Ubisoft is once again pouring everything its got into the next Assassin’s Creed project dubbed Black Flag. With eight studios working on the massive game, Ubisoft plans to bring players the pirate’s life of Captain Edward Kenway to all major consoles this fall, with Sony consoles getting exclusive content yet again to the franchise.
Black Flag leaves the raging battles of the revolutionary war and the birth of a new country behind and leapfrogs back in time to the 18th century islands of the Caribbean, blending real pirates and history together as the Assassins battle it out yet again with the Templars.
And in the case of Black Flag, players will meet a new hero instead of continuing on with Connor. Our intrepid protagonist this time around is Captain Edward Kenway, father of Haytham and grandfather of Connor. Ubisoft is calling this entry the continuation of the “Kenway saga” of Assassin’s Creed games.
A huge for cast for a huge game
Edward isn’t the only character you’ll come across though in Black Flag. The cast is huge. Players will get to meet real historical figures like Benjamin Hornigold, who was known as the gentleman pirate, Ann Bonny, one of the few female pirates of the time period, a psychotic Englishman named Charles Vane, drunkard Calico Jack, and even Blackbeard himself.
Ubisoft says they’re looking forward to telling us the story behind Edward Teach, the famed pirate of the Caribbean who was actually reluctant to murder other people and rather created a theme around who he was so that people would fear him.
If there was one thing from Assassin’s Creed 3 that irked me, it was the silly play on history that they did on the Revolutionary war. As an American, I grew up learning all about our nation’s history while in school, so it wasn’t that hard to pick out all of the silly little mistakes and spin-offs that Ubisoft made to the era.
This is as close to the pirate life as you can get
But with Assassin’s Creed IV, Ubisoft says that they are super excited to be able to tell the story of all the pirate characters you’ll meet throughout the game. They’re eager to present a credible retelling of the history. The realistic version of pirates is something Ubisoft thinks is “really awesome” versus the cartoony version the gaming industry has portrayed so far.
“This is as close to interaction as you can get,” game director Ashraf Ismail told Forbes. They’ve specifically picked out the really important locations and parts of the time period that had an effect of the world and you’ll get to meet those characters who actually existed there.
The most expansive AC world yet
And if you’re worried about the game taking place specifically at sea, Kenway is a pirate after all, there is no need to fret. Roughly 60% of the game will take place on land Ubisoft has said.
And while the game does have the major, sprawling cities the AC franchise has become known for creating (most notably Nassau, Havana, and Kingston this time around), Black Flag also has over 50 unique locations across the entirely seamless Caribbean world.
Players will get to explore everything from fisherman villages and plantations, to the many jungles, forts, islands, and Mayan ruins dotted across the Caribbean sea. They’ll also get to take part in numerous activities such as hunting, harpooning, and exploring underwater environments.
Ubisoft really wants to make sure that the players are completely immersed in the world. Everything is very fluid and seamless when it comes to blending between its land and aquatic environments. Players could simply dive off of their ship and swim to a nearby island to explore if they wanted to.
Riveting sea battles will steal the show
Ubisoft has also said that players will also be able to board almost every ship in the game. Whereas the trailer showcased a more scripted scene, everything about it in the real game will be completely seamless and unique every time. But players will need to manage their crew and use their Assassin’s skills effectively if they want to successful board an enemy ship.
Players can approach these boarding situations from multiple different perspectives though instead of charging your entire crew into the fray of battle. A few options noted in the game’s reveal were that you could either simply gun down the opposing captain from the safety of your own ship, or you could leap from mast-to-mast and perform an air assassination.
Players will also be able to exploit the exploit weather patters to their advantage in combat, luring in enemies into less than ideal conditions such as dynamic storms and use them to their advantage if they know how to.
Development for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag began during the summer of 2011, but Ubisoft claims there has been enough time though to consider all of the critical and fan reception they got from Assassin’s Creed 3 last year. “We don’t tell you ‘go here, touch this thing, interact with this thing, push this guy’ to accomplish the goal. It’s really just where you need to be, get there as you wish,” Ubisoft told Joystiq.
Look for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag to launch this fall on the PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, “Xbox 720,” PC, and the Wii U on October 29th, 2013. And be sure to check back on DigiBytes for more info for the game as it comes out.