Now that Desmond Miles’ story has ended, where will the mega-successful franchise go with Assassin’s Creed IV? Into pirate territory, apparently.
Following a premature leak online, Ubisoft has confirmed that the fourth entry in the series — and the first to be Desmond-less — is called Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. It stars one Edward Kenway, grandfather to Connor, who was something of a swashbuckling pirate back in the day, aka the “Golden Age of Pirates” at the dawn of the 18th Century. Ubisoft has released the first trailer for the new game, which I’ve embedded above.
In addition to the absence of Desmond, Black Flag represents many firsts for the series. In rewinding to the time of pirates, AC4 is the first time the series has stepped backwards in time instead of moving forward. It also marks the first time that the series has set the majority of its action on the sea. Assassin’s Creed III dabbled in sea-bound adventures, but Black Flag makes them a centerpiece, focusing on a wide open world that’s largely made up of water, along with jungle islands and port cities that you can explore at your leisure. Edward can even dive underwater to explore shipwrecks and search for treasure.
Of course, this being Assassin’s Creed, there will be plenty of historical-based content, so you can expect to rub shoulders with famous pirates like Blackbeard. But what about the present-day storyline of Assassins vs. Abstergo (Templars)? Even without Desmond, these two power players continue to vie for control. Due to events that occurred at the end of AC3, Abstergo now has access to the full bloodline/ancestral memories of all of Desmond’s ancestors. Thus, the new game features a new protagonist in modern times, described as an employee of Abstergo who begins to question his employers’ righteousness after spending time in the Animus.
Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag will hit stores October 29 of this year. It seems that Ubisoft is intent on continuing the series’ annual release schedule. This strategy started showing cracks around the seams with AC3, which most gamers agreed was in need of a ton of polish when it first arrived. So what do you think? Does AC4 look like a needed breath of fresh air, or more of a tangential sideways step?