At the end of the day, Assassin's Creed IV spins a decent story, but you won't be missing out on anything major if you skip out on this game.  


Content wise, this is pretty average. Objectionable content is prevalent, though not in a very graphic way. Violence is hard hitting, and the morality is low.

Your standard Mature Gamers Only.

The Preacher: I don't see the problem with this game's depiction of morality. It's about pirates after all, and a great way to experience their lifestyle without living their lifestyle.

Heck, who didn't want to know more about pirates after seeing that one Johnny Depp movie? (I said one. The sequels don't exist.)

Trent: I can understand a game trying to raise a historical point, but here we are treated to an indulgent depiction of debauchery and criminality.

The profanity is vulgar, and the rampant sexual immorality is implied rather than shown. Is that supposed to make it okay, however?

What about the average gamer who starts playing these games and fantasizing about a life without boundaries in the seas of-

...On second thought, don't mind the last paragraph. 

Verdict: 16+

For Bloody Violence and Very Strong Brief Language.


Another one in the can! Sorry for the lack of a post yesterday, and by extension tomorrow. We're trying out new business solutions and they've been keeping me crazy busy, so I work on this blog in my spare time.

I'll see you guys next week with two big shooter game Mini-Reviews!

Writer Bio:

Kyle van Rensburg is the Editor-in-Chief of Kyle's Christian Video Game Reviews. (KVR Gaming) He likes cookies.

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