John Lansdowne
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The Black Flag Rises

The Game That Sailed Right to the Top

When it first came to be in 2007, the game Assassin's Creed was a hit, but no one could have guessed how much of a hit it would become in time. It became the groundwork for a series that has now graced the world with more than a dozen games that take place throughout the world, and throughout time. Assassin's Creed 2 vastly improved upon not only the success of its first installment, but the game play as well—and it only got better as the story continued. But no matter how the series progresses and evolves, one game in particular has risen to the top of the Assassins world, and remains there to this day: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.

Possibly the most unique game the series has to offer, Black Flag takes place on the high seas as much as it does on land. Taking the player back to the Caribbean and the 1700s, the story follows not an actual member of the Assassins Order, but a pirate known as Edward Kenway. His story, as we see it, starts off as a standard pirate, trying to earn his living on the seas so he can return to Wales and provide for his wife. After being shipwrecked in a naval battle, Edward finds himself on a nearby island with a survivor of the opposing ship who is being paid handsomely by the Templar Knights, the mortal enemies of the Assassins, to deliver a certain package to them. Edward kills this man and tries to take the man’s package and name to claim the reward, but his scheme backfires and he is tossed into a brig. After breaking free along with some of the other prisoners, they take a ship and form their own crew, with Kenway as captain. Their new adventures take them all across the West Indies, encountering many new faces, some friendly, some not so much, and some who aren’t what they claim to be. They even meet pirates who are still famous today, such as one of the biggest pirates in history, Blackbeard himself! Meanwhile, in the modern world the player, when not in the Animus machine, is taken through the offices of Abstergo Entertainment to learn about the world now, which includes the new technology that allows the usage of the DNA of the late, original protagonist of the series, Desmond Miles.

Unlike any Assassin's Creed game that came before it, Black Flag offers a completely open world environment, and is jam-packed with new discoveries and missions that not only help you along the story, but can make your ship and your crew the deadliest to ever sail the seas. The story takes you across the seas from uncharted islands to well-known locations like Cuba, Jamaica, and even the beautiful islands of The Bahamas. There are even locations throughout the waters of the Caribbean where you can dive under and explore the remains of sunken ships to search for undersea treasure, among other things. And with the stunning visual and auditory effects the game has to offer, you’ll be able to soak in every detail as if you were there, exchanging broadsides with other ships, attacking deadly forts throughout the map, or fighting up close and personal with enemy soldiers on both sea and shore to defend your life and crew, as well as protecting other people in the game—for the right price of course. This game raised the standard, as well as the flag, for Assassin's Creed and, whether or not another game can top this in the future, Black Flag will always be flying high on any list of Assassin's Creed.

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