There is always a lot of scruitiny when crossing over from one generation of consoles to another, from graphical fidelity to frames per second to pixel counts. This is especially true if you are a company’s flagship title as Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag is for Ubisoft. With the increased power under the hoods of the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One, Ubisoft kicked the tires and lit the fires on making the Assassin’s Creed IV experience the better choice over its last-gen brethren.

In terms of game play, I did not experience any noticeable differences between the Xbox 360 version and the Xbox One version. While certain gameplay felt smoother on the Xbox One, it did not considerably impact my play as Assassin’s Creed is more methodical and less frenetic than say Call of Duty. At least it is for me as I tend to pace out my movements, even though AC4 is way more forgiving in terms of being discovered than its predecessors.

Where the Xbox One version exceeds that of its older sibling is in the generated effects, especially those when you are at sea aboard the Jackdaw and in inclement weather. A perfect example is in the way waves rush across the deck in the Xbox One version. The water will run across the deck and has its own physics that plays in time with how the ship is rocking back and forth. The other aspect where I saw the most noticeable change is in how the light casts shadows and pools in locales dependent on the light sources.

Overall, when making the comparison between the Xbox 360 and Xbox One versions of Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, it is pretty easy to see where the differences lie. Ubisoft did an excellent job in making the leap from last generation to the new generation. From water and lighting effects down to the character model details, Ubisoft has positioned themselves at the forefront of next generation development.