Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag

The sixth main installment of the Assassin's Creed franchise, set in the Caribbean during the age of piracy in the early 18th century. Players explore the memories of Edward Kenway, a charismatic pirate (turned reckless Assassin) and the grandfather of Connor Kenway, the protagonist of Assassin's Creed III.


Assassins in the age of piracy!
Assassins in the age of piracy!

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is an open-world action-adventure game developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and Wii U on October 29, 2013, for the PlayStation 4 (as a launch title) on November 15, 2013, for the PC on November 19, 2013, and for the Xbox One (also as a launch title) on November 22, 2013.

The sixth main installment of the Assassin's Creed series (and the sequel to Assassin's Creed III), players control an unknown Abstergo employee (in the year 2013, one year after the events of the previous game) who must sift through the memories of Edward Kenway (a notorious and reckless early-18th century privateer-turned-Assassin and the grandfather of Connor Kenway) after the genetic memory of Assassin Desmond Miles was uploaded into the Abstergo servers.

These memories (inside the Animus) take place in the year 1715 throughout the Caribbean and the southern coast of Florida. Edward, as an experienced pirate, travels through the dangerous Caribbean Sea in a major open-world naval experience (including engaging passing ships, surviving tropical storms, fishing/whaling, and exploring distant islands). Other pirates in the game are based on real, realistic pirates (rather than the comedic tropes associated with the era), featuring the famous Blackbeard. Other pirates named include Charles Vane, Calico Jack, Anne Bonny, Ben Hornigold, and a different take on the now-famous Jack Sparrow. A focus upon real-world occurrences, just as in previous games, will be a primary motivation for the narrative - including Bartholomew Roberts' assault on 42 Portuguese ships, the marooning of Charles Vane, and the Spanish Armada shipwreck.

Development began in the summer of 2011 by an entirely new team, as the game was being penned by the scriptwriter of Assassin's Creed: Revelations.

The game shipped on both current and next gen consoles, with PS3 and PS4 versions including "60 minutes of exclusive gameplay" featuring Aveline de Grandpre from Assassin's Creed III: Liberation. Despite these claims of exclusivity, this content is also available on PC.


Ship-boarding gameplay
Ship-boarding gameplay

The World

The game is an open-world naval experience with seamless boarding, tropical storms, harpooning (for whales), and underwater gameplay (exploring shipwrecks - with enemies including sharks). Approximately 40% of the game occurs across the sea, as the other 60% remains on land - with "50 unique locations" including fisherman villages, jungles, temples, plantations, forts, complete islands, and Mayan ruins. Each of the areas have different gameplay focuses. For example, the Mayan ruins are based around puzzle solving and platforming, while the Coconut Islands are inhabited by enemies to fight.

The three largest cities, however, are Naussau (the pirate haven), Kingston (a lively, dangerous town), and Havana (the capital of Cuba). The team that worked on Far Cry 3's open world design pitched in to add to the random elements and overall design of the Caribbean world. Added randomness includes storms and rain, which simple make things wet on land but add dangerous rogue waves and lack of visibility on sea.

In major ports and on minor islands, Kenway can collect treasure chests (some of which include plans for upgrades for his ship), animus fragments ( 200 glowing Macguffins of the past), sea chanties (songs for his crew to sing aboard the Jackdaw), and secret letters revealing the backstory of a mysterious character.

While sailing, randomly generated supplies and shipwrecked crewmen can be collected.

Fighting on land

With the addition of free aiming, Kenway can carry up to four guns and use them in one go. Cutlasses, swords, axes, rifles, and pistols are available. Using the d-pad, players select Kenway's primary weapons (swords, hands, or hidden blades) and his secondary weapons (pistols, smoke bombs, rope darts, sleeping darts, or berzerk darts) for use in battle. The same parry-into-combo system from previous games returns, with a successful parry and kill leading into the ability to chain kills quickly. In addition, quickly hitting the secondary button with pistols equipped will fire off a volley of up to four chained shots, potentially killing four enemies in a few seconds.

Kenway executes an island guard
Kenway executes an island guard

Kenway now regains health only over time when out of battle, leaving behind the health regenerating potions of previous games. This means that the player must decide whether to run or fight it out when low on health.

