Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag review for PS4

Platform: PS4
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Medium: Blu-ray
Players: Multi
Online: Yes

There?s not much that I?ll add to my existing Assassin?s Creed IV review from a few weeks back, but if you were holding out for the PS4 version of the game you made a pretty good choice. Even without the recent patch to bring the resolution up from 900p to 1080p, this is clearly a step up both in visuals and framerate from the PS3 version of the game.

You still get the great pirate themed, swashbuckling fun found on the PS3, but at a much steadier framerate which manages to hold at 30 frames per second regardless of what?s happening on screen. The added resolution, improved textures, and just general improvement in visual fidelity really does Assassin?s Creed IV a world of good. This was already a game filled with lush environments on land and sea, but with the power of next-gen behind it, everything just pops out more than before.

Assasins_Creed_4_001Outside of the improved visuals I also noticed superior load times?at least once the game is fully cached to the hard drive. I also opted to go the upgrade route, using the PS3 copy of the game, and the $10 credit supplied with my PS4 purchase, to download the game directly from the store. This function requires the PS3 game to be in the disc drive, and information is still pulled from the disc for caching, with the actual download from the store clocking in at a little over 4 gigs. The loading feels significantly faster here, with only a few seconds allotted to loading between sequences, action, and cutscenes.

The only other addition comes from the touchpad functionality on the DualShock 4. This is used primarily for the map, allowing you to swipe at the pad to move around the map instead of the analog stick. It?s honestly not really better or more precise though, and I found myself defaulting to the analog stick more often than not.

Assassins_Creed_4_002Even without any major additions outside of the improved visuals and stability, this is still a great game. It?s a far cry better than Assassin?s Creed III, and even though I played through the game on PS3 I had no issues with jumping in for a second round on PS4. If you?d like to see some more thoughts about the game in general, feel free to check out my original review here. Without having played the PC or Xbox One versions, I can?t say that this is the definitive platform for Assassin?s Creed IV, but it?s definitely a notable improvement and makes for an excellent launch title on Sony?s newest console.

Grade: A-