Common Sense Media says

Rich, epic, historical action game with very mature themes.

Users say

(out of 136 reviews)
age 12+
Review this title!
Teen, 13 years old Written byBrady Branham November 10, 2013

Detailed and informational review of Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag

Ok... First off, let me say that i personally believe that common sense is highly strict and untrue/dramatic about their reviews. In other words, i don't think that common sense is a reliable source to collect data from for games. So now, lets dive into the review! POSITIVE MESSAGES: This game doesn't have too many positive messages in it. The only i can think of is that his determination and his motivation is to support his wife/family. POSITIVE ROLE MODEL: Edward Kenway, the main protagonist in the sixth main Assassin's Creed game, or AC4 Black Flag, is not a great role model but at the same time is not a bad one at all. The main story, without giving any spoilers, is that Edward ventures out to go privateering to earn extra money to support his family and his wife. His ship ends up crashing and he sets out on an adventure to get home but winds up in a war between the pirates and other nations. So basically, he's not a great role model, but not at all a bad one. VIOLENCE: Ok. This game, as the title states, is a game about killing people, but again, Common Sense has again made this game sound COMPLETELY over the top violent, which its not. You play as a pirate and kill the people that are trying to take over the main pirate city, Nassau. You fight for your land and your freedom from the others. Very minimal amounts of blood is visible and yes you can hit people and shoot people, but there is NO GORE. No body parts/ limbs come off at all. So, I can see violence as a little issue, but definitely nothing even a 11 year old or so can handle. Also, you will get in trouble in the game for killing innocent people/civilians. SEX: There is honestly NO SEX IN THIS GAME! The game does show a man and woman in bed (Edward and his wife, Caroline) but a second after the scene starts Edward gets out of bed and he is fully clothed except no shirt and his wife is COMPLETELY covered and is actually fully clothed, so that is not a problem. LANGUAGE: There is minimal language in this game. I have played the whole game through and did most the side missions and I heard the F word like ONCE. I've heard s**t twice I believe but have not heard c**t, which common sense says is in the game, but I have not heard it yet. So really, if your kid is in 5th grade or higher the would have definitely heard these words before, so that's not particularly a problem. CONSUMERISM: All this game does, is advertise the other games in this series. Nothing bad at all :) DRINKING: This game is a pirate game as you have realized. The main source for money in the golden age of piracy was rum! In this game, you can go on ships to steal and get rum for money. The main portion of drinking in this game is at taverns throughout the game is you can buy shots of rum to drink. If you drink more than around five shots, you will get drunk and become intoxicated for a few minutes. In this game when you are drunk/intoxicated, you may have visions, you'll stumble around, and other things like that. This game does a great job to make drinking look bad because of it's outcomes. So yes it is a problem, but it does a great job to portray that the outcome of drinking too much is a dangerous and harmful fall. SAFETY AND PRIVACY: This game, like nearly every other game on the market, has multiplayer in it. You may hear other people cursing online, but if that is a major problem for your child, there are three easy solutions. 1. Mute the people who are being mean/innapropriate 2. Not let your child talk to others and turn off chat completely in multiplayer. 3. Don't let them do multiplayer at all. It's such a small portion of the game, and in my opinion, the weakest part, so they hopefully wont care at all. SIDE NOTES: This game is GREAT FOR LEARNING HISTORY!!! This game features real time periods, people, places, and events that happened in the golden age of piracy. It really is the game's strongest point. As in all the other games in this wonderful series, history is Assassin's Creed playground! VERDICT!: I believe this game is appropriate for 12 years and older. None of the parts in the game have a strong impact. You have to remember. Games were not created for learning! They were made to give people an opportunity to HAVE FUN!! So please, allow your child to get this game if he is 12 or up because it's not that bad! And believe me, it's one of the most fun and entertaining games I've ever played and that's what games were made for. This game completely blows expectations out of the water for entertainment! Have fun!
What other families should know
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Educator and Parent of a 12 year old Written byLDonegan November 1, 2013

