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View Full Version : Black Flag is unbelievably good, but it could use a few changes!



MiguelSanch2014
03-26-2014, 05:34 AM
First post... I literally felt compelled to sign up just to post this. Sorry for the length (that's what I tell the ladies). Well, not really.


Long time AC player, right from the start. If you told me back when I was scouring roof tops during the Crusades that one day I'd be playing as a pirate, on a ship, in the Caribbean, I'd have thought you were nuts. But alas, I cannot believe how well Ubi nailed this game. It's utter perfection for an open world without going overboard (pun intended).

First, the good.

The graphics - Oh lord, those graphics. It's about the only game making use of the PS4's capabilities and the Caribbean is beyond breathtaking. The water, the plants, the way a lightning strike or scrap of sunlight will cut through the jungle overgrowth... breathtaking.

The score - The one thing I hated about AC3... no Jesper Kydd. And it took SO much away from that experience. I miss me some Jesper something severe. However, the swashbuckling score behind Black Flag is just... brilliance. Everything from battle to just stalking around the cities was faultless. And the shantys. And the pub songs! Where on earth did you find these people? They're fantastic. The biggest standout was just the ambience music, though. So catchy and enjoyable.

The voiceover work - I literally thought no-one could trump the sophisticated bad-assery of Haytham Kenway's character that just oozed liquid cool. That opening theatre sequence in AC3 was one of the coolest pieces of gameplay ever. But then Edward came along. My word, the bloke behind that voice earned every single cent of his pay. Fantastic job. Blackbeard is the other standout, naturally. Along with first mate Ade

The real/future world - I'll admit, the loss of Desmond made me very antsy, but the real world gameplay is not only ambitious, but it seems like it's working. Surprisingly pulled it off well.

The customization/variety - Again, it's *just* enough without going too overboard. The number of sea creatures alone I thought was totally rad.

The sidegames - Hunting, diving, the fleet, treasure maps. 'Nuff said really. I don't know why, but there was somewhat of an arcade feel about them which really took me back to my childhood gaming in a cool retro way. Swimming around jellyfish and spiky urchins? It's ludicrously simple, yet it works. Same goes for Edward's fleet missions. Legendary battles = happy in the pantal region.

Edward's personal journey - His struggle between friendships, personal greed and his tormented life back home was really well told. Even better played out by the animation and voiceover work.

The gameplay - About as liquid smooth as I've seen AC since AC2. And I literally just found myself wondering around for DAYS exploring the different lands and finding stuff. It's a game that actually makes you WANT to. The 'return to any viewpoint' etc is quite literally genius. Time and weather changes are also neato. Ship battles and controls were monumentally spot on. Boy oh boy this could have been such a fail, but you nailed it.



The bad/could use with fixing.

The story - Well, I like it. But sometimes the execution of it is boggling. In AC1 the gameplay flowed into the story so smoothly. Al Mualim told us what we were doing. We went there. We saw the evil people in action, doing their war mongering and murdering. We knew we had to kill them. We wanted to and so we did. Now however, between a lot of unmemorable dialogue and scene jumping, it sometimes makes us wonder where we are. Who are we killing now, and why? What's going on again? Why am I after this guy? It should be clearer, more seamless. Less relying on eavesdrop dialogue for major plot points.

The side objectives - C'mon, we all know it. If I have to follow someone again on a stupid damned eavesdrop mission or following mission just to hear some less than memorable jibber jabber, I think I'll real-world-kill someone. Freshen this up somehow! Even the addition of the defensive/protect the zone/fight like a badass ones were tonnes more entertaining.

Bar music - Not in the way you'd think. I LOVE the bars. Unlocking them with a fist fight is epic. My issue is I LOVE the music, but it's not always playing. And when you have such a talented musical cast with songs THIS good, it should be able to be cycled on and off. Seeing as throwing money has all but been rendered useless now, it should be setup to trigger the band. Throw some money, band starts playing.

The online glitches - Never ever EVER make another game that REQUIRES an online connection to get 100% sync. Don't get me wrong, I thought the social events were a great way to make use of social media/online gameplay, but it should be an addition to the main game, not a necessity.

