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Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag 

PC, PS3, PS4, Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One (Ubisoft)

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You might be getting sick of Assassin’s Creed, and I don’t blame you. Another guy in a white hood stalking and killing Templars---who cares? Luckily, Black Flag mixes up the formula enough to really invigourate the series. Set during the golden age of piracy in the Caribbean, you play as Edward Kenway, who grapples with his desire for riches and plunder while playing both sides of the Templar and Assassin struggle. The game comes alive when you hit the open seas on your ship, The Jackdaw, raiding enemy vessels and building up a fleet of your own. It’s the highlight of the game. This is the first Assassin’s Creed that feels like a truly open-world experience. You have the freedom to explore for hours at a time without touching the main story, which itself is mediocre, lacking compared to earlier entries in terms of scope. But it’s refreshing to have less emphasis on the near-future storyline.

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