Assassination techniques of air, ground, double, and running assassinations make their return. Added here is the ability to tag enemies using Eagle Vision. If the player looks at enemies for a few seconds in this vision mode, a dot will appear over their heads and, upon returning to regular vision, that enemy will be highlighted. Highlighted enemies appear through walls, making awareness of their status and tracking them (especially during eavesdropping missions) far easier.

Fighting on sea

Kenway's greatest ally is his ship, The Jackdaw. Acquired during the story, the ship grows with the player's input. Salvaging supplies from warehouses or the open sea can give the player materials to upgrade the ship, but in order to truly improve her, the player must fight, incapacitate, and board other ships. Doing so will net the greatest amount of money, crew, ammunition, and upgrade materials in the form of cloth, wood, or metal. Using a spyglass reveals what each ship is carrying, its level (strength vs. the player's strength), and its type (gunboat, schooner, brig, frigate, or man o' war).

During a fort battle, smaller ships often attack as well
During a fort battle, smaller ships often attack as well

Revising the system from Assassin's Creed III, AC IV places each type of ship-board weapon at a different location on the ship. When the player looks forward, they can fire the chain shot, which takes down enemy sails and makes them less maneuverable. Looking to either side brings up the aiming arc of the broadside cannons, the general damage weapon. Simply hitting the fire button from the side view will fire heavy shot, a flaming, short range attack that does massive damage. The back view will fire exploding barrels behind the player. Additionally, when acquired mortars can be fired at any time, with their button generating an aiming circle that can be moved side to side and forward and backward.

Successful destruction of an enemy ship results in explosions and burning sails, but it also gives the player the ability to board the ship. Choosing to board puts the player in control of Kenway with escalating requirements for success based on the power of the ship. While schooners simple require five dead crewmen, man o' wars require 20 dead, a destroyed flag, or killed officers or gunmen, or destroyed powder stores.

Upon successful boarding, the player can choose to repair their own ship by destroying this one, lower their sea-based wanted level by converting the ship, or send the ship to the second-screen and general mini-game Kenway's Fleet.

To take down forts that reveal sections of islands on the map and make areas less dangerous, the player must attack the stationary target while it fires cannon, heavy shot, and mortars at the Jackdaw.

Present Day Abstergo Entertainment

The player takes on the role of an Abstergo Industries employee in October 2013, rather than that of Desmond Miles, who is dead. These sections play out in first-person, with a tablet acting as a map and database access. Later, the player is giving the ability to hack into employee a security computers.

The banality of evil is so meta
The banality of evil is so meta

Hacking consists of three variants. One is a spherical puzzle where the player needs to direct the cursor onto a green line. The second is a frogger-like grid where the player's cursor must cross multiple moving lines, some of them red and deadly, to get to the other side. The final is a mathematical graph where the player is given a final number to reach and multiple single numbers to multiply together. Some later terminals require multiple mini-games to break into. Successful hacking reveals recordings of Desmond, subject zero, and emails, books, and movies from Abstergo marketing and development.

Players can also explore the offices, finding collectible sticky notes from a deranged person, listening to employee banter, and accessing secure areas.


As in previous games, multiplayer centers around templar avatars, some of whom Kenway kills in the single player.
As in previous games, multiplayer centers around templar avatars, some of whom Kenway kills in the single player.

The multiplayer side of Assassin's Creed 4 features six different competitive game modes, a 4 player co-op mode, and introduces Gamelab, a way to create custom matches:

Free-For-All modes

Deathmatch - The player is given an assassination contract of another player. This mode is played on smaller maps, where the compass and lookalikes are both turned off.

Wanted - Much like Deathmatch except you are working within a full map, lookalikes are turned on and you have a compass to help you find your mark.

Assassinate - In this mode, no contracts are given, instead players have to discern who other real players are based on their behavior, and assassinate them.

Team Modes

Manhunt - This mode is split into two rounds. In one round one team are the hunters and the other team is the prey. In the second round, the roles are reversed.

Artifact Assault - This mode is essentially Capture The Flag. Players are not allowed to assassinate while in enemy territory.

Domination - This mode is a version of Conquest, where teams must capture and hold specific points on the map.

Wolfpack - This co-op mode tasks players to work together to take down NPCs within a time limit. Synchronized assassinations aren’t necessary, but if players don’t time kills properly, other targets will flee, wasting precious time as you hunt them down to finish the job.


