Pirates have gotten a bad rap in 21st-century pop culture. There are the desperate, haggard pirates tangling with Tom Hanks in "Captain Phillips." Or the stumbling, soused Capt. Jack Sparrow in "Pirates of the Caribbean." Or even the freeloading pirates who destroyed the music business.
"Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag" (Ubisoft, for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii U, $59.99) tries to restore the kind of glamour that pirates haven't really known since the early days of Hollywood, when Errol Flynn and Douglas Fairbanks sailed the high seas. And it's mostly successful, serving up a rich stew of swordplay, naval combat and discovery.
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