Not that bad

This game is very great game, and I was impressed when I got it for my 12 year-old-son. He had been begging for it and I finally pre-ordered it when I saw gameplay videos from III. There is nothing too bad in this game, and anyone in middle school knows about the topics discussed in here (sex, drugs, etc). Children cuss everyday in my son's middle school on the bus especially, so that isn't a huge problem. Violence isn't that bad here, and if your son understands why killing in real life is seriously wrong, he won't pick up on it. Pause for 12 and under, but mostly on for anything above
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written byMovie Nerd November 2, 2013

Not supporting

It ain't too bad in the beginning but contains something really surprisingly unacceptable for kids later.
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent of a 11 year old Written byparentofyoungchildre February 7, 2014

good for kids 10 and up

Detailed and informational review of Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag Ok... First off, let me say that i personally believe that common sense is highly strict and untrue/dramatic about their reviews. In other words, i don't think that common sense is a reliable source to collect data from for games. So now, lets dive into the review! POSITIVE MESSAGES: This game doesn't have too many positive messages in it. The only i can think of is that his determination and his motivation is to support his wife/family. SEX: There is honestly NO SEX IN THIS GAME! The game does show a man and woman in bed (Edward and his wife, Caroline) but a second after the scene starts Edward gets out of bed and he is fully clothed except no shirt and his wife is COMPLETELY covered and is actually fully clothed, so that is not a problem. POSITIVE ROLE MODEL: Edward Kenway, the main protagonist in the sixth main Assassin's Creed game, or AC4 Black Flag, is not a great role model but at the same time is not a bad one at all. The main story, without giving any spoilers, is that Edward ventures out to go privateering to earn extra money to support his family and his wife. His ship ends up crashing and he sets out on an adventure to get home but winds up in a war between the pirates and other nations. So basically, he's not a great role model, but not at all a bad one. VIOLENCE: Ok. This game, as the title states, is a game about killing people, but again, Common Sense has again made this game sound COMPLETELY over the top violent, which its not. You play as a pirate and kill the people that are trying to take over the main pirate city, Nassau. You fight for your land and your freedom from the others. Very minimal amounts of blood is visible and yes you can hit people and shoot people, but there is NO GORE. No body parts/ limbs come off at all. So, I can see violence as a little issue, but definitely nothing even a 11 year old or so can handle. Also, you will get in trouble in the game for killing innocent people/civilians. LANGUAGE: There is minimal language in this game. I have played the whole game through and did most the side missions and I heard the F word like ONCE. I've heard s**t twice I believe but have not heard c**t, which common sense says is in the game, but I have not heard it yet. So really, if your kid is in 5th grade or higher the would have definitely heard these words before, so that's not particularly a problem. CONSUMERISM: All this game does, is advertise the other games in this series. Nothing bad at all :) DRINKING: This game is a pirate game as you have realized. The main source for money in the golden age of piracy was rum! In this game, you can go on ships to steal and get rum for money. The main portion of drinking in this game is at taverns throughout the game is you can buy shots of rum to drink. If you drink more than around five shots, you will get drunk and become intoxicated for a few minutes. In this game when you are drunk/intoxicated, you may have visions, you'll stumble around, and other things like that. This game does a great job to make drinking look bad because of it's outcomes. So yes it is a problem, but it does a great job to portray that the outcome of drinking too much is a dangerous and harmful fall. SAFETY AND PRIVACY: This game, like nearly every other game on the market, has multiplayer in it. You may hear other people cursing online, but if that is a major problem for your child, there are three easy solutions. 1. Mute the people who are being mean/innapropriate 2. Not let your child talk to others and turn off chat completely in multiplayer. 3. Don't let them do multiplayer at all. It's such a small portion of the game, and in my opinion, the weakest part, so they hopefully wont care at all. SIDE NOTES: This game is GREAT FOR LEARNING HISTORY!!! This game features real time periods, people, places, and events that happened in the golden age of piracy. It really is the game's strongest point. As in all the other games in this wonderful series, history is Assassin's Creed playground! VERDICT!: I believe this game is appropriate for 12 years and older. None of the parts in the game have a strong impact. You have to remember. Games were not created for learning! They were made to give people an opportunity to HAVE FUN!! So please, allow your child to get this game if he is 12 or up because it's not that bad! And believe me, it's one of the most fun and entertaining games I've ever played and that's what games were made for. This game completely blows expectations out of the water for entertainment! Have fun!
What other families should know
Great role models
Parent Written byMarleyB November 16, 2013