Gamelab gives the player the opportunity to build their own custom multiplayer modes by tweaking over 200 different parameters, such as scoring, ability sets, time limits, weapons, etc. The best community-made modes will grow as they gain followers, and Ubisoft will promote the most popular ones into the public playlist.

PC System Requirements


  • OS: Windows Vista SP2 or Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8 (both 32/64bit versions)
  • Processor: Intel Core2Quad Q8400 @ 2.6 GHz or AMD Athlon II X4 620 @ 2.6 GHz
  • Memory: 2 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia Geforce GTX 260 or AMD Radeon HD 4870 (512MB VRAM with shader Model 4.0 or higher)
  • Hard Drive: 30 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card with latest drivers
  • Additional Notes: Windows-Compatible keyboard and mouse required, controller optional.


  • OS: Windows Vista SP2 or Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8 (both 32/64bit versions)
  • Processor: Intel Core i5 2400S @ 2.5 GHz or better or AMD Phenom II x4 940 @ 3.0 GHz
  • Memory: 4 GB RAM
  • Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 or AMD Radeon HD 5850 (1024MB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0) or better
  • Hard Drive: 30 GB available space
  • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card with latest drivers
  • Additional Notes: Supported video cards at the time of release: Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 or better and GeForce GTX 400, GTX 500, GTX 600 and GTX 700 series. AMD Radeon HD4870 or better and Radeon HD5000, HD6000 and HD7000 series. Note: Latest GeForce drivers tested: 327.23 for all series. Latest Radeon drivers tested: 13.1 for Radeon HD4000, 13.4 for Radeon HD5000, HD6000 and HD7000 series on Vista and 13.9 for Radeon HD5000, HD6000 and HD7000 series on Win7 and Win8. Laptop versions of these cards may work but are NOT officially supported.


No Caption Provided

The soundtrack was composed by Brian Tyler, with additional music by Steve Davis, Omar Fadel, Mike Kramer, Jeremy Lamb, Matthew Llewellyn, and Robert Lydecker, Sarah Schachner. It was released digitally by Ubisoft Music on October 14, 2013, followed by a Sea Shanty Edition on October 29, 2013, and The Complete Edition with on December 2, 2013.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag - Original Game Soundtrack - The Complete Edition, Vol. 1

No.Track TitleLength (101:33)
1.Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Main Theme2:13
2.Pyrates Beware3:16
3.On the Horizon3:01
4.The High Seas2:44
5.The Fortune of Edward Kenway1:57
6.In This World or the One Below2:49
7.Under the Black Flag3:21
8.The Ends of the Earth2:53
9.Stealing a Brig1:52
10.Fare Thee Well5:14
11.The Buccaneers4:05
12.Marked for Death3:21
13.Last Goodbyes2:24
14.Take What Is Ours!3:15
15.I'll Be with You6:04
16.Lay Aboard Lads2:24
17.A Pirate's Life2:02
18.Men of War2:57
19.Order of the Assassin3:10
20.In the Midst3:05
21.The British Empire3:08
22.Batten Down the Hatches1:37
24.A Merry Life and a Short One1:16
25.Queen Anne's Revenge4:42
27.Prizes Plunder and Adventure2:12
28.Meet the Sage3:36
29.Into the Jungle1:46
30.The Spanish Empire3:57
31.The Islands of the West Indies3:06
32.Ships of Legend2:02
33.Secrets of the Maya3:24
34.Life at Sea3:10

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag - Original Game Soundtrack - The Complete Edition, Vol. 2

No.Track TitleLength (28:22)
1.Randy Dandy Oh1:35
2.Maid of Amsterdam1:41
3.Leave Her Johnny2:12
4.Whisky Johnny O1:21
5.Good Morning Ladies1:38
6.Fish in the Sea1:29
7.Dead Horse1:07
8.Running Down to Cuba1:29
9.Trooper and the Maid1:57
10.William Taylor2:16
11.Patrick Spens1:52
12.Fathom the Bowl2:13
13.Admiral Benbow1:53
14.All for Me Grog2:06

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag - Original Game Soundtrack - The Complete Edition, Vol. 3

No.Track TitleLength (26:45)
1.Saba Island3:37
2.Santa Lucia3:10
3.Tampa Bay3:19
5.La Havana3:18
7.Saint Pierre3:23
8.King Of The Seven Seas3:08