Oh the great memories of playing Black Flag at 2 A.M, singing sea shanties with my crew quietly while my wife sleeps in the next room. I have never been more invested into an Assassin’s Creed game EVER. There was something about Black Flag that set itself apart from every entry previous, and honestly every entry following it.
The thing that made Black Flag such a great Assassin’s Creed game was the simple fact that it didn’t feel like an Assassin’s Creed game at all. The franchise up to that point was just about stealth kills, and evil Templars. The series needed a drastic change if it was to keep fans interested, and boy did they exceed expectations. Putting the players in the shoes of a ruthless pirate was exactly what the franchise needed. We went from playing the noble Assassins to becoming a selfish pirate looking to make his fortune. It was such a welcomed change.
Edward Kenway is such an interesting character not only for his witty personality, but his intriguing back story. The story that follows him from sanctioned British privateer to ruthless pirate is not only incredibly entertaining, it’s the most engaging Assassin’s Creed game in the franchise. His close friendship with Edward “Black Beard” Teach is honestly the coolest thing about the early game. Being able to temporarily take command of the The Queen Anne’s Revenge, Black Beard’s legendary ship, was incredible for history buffs like myself.
Black Flag had an emphasis on ship gameplay instead of the hopping around stabbing people like the previous games. Sailing the open waters in the Jackdaw made the world feel absolutely gigantic, and made traveling between destinations fun. There is a fast travel system in place, but I never found myself using it. Sailing around while your crew sings out “Spanish Ladies” made you enjoy every second of your voyage. There were times where I found myself taking the long way between quests so me and my crew could raid a few ships, and then sing pleasant tunes after murdering their crew. It was great.
As the game progressed, I started to feel myself get attached to my crew. Whether we were singing on the open seas, raiding the Spanish fleet, or storming sea fortresses, the game made you feel a since of loyalty to the Jackdaw’s crew. During combat I would purposely disengage my target to help out one of my crew members getting jumped by two officers while raiding a British Man-o-War. It takes amazing direction to make you feel connected to NPCs that you would any other time not even notice their existence.
Assassin’s Creed Black Flag was truly a marvel in its time. It changed the way Assassin’s Creed games are developed, and its influence can even be seen today. With the upcoming release of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, we were shown amazing ship gameplay that focuses heavily on the relationship with you crew. You sail together, raid together, and enjoy the spoils together. It’s a formula that Ubisoft will be sticking with for a long time, and I’m completely okay with that.
Are you a fan of Assassin’s Creed Black Flag? If so, let us know your experiences with the Jackdaw’s crew in the comments below! As always, be kind to each other. The better person shows infinite love over definite hate.
A little sea shanty to brighten your day.