Where’s Best to Buy Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag?

Black Flag was only unveiled last month, but that hasn’t stopped retailers jumping on the pre-order ship early with a veritable pirate’s chest full of special editions and pre-order bonuses. Handily enough we’re here to detail exactly what those bonuses entail and which retailers are offering the best value for money.

Skull Ed

The Skull Edition does look very fancy, but for as little as £10 more you could get the substantially fancier Buccaneer Edition.

Ubisoft are putting out three versions of Assassin’s Creed IV come Friday, November 1st – the regular edition, Special Edition, Skull Edition and Buccaneer Edition.

The Skull Edition isn’t exclusive to any retailer, so you can get it from most stores, and includes the following:

    • Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag game
    • Jumbo steel case
    • Artbook
    • Two lithographs
    • Official soundtrack
    • In-game DLC: Captain Kenway’s Legacy
    • 2 single-player missions -
      • Hidden Mystery: Follow Stede Bonnet’s path and find the secrets of his adventures on the beautiful island of St Lucia.
      • Sacrificed Secrets: Recover Captain Drake’s lost treasures, including golden flintlocks and cutlass when exploring the exotic island of Sacrifices

Surprisingly Ubisoft are packing in a hefty chunk of exclusive single-player content in this edition, along with something called ‘Captain Kenway’s Legacy’ which no retailer has yet to properly detail. We suspect this content is along the lines of post-launch DLC, but whatever it is we’ve been told that the content is more substantial than the two single-player missions also included in the Skull Edition. For consoles this edition will set you back around £60, whereas Shopto.Net are selling the PC version for £39.85 which is £10 cheaper than their nearest competitor.

In the collector’s edition stakes though, the Skull Edition is rather lacklustre. Sure it’s nice that Ubisoft has packed in the official soundtrack and mini-artbook, but seeing as console owners will have to pay £20 over the standard edition to get these bonuses we feel as though this edition is lacking something.

The main reason to get the Buccaneer edition is for the Kenway figurine. There are other bonuses as well, but scale recreation of Black Flag's pirate star is the main one.

The main reason to get the Buccaneer edition is for the Kenway figurine. There are other bonuses as well, but scale recreation of Black Flag’s pirate star is the main one.

The Buccaneer Edition is undoubtedly the way to go if you’re looking to show off your love for Assassin’s Creed. This set, which for the moment is exclusive to GAME, only costs £10 more than the Skull Edition and includes everything that set has in addition to a 45cm Captain Edward Kenway figurine, a special wood-looking collector’s box, and an additional single-player mission titled ‘Black Island’. GAME do their best to snap up retailer-exclusive sets to tempt gamers away from their favourite retailer and even though we really hate that practice as it’s so anti-competition, we can’t argue against recommending this Buccaneer Edition as the best option for Assassin’s Creed fans.

The Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Special Edition is also exclusive to GAME and features the Captain Kenway DLC and Sacrificed Secrets mission for £49.99 – that’s £5 more than the £44.99 RRP of the regular edition. Both of these missions are available in either the Skull Edition or Buccaneer Edition of Black Flag, so this Special Edition is really only ‘special’ in name alone.

It's fair to say that this Assassin's Creed is a big deviation from past entries in the series.

It’s fair to say that this Assassin’s Creed is a big deviation from past entries in the series.

GAME don’t have everything their own way though. In pre-order bonus terms they’ve come up a little short, as they’re only offering an in-game treasure map which unlocks four additional locations to plunder – Andreas Island, Cage Island, Florida, and the GAME-exclusive Havana. That may sound impressive, but compared to Amazon’s pre-order incentive GAME’s is really minor.

Amazon are offering the exclusive ‘Trove of Mystery’ bonus DLC which includes the Golden Dual Swords single-player weapon, ‘Treasure Hunter’ multiplayer costume, ‘Special Wheel’ multiplayer relic and access to ‘The Watch’ single-player mission. This DLC is being offered with all three editions of Assassin’s Creed IV, including the regular edition, so if you don’t fancy spending extra to get either the Buccaneer Edition from GAME, in our opinion Amazon is the place to go.

The next Assassin’s Creed is undoubtedly one of the biggest games of the year, and many retailers will be doing all they can to tempt your pre-order money their way. Many retailers will be holding off their best deals until a few weeks before launch, so if you’re looking to save money rather than snap up a special edition or a particular pre-order bonus we recommend waiting until Black Flag’s launch date looms closer on the horizon.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag will be released on Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, WiiU and PC on Friday, November 1st. All this pricing information is correct at time of publication.

To stay up to date regarding each retailers pre-order offerings and prices, be sure to visit our dedicated ACIV product page.