We've just had fun playing as Connor in the American Revolution and now the time has come for a new addition to the franchise as Assassin's Creed is of course a yearly release. Unlike the previous filler releases without numbers Black Flag seems to be a completely new release featuring a new protagonist; Edward Kenway. Edward Kenway as you may guess from the name is related to Hatham Kenway, he is in fact his father, once again tying together links within the Assassins.
Set within 1715 we see the Spanish, French and British scurrying to take over the West Indies; these days referred to as the Caribbean. You will be able to venture across 50 unique locations which contain well known main cities like Havana and Kingston along with fishing villages, forts, plantations, Mayan ruins, hidden caves, jungles, coconut islands and underwater locations. Yes you heard me right, underwater locations, one of the biggest introductions to Assassin's Creed IV is full underwater exploration. Making Assassin's Creed IV the most explorative environment yet within the franchise. Allowing fully open world Naval combat where you can challenge each and every vessel that you lay your eyes on.
Edward commands the Jackdaw, your own ship which you can upgrade throughout the game, and your main method of transportation, able to take you between islands, hunt large marine mammals, dive down to the depths of the ocean, or steal some supplies from nearby ships when boarding them. Being a game set around an archipelago you need to look after your ship and your crew as well, hiring new men once you've lost ones at sea while also looking after the living ones. But of course you enemy isn't just other pirates or ships on the sea, you have to be weary of Mother Nature as you can find your way into storms while out on the ocean.
You'll be equipped with a spyglass that allows you to look out far and wide to set your next destination or of course your next battle. But you'll have to be weary of the amount of damage your ship can handle and deal as the ships you encounter can range from small vessels to larger more prepared ships that contain 100s of cannons and men. What sounds best to me though is their promise of a tight loading system. Allowing you to set a destination with your spyglass, attack and board a ship, take what you want; go back to the Jackdaw, sail about a bit. Jump off the boat and dive underwater, find some treasure, go back aboard and go to an island and not have a single load, at least from promises made by Jean Guesdan, their creative director.
Before you think you'll witness the zany life of pirates as portrayed in Hollywood films, Ubisoft claim that they're following the golden age of piracy and that no living skeletons or ghost ships will play a part in the game. As pirates are interesting enough without adding ghost stories, mystical beings or any other fakery.
Without the need for fakery they're packing the game with real pirates including the more tame pirates like Ben Hornigold and Anne Bonny, all the way to the psychopathic and violent pirates such as Charles Vane, Calico Jack and of course the legendary Blackbeard. Along with all these pirates from history we also found out a few of the landmark historical events that are present in the game including the wreck of the Spanish Armada and the amazing sounding assault on 42 Portuguese ships where one man took on a fleet of 42 Portuguese ships and came out the victor.
A fairly large addition to Black Flag is as you no longer play out parts of the game as Desmond due to events in ACIII. You now play a new character when in the present day; yourself. Ubisoft realise that not everyone liked playing as Desmond so they've decided to take a different approach that makes you the researcher, looking into Edwards past via Abstergo Entertainment.
As a standard Assassin's Creed Black Flag will still feature multiplayer and contain new characters, new maps and new modes for those that feel inclined to jump into some pirate multiplayer action.
Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag is due for release during the fall of 2013 for Xbox 360, Playstation 3, Playstation 4, Nintendo Wii U and Windows. We're sure more will be shown at E3 this year so keep your eyes peeled.