10 years in the past, Ubisoft launched Murderer’s Creed IV: Black Flag, an open-world pirate-themed RPG that set the stage for the trendy iteration of the long-running collection by revitalizing its open-world exploration and including exceptional naval fight. And in that point, tens of millions of individuals have performed the sport.
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Ubisoft took to X (previously Twitter, or no matter Elon Musk will change the social media’s title to in the midst of the night time) on October 29 to announce that over 34 million individuals have performed Black Flag since its 2013 launch.
That’s a staggering variety of gamers for any sport, particularly one which’s a decade outdated. However Black Flag has aged higher than most. It places you within the boots of the Welsh pirate-turned-assassin Edward Kenway as he explores early 17th-century Caribbean seas to unravel an historical thriller.
Whereas its predecessor, Murderer’s Creed III, gave you a ship to command, Black Flag expanded on the vessel’s restricted use, with thrilling sea battles that allowed you to dodge cannon hearth and board ships to sink them within the deep blue. It additionally improved on a few of Murderer’s Creed III’s failings, resembling permitting you to freely enter and exit your ship with out ready for a loading display, whereas placing much less of an emphasis on the modern-day storytelling so you possibly can simply stab individuals to your coronary heart’s content material. This was the primary sport within the collection to discover piracy, which Ubisoft introduced again and refined in 2020’s Murderer’s Creed Valhalla, which featured strong ship crusing and village pillaging mechanics.
Actually, it’s the ship steering that made Black Flag so revered. As former Kotaku staffer Luke Plunkett wrote in December 2017, this Murderer’s Creed sport is nice due to “how stunning it was to easily sail over a peaceful sea at midnight,” and he ain’t unsuitable. Black Flag actually blew the door vast open on our expectations of what Murderer’s Creed may very well be thanks, partly, to the Jackdaw. Ubisoft’s worlds are usually enormous, however Black Flag’s rendition of the Caribbean felt exceptionally huge with its linked waterways solely traversable by sea. And the vastness of the ocean gave the sport an eerie sense of isolation and intrigue, as you by no means knew what lurked within the distance in entrance of or beneath you. Ubisoft’s bloated design ethos might have fallen out of trend, however Black Flag felt like lighting in a bottle.
Plenty of of us mirrored fondly on Black Flag to mark the event, lots of them sharing their reminiscences of the sport in Ubisoft’s mentions. Black Flag ranks among the many finest Murderer’s Creed sport to today, and it almost made the highest of Kotaku’s very personal ranked listing.
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Whereas most people had been getting misty-eyed about Black Flag, a number of had been hoping Ubisoft would both drop a current-gen patch for PS5 and Xbox Sequence X/S, or simply straight-up remaster the sport. Kotaku reported earlier this yr that a Black Flag remake is within the works, however Ubisoft nonetheless hasn’t formally confirmed it. Let’s simply hope it isn’t caught in Davy Jones’ Locker the identical manner the still-MIA RPG Cranium and Bones has been.