Today, Black Flag is known as one of the greatest games in the franchise. But it is so well loved not because fans loved it thinking that it was firstly a pirate game and an Assassin’s Creed second. Well, what if I were to tell you that Black Flag is one of the most traditional Assassin’s Creed games in the franchise, hidden as a pirate game? Stick around to find out.

A Great Pirate Story But A Terrible Assassin’s Creed

Many reviewers fans, and Youtubers, use this line when discussing the narrative of Black Flag, “A great pirate story but a terrible assassin’s creed.” This might be the most popular opinion on the game, but in my opinion, they are incorrect.

In the first games within the series, you play as an assassin who hunts down Templars while fighting for the freedom of his friends and humankind. Meanwhile, in Black Flag, you play as a pirate who also kills Templars and fights for freedom, but not the freedom of the entire world; instead, it’s only the freedom of his friends (the pirate republic of Nassau).

What Edward was attempting to do was create a safe haven for himself and his kind while attempting to bring more people to his supposed utopia. Edward convinced Stede Bonnet to join the pirates not for personal gain but because of a misguided kindness to aid a man whose will was enslaved by the grim society.

However, Edward did not always go out of his way to save enslaved people like assassins would. Instead, he would free them if it did not result in him being in any true danger. But wait, assassins and pirates are different, aren’t they? Well, both organizations fight to live freely and away from oppressive systems. Both of them fight against colonial powers and kill in the sense of believing it to be the only way to achieve their goal.

In the words of Blackbeard in the game, “We fly no colors here but praise the lack of them.” This line illustrates that pirates and assassins are similar. The lead writer of the game, Darby Mcdevitt, talked about the assassins’ similarities to pirates and how they are both anarchists. This interview is in a YouTube video with Loomer.

Back To Form

Assassins do not join political societies to help a nation. When Connor was asked why he helped the colonialists against the British, he said that he served a notion, not a nation. The Templars follow the assassins as they also return to form in this game, as they are less interested in power, but instead, they aim for order. When Edward confronts the Grand Master of the Templars, he says: “You would see all of mankind corralled into a neatly furnished prison, safe and sober, yet dulled beyond reason and sapped of all spirit.”

Edward Kenway

While assassins have more responsibility than pirates, as assassins don’t kill innocents, pirates don’t follow this path. However, the protagonist, Edward, has a code that forbids him from killing innocents. You can see this in the game when you hurt innocents; the game would stop you from continuing this action as it goes against Edward’s code even before becoming an assassin. One factor that holds Edward back from being a true assassin is his lust for riches. “I want the taste of the good life. The easy life.” This ambition made him kill assassins and held him back from being one.

The Templar Connection

Edward seems to be very similar to previous protagonists in the series, but that is not the sole reason that makes this game an actual Assassin’s Creed game. The Templars are a good reason why this is a true Assassin’s Creed game. Templars want to hold the world in their grasp and halt all the chaos in the world and bring order. They have more depth as they shun slavers. They seek the alternative, which is to enslave people’s minds instead of the individual’s body. This concept appeared in the first Assassin’s Creed game before Black Flag.

Garnier de Naplouse, a doctor who took the freedom of his patients, was thanked by the very people he enslaved. He did not use the apple, instead following the Templar philosophy of enslaving the mind, not the body. This ideology showcases that Black Flag shows the conflict between the assassin and the Templar war, which is the core of Assassin’s Creed. As Torres said: “A body enslaved inspires the mind to revolt, but enslave a man’s mind, and his body will follow on. Natural. Efficient.”


What do you think of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag? Do you see the game differently, or do you think that the game was not a true return to form? Please leave a comment below.

Strangely Awesome Games Staff
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