PSA: Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag is free on PC until 18 December

Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag is one of the best games in Ubisoft’s long-running series featuring ninja assassins who cut off fingers to add another weapon to their arsenal. Technically the fourth game in the timeline (the Ezio series is really just one incredibly long game split into three), Black Flag introduced more involving ship battles and naval warfare, and the sheer popularity of the ship missions is what led Ubisoft to finally head player’s calls to make a pirate game, which is why Skull & Bones is a thing. From now until 18 December 2017, Black Flag is free on Uplay.

When we reviewed Black Flag, we gave it 85/100, and the game has only gotten better with patches to gameplay and ship mechanics. There is a season pass, of course, but it only includes some multiplayer content (just characters), a single-player campaign where you play as Adewale, Edward Kenway’s second-in-command aboard his ship, the Jackdaw, and a “skin” for the Jackdaw that turns it into the legendary Kraken vessel. You might as well just buy Freedom Cry on its own and avoid the multiplayer completely because it’s quite dead.

In terms of specifications, Black Flag is still a modern game that took advantage of every resource available thanks to the DirectX 11 renderer and the AnvilNext engine. At launch in 2013, Ubisoft recommended a Core i5 2400S, at least 4GB of system RAM, and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 470 or AMD Radeon HD 5850 or better, but today’s budget machines should be able to play it quite nicely. Any PC with a quad-core CPU and a modern GPU will run the game just fine.

The only hurdle might be Windows 10 support. Black Flag was released long before Windows 10 was on Microsoft’s to-do list, and there might still be a few niggles that Ubisoft isn’t going to patch. Not that I expect there to be problems, however, since Black Flag was already a well-optimised game.

While you’re waiting for the 30GB download to complete, watch Black Sails. It includes many of the characters you’re going to meet in Black Flag, and the series is based on real-life characters and events in history.