More archetypes - The agile guard you have to defense break, the big guy you (should be able to disarm ala AC2). MORE of this!

The end of game rewards - Let's be honest. Half of us just wanted to sail around pretending to be Jack Sparrow with a black flag and our deceased crew like a bunch of really bad eggs. But my issue is, by the time that you've done EVERYTHING in the game to get such a cool reward, there's really nothing to do to go around and enjoy it with. I know it's a fine balance of making a final reward so cool enough to get that you WANT to get it, but I also think making it usable/enjoyable is important as well. Not being able to use them in the main game also seems a bit pointless. And the no save. Why oh why?

Replayability - The Legendary Battles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Why aren't they replayable?



There's more that escape my mind at the moment, but apart from that I think technically this is the best AC game of all time by far.

BATISTABUS
03-26-2014, 05:43 AM
Welcome to the forums! I agree with the majority of your points.

MiguelSanch2014
03-26-2014, 05:53 AM
Thanks!

I think Ubisoft should be so proud with what they have created here though. Smashed it out of the ballpark. I was undoubtedly dubious about a pirate game, but wow. The only issue is where to, from here? Triumphing this will be the real challenge. In many ways there is nothing I WOULD change about this game, and I'd still feel comfortable with calling it perfection.

Farlander1991
03-26-2014, 08:39 AM
The online glitches - Never ever EVER make another game that REQUIRES an online connection to get 100% sync. Don't get me wrong, I thought the social events were a great way to make use of social media/online gameplay, but it should be an addition to the main game, not a necessity.

You don't need an online connection to get 100% sync though.

Stuff that social events unlock don't count for the synchronization percentage, just for bonus stuff (a few weapons/outfits/boat options/a cheat).

Shahkulu101
03-26-2014, 09:17 AM
You don't need an online connection to get 100% sync though.

Stuff that social events unlock don't count for the synchronization percentage, just for bonus stuff (a few weapons/outfits/boat options/a cheat).

Actually, you do. Some of the treasure maps are unlockable only through Kenway's fleet which is (at least on consoles) an online only feature.

Farlander1991
03-26-2014, 09:20 AM
Actually, you do. Some of the treasure maps are unlockable only through Kenway's fleet which is (at least on consoles) an online only feature.

Really? As far as I am aware it's not an online feature (you just can speed it up with friends but that's about it), like the Brotherhood recruits thing in previous games, but I might be wrong.

Aphex_Tim
03-26-2014, 09:29 AM
That was an excellent read. In case I need reminding why I love this game so much. :p
Welcome to the forums lad!

GreyBeardJim
03-26-2014, 12:13 PM
Really? As far as I am aware it's not an online feature (you just can speed it up with friends but that's about it), like the Brotherhood recruits thing in previous games, but I might be wrong.

No, you had to be able to connect to uPlay to do the Kenway's Fleet stuff at all.

Farlander1991
03-26-2014, 12:20 PM
No, you had to be able to connect to uPlay to do the Kenway's Fleet stuff at all.

Hm. I need to check if that's the case on PC, I remember playing in offline mode a few times and I think I was able to open up Kenway's Fleet just fine, but not sure noe, have to check. But at least on consoles you do need to have online connectivity for 100%ing, my bad. :/

Sushiglutton
03-26-2014, 12:40 PM
The end of game rewards - Let's be honest. Half of us just wanted to sail around pretending to be Jack Sparrow with a black flag and our deceased crew like a bunch of really bad eggs. But my issue is, by the time that you've done EVERYTHING in the game to get such a cool reward, there's really nothing to do to go around and enjoy it with. I know it's a fine balance of making a final reward so cool enough to get that you WANT to get it, but I also think making it usable/enjoyable is important as well. Not being able to use them in the main game also seems a bit pointless. And the no save. Why oh why?


I have seen the following complaint launched at pretty much every open world game: "When I have done everything, there's nothing more to do!". It doesn't make much sense when you think about it. No matter what they do there will always be a point where you feel like you have done everything and the content starts to feel somewhat repetitive.

