Ubisoft's annual sneak and stabathon is back once again, this time with a rollicking high seas adventure set during the glory days of piracy. But does Black Flag offer a treasure chest of wonders, or has it all gone a bit Jack Sparrow?
"You are free to sail wherever your heart desires, and be as dastardly or as benign as you like" declares The Escapist, in a review that delivers top marks. "Embodying Edward Kenway and living through his adventures on the seas, while also experiencing his struggle with Assassins and Templars alike, is pure escapist delight."
Gamespot concurs, delivering a 9/10 verdict and praising the game for using its seafaring setting to shake up the Assassin's Creed formula. "If there was ever any question that Assassin's Creed needed something ambitious to get the series back on track," reads the review, "Black Flag is that game and then some."
"Black Flag delivers a world brimming with gorgeous places to go, amazing secrets to discover, and nefarious pirates to stab," says IGN's 8.5 review, while Eurogamer is most impressed with new lead character Edward Kenway. "Edward doesn't have the impish wit of fan favourite Ezio Auditore, against whom all Assassin's Creed protagonists are destined to be measured, but in the end he felt more rounded to me," concludes the 9/10 review. "The revelation, though, is the treasure of a game he stars in."
And then there's our own 9/10 review, calling it "one of the best in this amazing series' history".
Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag is out now for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Wii U, PC, Xbox One and PlayStation 4 versions follow in November.