A few days ago, we brought you details about the E3 single-player demo of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, but the rest of the story was on the show floor this week in the form of some competitive multiplayer. Earlier today, we posted a video that offers a glimpse into a full multiplayer match. Meanwhile, I hopped into a multiplayer match myself with some fellow E3 attendees to see what's changed since the last installment.

Undoubtedly, the biggest change visually is the expected one. Black Flag's multiplayer transitions from the Revolutionary trappings of Assassin's Creed III to the unmistakable flamboyance of a pirate theme. A whole new cast of playable characters is available, and a new selection of maps are present that are built to evoke the early 18th century Caribbean setting.

Look past those visual features, and the big new feature Ubisoft is touting at this year's show is its Game Lab functionality. Game Lab allows players to take any game mode and completely alter or tweak its fundamental rules and conditions. Change available weapons and power-ups. Take away restrictions on kill conditions. Or create a mode focused on one very particular style of play.

Each day of E3, the team from Ubisoft created its own Game Lab mode to show off to the crowds. On day one, a purist mode stripped out all the abilities and other special cues or power-ups, and let players fight it out with just their wits. When I arrived on day two, Ubisoft had inputted a new mode they called Pistoleer. In this iteration of the familiar cat and mouse gameplay, players could only take out their targets using the pistol -- no melee kills allowed. These new restrictions make players think on their feet and change up standard strategies. For instance, in the Pistoleer mode I played, attempting a kill at close range almost always resulted in a failure, since the aiming time on the pistol gives an opponent the time they need to run up and stun you. Thus, spotting and identifying your target from a distance is a must.

A single match was nowhere near enough time to grasp all the small tweaks and features that have seen improvement in this new iteration of Assassin's Creed. However, the high fidelity of the next-gen visuals had me happily gawking, and the game plays great on the PS4 controller I was offered for my time with the game. The new customizable approach to multiplayer should result in some creative offerings from the community, and I'm eager to see how this change to multiplayer helps to extend the life of Black Flag's multiplayer after the game releases this fall.