SixKeys
03-26-2014, 12:44 PM
Hm. I need to check if that's the case on PC, I remember playing in offline mode a few times and I think I was able to open up Kenway's Fleet just fine, but not sure noe, have to check. But at least on consoles you do need to have online connectivity for 100%ing, my bad. :/

On PC I got stuck in the mission where you're introduced to Kenway's fleet because just at that moment Ubi's servers decided to go down. I wasn't able to access the map from the Captain's quarters because it was an online-feature only. I had to force-quit the game and wait until the servers came back up.

Farlander1991
03-26-2014, 12:55 PM
I have seen the following complaint launched at pretty much every open world game: "When I have done everything, there's nothing more to do!". It doesn't make much sense when you think about it. No matter what they do there will always be a point where you feel like you have done everything and the content starts to feel somewhat repetitive.

This is why we need modding tools! I oh so want to mod the hell out of AC games :(


On PC I got stuck in the mission where you're introduced to Kenway's fleet because just at that moment Ubi's servers decided to go down. I wasn't able to access the map from the Captain's quarters because it was an online-feature only. I had to force-quit the game and wait until the servers came back up.

Huh. Well crap.

Ok, then you do need online connection to 100% everywhere. I agree, this is not good :D

MiguelSanch2014
03-26-2014, 11:33 PM
Yep, that's what I was referring to guys. Social events, also. It's part of fully completing the game, by finding and sharing them. That was the big pain I found.


I have seen the following complaint launched at pretty much every open world game: "When I have done everything, there's nothing more to do!". It doesn't make much sense when you think about it. No matter what they do there will always be a point where you feel like you have done everything and the content starts to feel somewhat repetitive.

It's something I can appreciate too, but it's more the fact that you can't enjoy the rewards where my issue is.

For example, I probably spent about two weeks on and off after completing the main story, finding all the chests and treasures etc etc. By the time you get the full game completion cheat, you've done EVERYTHING. So there's no need to enjoy it besides sailing around and getting into uneventful fights and duels. I would have much rather to get such a cool reward after finishing the main mission, so I could employ it while there was still NEED to play it - ie, while I was going around finding all the extra stuff. I guess I was just a little disappointed they chose to leave such a cool cheat like that until the very end. We could've gotten so much use out of it, otherwise.

Billiam301
03-27-2014, 12:09 AM
It's something I can appreciate too, but it's more the fact that you can't enjoy the rewards where my issue is.

For example, I probably spent about two weeks on and off after completing the main story, finding all the chests and treasures etc etc. By the time you get the full game completion cheat, you've done EVERYTHING. So there's no need to enjoy it besides sailing around and getting into uneventful fights and duels. I would have much rather to get such a cool reward after finishing the main mission, so I could employ it while there was still NEED to play it - ie, while I was going around finding all the extra stuff. I guess I was just a little disappointed they chose to leave such a cool cheat like that until the very end. We could've gotten so much use out of it, otherwise.

I totally agree with this point, I spent so long trying to unlock the cheat and never really got a chance to use it

MiguelSanch2014
03-27-2014, 03:52 AM
Perhaps maybe a bonus video or extra unlock mission would be a better reward addition to *finish* the game, rather than a cheat that by that time you have no use for?

MiguelSanch2014
04-04-2014, 12:44 AM
Oh I CANNOT believe I forgot my one pet gripe, too! The highlighting system!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

For a game that has such lovely graphics, please, please, PLEASE stop highlighting selected enemies in a head-to-toe fluro red so they can hardly be seen underneath. Would a simple arrow pointer on top be so hard? This is one thing I've really despised. Ruins the experience.

Locopells
04-04-2014, 02:06 PM
On PC I got stuck in the mission where you're introduced to Kenway's fleet because just at that moment Ubi's servers decided to go down. I wasn't able to access the map from the Captain's quarters because it was an online-feature only. I had to force-quit the game and wait until the servers came back up.

At least you only need to do it once - after that all Kenway's Fleet treasure maps are available from the get-go.