Great Game

My son just got this game and he is 12 I have been watching him for over 2 hours and the violence is low and the language is small. This game has been teaching me information about pirates (How they got treasure on the bottom of the ocean etc.) I highly recommend this game for anyone over 12.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Parent Written byLovingmomof5 March 1, 2014

Mom of two boys

I have two boys and I let them play it. One is 12, and one is 14. This game actually has some educational values. It shows very important things in Americas past. First off let’s get to the rating, it is M. Now trust me, I am pretty strict when it comes to my children playing games. They always have asked for titles like Grand theft auto. I have said no due to the sexual content and really just the theme of the game. The sex in assassins creed black flag is really not strong at all. Parents like me always freak out when it says sexual content on the back of the box and say no, but this one I do not understand why it says that on the back of the box. Next is the violence in the game, it is not much worse than any call of duty or battlefield game. There is some blood but of course you can turn it off. Then there is the language. It is strong but there is an option to turn off the voice sound and sub titles. I really think any child that is 12 and up can handle this game. If your child understands that killing in real life is bad and it’s a sin I think its OK for them.
Parent of a 13 year old Written byThegoodReviewer November 7, 2013

Bad game for little kids!

This game is good for people that like open world games. It has graphical killing scenes once in a while but if you don´t mind ocasional blood and swear words it´s a good game for 15 year old´s. It has rich content and lots of areas to explore! I do not recommend it for kids under 15.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns
Parent of a 8 and 14 year old Written byGangnam December 6, 2013

Use the parental controls on PS3 for this game, then it is fine for 12+

It was a huge shock for me to read the reviews here, buy the game online, and when it arrived it was rated for 18 + in my country. And it deserves that. But then I saw you can use settings on the PS3 to tune the game to the age of your kid. That way the game is just as fun, just as scenic (a wonderful game really), without horrible gore, and constant swear words. Buy the game for your kids if you can find out how to change the parental control setting on your PS3 ;)
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Parent Written byBestDadEver101 November 16, 2013

Cool

This game is great way overrated by common sense media. I been playing this game since it came out and I finally beat it. Their is not much hand to hand combat but their is tons of ship battles littering the map. This game is great and educational at times.
Parent of a 12 year old Written byListenUp February 19, 2014

If Your A Parent Who's Worried What Your Son Is Playing! READ THIS!

I'm a parent of a boy whose about to almost turn 13 and I'm not a big fan of him asking me for games like Call Of Duty and Grand Theft Auto V. I said no to those two. The only game he was allowed to play which was above his age was Halo 4 and I was surprised that it wasn't too violent. But when he told me about this, he told me it was an 18+ and I said 'NO' but then he told me about one which was a 15 called Assassins Creed: Revelations and I heard that you could turn the blood off. So a I let him have it and he loved it so he asked me for AC III and you could still turn the blood off but I still said NO because it was an 18+ and you could still use an axe and throw it at people. So when AC IV was coming out, I read the parents guide on IMDB for this and I had a thought about it because it was still an 18+ but not as bad. So I let my husband play it because he was really good at video games and he completed it in about 2-3 weeks and he told me when you turn blood off, the violence would be okay for my son who is turning 13 and let me tell you this is a story around Christmas. My husband said it should've been a 15 because he thought it was less violent than Revelations but he did say that the F-word is used twice but my son hears the F-word about 4-5 times a day when he's walking home or at school but he's still safe. So I let him have it and he loves it. It also the makes you learn a lot about Blackbeard and makes you think that he did exist. I'd recommend this game for your son who is over 12.
Parent Written byHonestreviews48 January 4, 2014

10+(it should say this)

This is an okay game for 9-year-olds if you turn off the blood. Sexual themes aren't of much concern unless your child is under the age of 10. The language is basically what your kid will hear in school, all you need to do is just explain to them the sadness of death.(my review should say 10+, but my account is glitched.)
What other families should know
Great role models
Parent of a 13 year old Written byGenSet February 27, 2014

Don't believe the description and rating.

