Edward Kenway, the star of action title 'Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.'(Photo: Ubisoft)
Due out October 29 from Ubisoft, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is promising to be all that and a bottle o' rum. At least, that's the hope for this swashbuckling multi-platform title set in the early 1700's.
"It's a pirate game," stated Karl von der Luhe, the game's Associate Producer. "We have a pirate setting. We have this huge beautiful open world to explore in the Caribbean Sea."
Tying in to Assassin's Creed III, which was set in and around Boston and the American Revolutionary War, Black Flag has players taking the role of Edward Kenway. If the name sounds familiar, it's because he's the grandfather of AC3's main protagonist Connor Kenway.
Focused on greed and personal gain, the elder Kenway cares about piracy upon the high seas. At least, he does until he experiences an event that changes his look on life.
"After a few hours in the story, you'll come ancient Assassins-vs-Templar battle and he'll start to learn about the Assassins' order and realize they are evil forces at bey and will start to get more involved and live a life worth meaning," said Luhe.
Much of the game takes place aboard sailing vessels and naval-based gameplay does appear to make up a very good percentage of AC4, though Luhe promises there will be plenty of the franchise's iconic playstyle throughout. Part of this is the inclusion of three large real-life Caribbean cities.
"Havana's a very Spanish-style city quite reminiscent of Venice or Florence from Assassin's Creed II," lists the Associate Producer. "Then we have Nassau, which is a pirate stronghold, and Kingston, which is more of an English colonial feel in Jamaica."
But Luhe points out that the classic Assassin's Creed gameplay isn't really what it's all about this time around.
"The seamless transition between naval and ground: this is really what is at the core of the experience," he explained. "The opportunity - what that gives us in terms of gameplay. You know, one minute you're in a fisherman's village. You see a target. He gets away on his ship, you jump on your ship, you de-mast them, you board them, and you decide what to do with the ship once you've successfully boarded it."
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, which will have support for multiplayer play, will launch October 29 for the Nintendo Wii U, PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and PC. Versions are also in the works for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.
The game is currently rated "RP - Rating Pending" by the ESRB.