Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (PS4 Review)

Ubisoft released Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag on October 29th for Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC and Wii U. While we reviewed Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag on PlayStation 3 (read review), the new release on PlayStation 4 definitely deserves a second look. With the release of next-gen consoles, many gamers want to know rather Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag will perform better than it does on current-gen consoles. In the case of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, the answer is yes. The same thing applies to the game from Xbox 360 to Xbox One and after playing all four versions, it is safe to say that Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag looks spectacular on Xbox One and PS4, compared to current-gen consoles.

There are many titles that are making their way to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 that play or visually look about the same as they did on current-gen consoles. Ubisoft made the upgrade easy for some of their titles by allowing players to upgrade to next-gen for only $10. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag plays about the same, however, the game has saw a huge improvement in graphics and sound taking the game even further into the open sea.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag takes place in 1715 in the beautiful Caribbean and includes large, open areas that are perfect for exploration. While the game features new locations, players are also able to step into the shoes of an entirely new protagonist by the name of Edward Kenway. Edward is a pirate/Assassin and the grandfather of Connor Kenway and father of Haytham. Players will be able to explore the open sea on Kenway's ship called the Jackdaw while exploring the multiple islands, playable areas and underwater locations. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag takes gamers into the Golden Age of Pirates and dives deep into the world of everything the open sea has to offer. Edward was a famous pirate who was out for gold and notoriety to only be pulled into the world of an Assassin after messing with the Templars. Picking up from Assassin's Creed 3, players continue the research with the DNA and uncovering information regarding the Observatory in Edward's memories.

The visuals have been overhauled in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag on PS4 which makes all the story sequences more engaging and creates an entirely new level of immersion. Ubisoft released title update 1.03 this week which can be downloaded and automatically applied to the game which delivers an 1080p resolution which was previously rendered at 900p. This new update on the PlayStation 4 creates a world of difference in the game and definitely shows why Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is worth the upgrade to PlayStation 4. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag on PS4 gives gamers beautiful high-resolution textures which creates more realistic looking environments and interactions. The PlayStation 4 also offers gamers better Dual Shock 4 with improved Vita Remote Play. Remote Play allows gamers to seamlessly jump from playing on the PlayStation 4 to the PS Vita. Gamers will need a wifi connection in order to experience Remote Play which allows you to play the game anywhere in your house. Remote Play is similar to the Wii U's off-screen play but works much better. The mechanics are slightly impacted since the Vita doesn't contain the same buttons as Dual Shock 4 which Ubisoft has detailed here.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag's fifteen to twenty hour campaign plays pretty much the same as it did on PlayStation 3 where you complete main objectives alongside side-missions and Naval Battles for even more replayability. Players will have a blast completing hunting and assassin missions on top of collecting valuable treasures and items. Progress can be shared with friends online through Uplay which also automatically shares interactions with limited-time events. Ubisoft has implemented a new multiplayer portion in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag with the feedback system that allows players to rate the memory sequences which allow the developers to improve the gameplay design for all of the memories. The breathtaking visuals and aesthetics really step up the experience in combat by creating a more seamless experience since character models have been drastically improved. The PlayStation 4 really gives gamers the experience of playing Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag on PC on the highest settings since pixels are less grainy with everything being visually sharper and more crisp.

Another benefit to playing Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is the Sony-exclusive content which is limited to PS3 and PS4 for six months. The DLC adds an extra hour of gameplay to the main storyline with the protagonist Aveline from Assassin's Creed: Liberation which is yet another great reason to get the game on PS4.


Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag has seen many improvements with its release on PlayStation 4 alongside many fixes for the game's problems on PlayStation 3 including loading times and visual hiccups. While the game may play about the same on PS3 and PS4, there are many added benefits to playing on next-gen primarily in regards to visuals. If you have yet to purchase the game, then it is definitely worth getting on PlayStation 4 or worth upgrading to from PS3 for $10.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is now available from all major retailers for the MSRP of $59.99 and can be purchased for PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii U & PC. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is rated M by the ESRB for Blood, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol & Violence. For more information on the game, check out the official Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag website.

Game Features:
  • Online Multiplayer 1-8
  • Pirate Themed Storyline and World
  • Create Custom Multiplayer Modes
  • PlayStation Exclusive DLC
  • Trophy/Achievement Support

Game Information:
Developer & Publisher: Ubisoft
Platforms: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 (reviewed), Xbox 360, Xbox One, Nintendo Wii U, PC
Release Date: November 15, 2013

Score: 9.7 out of 10
PS4 Pros:
  • Improved visuals
  • Smoother UI
  • Addition of Vita Remote Play
PS4 Cons: 
    • Same gamplay experience as PS3 regarding story and missions
    • $10 upgrade cost from PS3 to PS4

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