Why not? Because I've played the game, and I don't recognise any of the descriptions. There is violence, with blood and gore - but the blood and gore can be turned off, and the violence becomes fantasy violence. There is a little bit of swearing, but no more than a 10yo will hear at school. I've seen no nudity, sexual themes (well, I think there was a kiss), drugs or alcohol, and since I would always be present while my son was playing, I'd watch out and steer him away. The game play is great, you learn a bit about the origins of the revolutionary war (even meet with George Washington and others) and, although there is obviously some creative licence, it is good to see some aspects of history coming to life. Two other reasons for supervising an under 16 playing in my view would be to ensure they don't turn the blood back on, and don't get too bogged down in simply fighting. The real fun comes from sailing ships, gathering crew and supplies, strategizing, and carrying out missions (yes, some of these are assassination missions, so you can have you child avoid these if you're there). This is a great game with a story, and with the blood/gore turned off, and some parental supervision, I nearly went down to age 10 and up. I can't imagine any parent who allow their children to watch some of the violence in big-screen movies (like The Hobbitt etc) would have any problems with this game (unless too worried about what others might think of them allowing their kids to play.
What other families should know
Great messages
Easy to play/use
Parent Written byLolface December 18, 2013

Great for 10 and up!

This game is fun and exciting to play at the same time. There is minor swearing like one usage of f**k and around 3 s**t. Also, a few c**the but not that bad. You can turn blood off in the menus. If you kill commoners you die. The drinking is a bit over the top but hay, it's a pirate game!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written byHockeyrocks10 December 7, 2013

Best games

Don't just go away on this review just because this is by a teen. First of all you can turn off the sex, blood and swearing. There is almost no swearing anyways. Practically no sex so I don't no why they would say there is sex. And you can turn the blood of. Of coarse there is still going to be violence but just no blood. I think this is a really well made game. It takes you back historically and it's mostly in the pirate age. So it's a bit different then the other assassin creeds. If you let your kids play call of duty the. You should let them get this game. The makers if this game put a lot more effort into the naval battles. You start of with a ship and you upgrade by raiding islands,other pirate ships and forts. Of coarse you are going to kill people in it explains it by the title. Most kids in grade 5 and over should be able to get this game. Because almost all kids in grade 5 have call of duty. Grand theft auto is the worst open world game if your looking for a good open world game that's not so bad then get this 1 . Like I said before there is no sex no drugs and they are in gta so this is a great game. Best game of 2013 . Hs great graphics. So if your child knows that it's wrong and is mature enough then they should be able to get it. I hope this helped you parents decide.
What other families should know
Great messages
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 17 years old Written byJack Cassidy October 31, 2013

It's fine. More appropriate than GTA V.

This game is a brilliant game which provides lots of fun. The sex in it is very mild and yes violence is very strong but if your son or daughter knows it's wrong then it'll be fine.
Parent Written byBattleVet75 January 4, 2014

The pirate game we've all been waiting for!

This game feels entirely different from the rest of the series. You play as a pirate named Edward Kenway who was sort of forced into piracy after being a peasant in order to gain money. His intentions are good as he wants money to support his wife. This game has a huge open world set in the Carribbean. It feels like you are actually as a pirate. You can search for treasure or plunder ships and shipwrecks, and the story still as great as ever, one of the best in games. There is not a lot of sex, but you can hire prostitutes to distract enemies by dancing suggestively. You can also build a brothel on your cove to increase population, but it is unenterable. There is a lot of cussing as the pirates in the games use ALOT of cuss words. The violence is also graphic with plenty of bloodshed as enemies spurt blood that stains the environment. There are brutal stabbings, slicing and shooting. OK for 16 year olds.
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Educator and Parent Written byStressIncMom February 21, 2014

