It is 1715. Pirates rule the Caribbean and have established a lawless republic. Follow the adventures of a young, cocky and fearsome captain Edward Kenway whose skill with a sword and disdain for authority earn him the respect of pirate legends like Blackbeard, but thrust him into the ancient conflict between Assassins and Templars that threatens to destroy everything the pirates have built.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
The Golden Age of Piracy in an Assassin's Creed game? Well, it certainly was going to either crash and burn badly or be utterly brilliant. Strangely enough it seems to have landed itself in the middle. The ship play is ground breaking, the architecture of the system used for boarding is stunning, being able to switch seamlessly from helming the Jackdaw to free running onto the enemy ship never gets old. The ship combat itself is good, if a little to easy (when fully upgraded the Jackdaw becomes virtually unstoppable) and could be improved in certain areas. The physics of the ship is spot on, and the Jackdaw handles exactly how you'd expect it to (I can vouch for it as I have done a bit of sailing in a 19th century schooner).
The hand-to-hand combat has not been improved in any way from the previous titles, you still have the ability to slice your way through a dozen men without taking a hit. This is disappointing and would have to be the biggest issue in the series currently.
The character of Edward Kenway is fantastic, if a little tragic, while the voice acting, scripting, animation sequences, and other pivotal characters are superb. The story is less about the unending war between Templar and Assassin but more a colourful history of the dawn and dusk of piracy in the Caribbean. Prepare to shed a few man tears as Edward's closest friends are killed off by the unlimited resources of the Spanish and British Empires.
The world is as beautiful as it is expansive, filled with side missions and activities. The massive sea of the Caribbean is an Archipelago, inhabited by sprawling islands and scattered with small island towns and fishing villages, with a few larger towns that beef out the city feel of previous titles. Although rendered beautifully the side activities intended to fill the world can get a little repetitive if tried to be accomplished in one hit.
Due to character limit this is all I can touch on here.