The lights are on
Unsurprisingly, the latest Assassin’s Creed title is a prominent piece of Ubisoft’s presence at E3. The latest demo showcases the opportunities for assassination and exploration in this nautical-themed adventure.
The action begins in 1717 as Edward Kenway (grandfather to AC III’s Connor) takes an assassination contract that tasks him with killing a pair of twin British officers. Like previous games, these missions are obtained through pigeon coops and act as side content that players can explore to earn extra resources. For this contract, Edward finds the twins hanging out at a dockside bar. Amid the festive dancing and local music (Ubisoft says there are nearly 70 folk songs in the game), Edward uses Eagle Vision to locate the two targets and sidles up to one of them at the bar, then makes short work of him through a sequence of smashing and stabbing.
Startled by the ruckus and the murder of his brother, the other target flees across the docks. A short chase ensues, during which the new free-aiming mechanic is on display. As British soldiers block his way, Edward can target specific areas (instead of the general lock-on from previous entries), and do more damage depending on his aim. Headshots, for instance, do more damage than a bullet to the shoulder.
It is possible for Edward to catch up to the officer and complete the assignment on the docks, but in this case, the target escapes and makes his way onto a ship and hits the seas. As a pirate, Edward has his own ship – the Jackdaw – to give chase. A naval battle ensues, in which the Jackdaw and its crew heavily damage the vessel, then pull up alongside and board it. Edward crosses to the enemy ship, climbs a mast, and leaps down with his blades out to finish off his target. With the captain dead and the ship in dire shape, the pirates claim the cargo and add the new vessel to the fleet.
With the mission accomplished, the open seas call out with numerous other possibilities. While sailing, Edward finds a sandbar with a wrecked ship, and on it is the body of sailor with a treasure map nearby. This map leads players to the island of Mysteriosa (which you can mark on your map either in-game or through a companion app), occupied by Spanish soldiers. A stealthy ascent up a mountain is made challenging by the fact that the traditional Brotherhood mechanic isn’t present in Black Flag. In previous games, the ability to call in other assassins was a kind of nuclear option that made it possible to circumvent difficult situations. This trivialized some of the tension associated with stealth, so in Black Flag, Edward’s missions are largely solo efforts.
After reaching the location indicated on the treasure map, Edward digs up a chest that contains resources that can be used to upgrade the Jackdaw. The team at Ubisoft wants to treat the Jackdaw as a sort of second main character; it can be upgraded in numerous ways and the crew levels up and they complete tasks, making it a major way that players get a sense of their progression and increasing might. Of course, the pirates also have a hideout that can be upgraded in ways similar to the bases in previous titles.
Increasing the number of cannons on the Jackdaw is going to be a big deal, because you need a bunch of firepower to take control of the seas. Enemy fortresses are scattered around the islands, which you can retake using naval combat that looks like a natural evolution from what we saw in Assassin's Creed III.
All in all, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag looks great in action, and appears to have all of the addictive gameplay loops that fans have come to expect from the series. After our extended look, we're even more excited to see what the future holds for this franchise with its roots in the past.
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I think this is going to be great. I'm hoping that this will bring me back to the series after the somewhat disappointing AC III.
I will be getting this game for sure, love the franchise. I also do believe that it is coming to current and next gen consoles. I will be getting this for XBOX ONE when it comes out. An Assassins Creed game for next gen...dreams do come true.
We're a band of vicious pirates!
A sailin´ out to sea.
When you hear our gentle singing..
You'll be sure to turn and flee!
A pirate I was meant to be!
Trim the sails and roam the sea!
They had one thing to prove to me after the epic fail that AC3 was, one thing i would have pre-ordered this tomorrow...
Prove to me that this game is not a buggy POS like AC3 was at release, not that hard right?
Then the game play demo stutters and locks up in the middle of it...
No Brotherhood recruits? I'm liking this a little more now.
The more I've heard on this, the more I look forward to it. After being super disappointed with AC3, I was even more concerned with I heard they were sticking with the storyline/lineage of Kenway. But this is really starting to sound good.
I figured it would take awhile, but that we'd hear from Black Flag soon enough...
I am a little burned out on the franchise what with it being annualized and all, but that said, this game looks and sounds great. I might give it a shot sometime down the line.
Yo ho and a bottle of rum!!! Day one purchase for me!
This looked awesome, i gotta get it.
Great pirate game idea? Absolutely, since AC3 did great in naval combat. Great AC game? Not sure, feels like it just has the name, and will probably have the same goofy Animus junk =/
I really wasn't impressed with this game. I though the ship fighting was really cool, but the other stuff was pretty much the same thing they've been doing since AC2. It's just gotten a bit stale to me. Just my opinion.
I loved AC1, AC2, and AC Brotherhood, and I'm sure I'll enjoy Blackflag as well, but I really would like to see the AC series head back to its roots. I was a fan of AC3, but I wasn't crazy about it; mainly because I just wished it was more historical, and Connor sided more with the revolutionaries than he did. Anyways, while I will buy this game, it definitely won't be a day one purchase(mainly because BF4 is releasing the same day).
..I only want this game because of pirates..
I looked up the name of the ship and it's Spanish, which leaves me to believe the Spanish are spying on Edward or at least want that cube.
I'm not excited for this game at all. Too much better games comes out this year so I'll pass this.
I'm not really sure how to feel about this game, I mean, how much can they do with Assassin's Creed to revamp the franchise in only a year? I think it'll be a good game, not on my list this year however due to a couple others than are just outshining it.
Am i the only one who didn't really care for the naval parts in AC?
Looks good, though. We'll see