Thar Be Pirates In Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag

Shiver ye timbers! A new Assassin’s Creed game is setting sail!

*sigh* I think rotten wood on old ships isn’t the only leak Ubisoft has to worry about. They told us last week that they would do a massive reveal of newest Assassin’s Creed today, but someone decided to break embargo over the weekend and posted the new trailer hella early. Figured I’d wait till the dust settled on all the hullaballo so that I can see what’s what. Helps that I got a hold of the Global Announcement Q&A Ubisoft put out there. So here’s the 411.

Taking place during the Golden Age of Piracy, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag puts you in the boots of one Edward Kenway, a brash and charismatic Welshman who just so happens to be the grandfather of Assassin’s Creed 3 hero, Connor. Our boy Edward was rather restless and decided he wanted to sail the world as a privateer, much to the dismay of his wife, who left him shortly thereafter (their marriage was rocky; this was the final straw). When the Treaty of Utrecht brought about peace among the major European countries in 1713, many privateers, including Edward, jumped ship (see what I did there?) and turned to the exciting world of piracy. YAAAAAR~! He eventually gets caught up in the Templar/Assassin conflict, trains in the way of the Assassin, and dole out some rough justice.

The Templars this time around are lookin’ for some sort of magical, mysterious place that would give ’em the leg up on the Assassins and bring them one step closer to world domination, or some such evil thing. But the Assassins are all-knowing and have Assassin Senses that detect when the Templars are up to something, so… yea. They send Edward to thwart their plans.

As for tools of the trade, Edward has a fancy arsenal, including dual swords, pistols and a blow dart. He can also hire prostitutes to distract guards and get drunk pirates to cause a raucous. Maybe Edward can get drunk, too, and join in with drunken boxing  (boy loves his drink, after all).

Assassin's Creed 4 - Blackbeard

You will meet many famous pirates on your journey — including ol’ Blackbeard himself.

Because sailing is of vital importance this time around, Ubisoft has improved the physics to give the ocean a more realistic feel to it (careful with the sails during a storm!), and a new trajectory system, and combat AI for naval combat. Also, your ship, Jackclaw, will be able to gain new weaponry as the game progresses, thus allowing you to explore new areas. There’s also this “Horizon System” where, if you look through your telescope, you’ll be able to do more pirate-y stuff, like rob merchant ships or save fellow pirates. Yaaar!

Ubisoft has said that land missions are still huge, despite the large sailing presence, and that there will be plenty of chances to you to tap into your inner stealth demon and Assassin connoisseur with the fancy level designs of the locations you’ll be visiting, like Mayan ruins, shipwrecks, and various cities like Nassau and Havana. They’re working hard to make Assassin’s Creed 4, “a true pirate game, which means one, single, unified game using both naval and ground gameplay”. In other words, one big open-world pirate simulator. YAAARR~!

What’s interesting is how this all fits into the mythos. Do you remember how Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation and the multiplayer in Assassin’s Creed 3 were just some sort of “historical entertainment” product created by Abstergo (the über-corporation in the Assassin’s Creed series)? Well, Assassin’s Creed 4 looks to be one of those “historical entertainment” products of theirs as well. Also, be on the lookout for references of main protagonist, Desmond the modern-day Assassin.

Looks like Assassin’s Creed 4‘s gonna be pretty big, as this is being handled by several Ubisoft offices: Ubisoft Montreal is the head of this game dev Voltron (go home team!), but they’re getting help with the single player side from Ubisoft Singapore, Québec, and Sofia, and  Ubisoft Annecy and Bucharest are pitching in for the multiplayer game. That’s a lot of Ubi 😕

The game’s coming to North American shores October 29, the UK on November 1, and the rest of Europe October 31st. As for the platforms, it’s coming to PS3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii U… and next gen consoles (PlayStation 4, and the next iteration of Xbox).

If they were smart, they should release it on September 19, which is International Speak Like a Pirate Day. How’d you miss that one, Ubi!?

So are you psyche about all this Assassin’s Creed 4 news? Anxious to get your Assassin’s groove on again so soon after the 3rd? Let me know in the Comments Section!