The TRUTH about violence

I have read the reviews here and many others on other sites. The common thread is an overwhelming concern about the level of violence and the realistic nature of the "kills" in this game. The fact that those assassinated bleed is what is objectionable for the younger audience. I actually think the opposite is true! Children these days seem to be numb to violence and gore at such a young age because they have been exposed to completely unrealistic violent situations without consequence yet we all object the moment a few drops of blood appear. Many t.v. shows and movies manage G or PG-13 ratings while nonetheless showing very violent acts such as head-kicks, multiple gun shots, stabbings, or 2 x 4's to the head. How? By not showing the TRUE result or consequence of those violent acts. Let's be real here for a second, nobody would get right back up after a kick or a 2x4 to the head! When you get stabbed, you bleed and if you don't get help, you will die and bleed out. "I will always remember my son's reaction to the ending of Gladiator, but mummy, the hero died because of a small cut ??? Kids need to know that real violence has real consequences. This game shows a healthy balance of the two. The "victims" bleed as they should and the hero can accomplish amazing feats. I think a mature 13 year old can handle this game IF it is contextualized (put the history into perspective, explain how the social, racial etc context was VERY different) by supervising adults.
Teen, 13 years old Written bywashington6944 December 23, 2013

Black Flag review

Honestly, I think CSM really overreacts sometimes. There is only a reference to sex in the game, not actual sex. Language is very infrequent, and if you turn off the subtitles, you probably won't notice it. The violence is there, but its not incredibly violent as most overprotective parents would think. If your kid is at least 13, then he/she should know the difference between real life and video games. and they aren't going to actually kill someone just because they did it in a game. I'm pretty sure that CSM was created by an overprotective parent that has kids that want a lot of games that their friends have, so the parent probably gives games terrible reviews just so other overprotective parents will stop buying their kids video games. If you are a parent and you are looking for an appropriate game for your kid on CSM, don't bother with the CSM review, just look at the reviews written by the other parents and kids. AC4 also has a lot of historical content, so your kid could actually learn something while having fun(something you can't say about most video games). AC3 is probably more educational though, as there is a lot of info about the American Revolution, and kids constantly make references to the game while learning about the American Revolution. This game is at pause for 12 year olds, but it is definetley Ok for 13 year olds.
Teen, 16 years old Written byMiko122 November 23, 2013

A long review from Miko122.

I picked up this game on the midnight launch, and I was seriously impressed. The gameplay mechanics are flawless, and easy to pick up, but let's speak about the rating here. First off, for violence, Edward (the protagonist), uses swords, guns, throwing knives etc. to murder, stab and assassinate enemies. However, one function allows the player to switch off blood, and so when characters are killed, no blood is shown if you choose to switch it off. So, yes, violence is consistent, and while it is strong, you can still switch the blood off. Also, the game is programmed to not allow you to kill innocents. So, I really believe the violence can be handled by kids 12 and up. But, let's look at sex. Somewhere in the beginning of the game, in a flashback, we see the main character lying shirtless in bed near his wife, who is fully clothed, so that shouldn't be a problem. However, more into the game later on, Edward is unconscious and wakes up with a random woman by his side, and it's assumed that they indulged in sexual intercourse of some sort. Also, the word w- is used at one point, but if you'll consider, children already receive sex education at age 12, 13 or possibly younger. However, MILD SPOILER Edward later on becomes a better person. Now, to another issue - language. Around the beginning of the game, we hear an abbreviation of the f- word used, and then the word 'b- son', and during a final words scene, several abbreviations of the f word are used in a vulgar manner. Another scene where a character is angry, and claims he'll 'cut you another c---.' Now, these are the swear words I could remember, but these days, in school, you hear swearing everyone in school, but i'll be honest, language is probably the worst issue in his game. So stop. Know your child. And if you know they're mature and don't swear, then 12s and up should be able to handle the swearing. I would like to address that, at any time, you can enter a tavern, drink several drinks as you want, and the screen will turn distorted, and there is even an achievement for drinking too much. Also, another prolonged sequence where a man drinks his sorrows, and begins to hallucinate. So, overall, this game can get intense and vulgar, but in the end, characters become good, and display positive messages (well... at least some of them.) So if your child has played previous AC games, and you know he is mature, and knows that violence is wrong, then I recommend this game for ages 12 and up. Nothing less.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Adult Written bygood gamer November 7, 2013

Totally Awesome

This is a great game and a mature person could get past the language (which isn't even very frequent) and actually immerse themselves to the age of pirates and get hooked on a very great game!
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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