Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag (PS3)
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Preview - X Marks the Spot
Written Monday, March 04, 2013 By Richard Walker
View author's profile

It's not often that a presentation kicks off with a brooding monologue delivered by Finchy (Ralph Ineson) from The Office. In fact, that pretty much never happens. Yet, it's exactly how Ubisoft chooses to open its big reveal of the inevitable fourth mainline Assassin's Creed game, the sixth in the series overall, or the seventh if you're counting the PS Vita spin-off. This, ladies and gents, is Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, an Assassin's Creed game that wants to draw upon all the strengths of the previous titles in the franchise, hence the introduction from Finchy, reflecting upon “the things we've seen, the people we've been” and so on.

We've certainly seen a lot during the course of all those games over the years, and superficially, Assassin's Creed IV looks a lot like Assassin's Creed III. You even play as Connor's grandpappy, Edward Kenway, a man who dresses in remarkably similar robes to his grandson and it takes place only 50 or so years prior to the events of the previous game. However, once we're taken through the ins and outs of Black Flag, we start to understand why Ubisoft has decided to slap a Roman numeral IV onto the end of this one. It looks like it could be raising the bar once again for the Assassin's Creed franchise. Don't roll your eyes like that! Listen... Or read, rather.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag sees you taking up the dual cutlasses of Edward in a world of pirates and high seas, fortune and adventure. There be no pirate cliches here though, me lad. Forget parrots, sea monsters and the like. “We're treating this era with the same historical reverence,” says Lead Content Manager, Carsten Myhill. “We will tell the true story of the golden age of piracy... It's not a Hollywood or Robert Louis Stevenson, Treasure Island treatment... Truth in a way is much stranger than the more bombastic fiction.”

It's 1715 and you're a brash, handsome, cocky, ruthless, hard-drinking, hard-fighting son of a bitch. Edward Kenway sounds like he might be a bit of a twat, but apparently, he's also charming and charismatic (he's British, so of course he is), leading a crew of loyal men aboard his own ship, the Jackdaw. And having been trained by assassins, he's also good with a blade or anything that comes to hand for that matter. He's also exceedingly smart and resourceful, standing him in good stead among the larger than life characters he'll encounter during his journey around the islands and archipelagoes of the Caribbean.

Ubisoft is claiming that Assassin's Creed IV will be the “most varied” in the series yet, with fifty unique locations, centred around the three main cities of Havana in Cuba, with its European-style streets and rooftops, Kingston in Jamaica, which boasts valuable sugar cane and tobacco plantations to plunder, and the pirate haven of Nassau, where a strange kind of pirate democracy operates. You'll also visit fishing villages where you can repair and upgrade your ship, hidden coves where smugglers have stashed their loot, forts to infiltrate, Mayan ruins harbouring secrets and mysteries to be uncovered, coconut islands where you'll find marooned survivors to recruit as crew members, and inhospitable jungles bristling with flora and fauna.

You can even dive underwater, braving the sharks to look for treasure in sunken shipwrecks using a real-life diving bell that was used at the time. And with so much ocean to explore, naval warfare is back with a vengeance, except this time boarding ships is seamless, as you pull your ship closer to galleons using grappling hooks, giving you the chance to swing across, free-run your way over, or swim around the other side to get the jump on enemies. Upgrading the Jackdaw will be a constant concern, as you maintain both the galleon itself and your crew, as well as bolster its firepower and resilience. Without your ship, you're screwed and can't go anywhere.

And with storms to navigate, whales to harpoon, and oodles of exploration, you'll be spending a lot of time sailing the Jackdaw as Edward looks to cement his rep as a piratical badass, using his spyglass to seek valuable resources and loot on the horizon, while rubbing shoulders with the likes of the fearsome Blackbeard, the vicious Calico Jack, the feisty Irish lass Anne Bonny and gentleman pirate Ben Hornigold. One mission will even see you marooned on an island with the psychotic Charles Vane, with only a bottle of rum and a pistol between you. That should prove interesting, to say the least.

Other missions will see you taking on 42 Portuguese ships, seeing the beginnings of piracy on the trade routes between Europe and America in the New World as the wreck of the Spanish Armada is plundered for its spilled payload of gold, and an explosive escape from Nassau, as the Royal Navy strives to defend the trade routes from pirate activity. All of these events are based on actual historical occurrences, and all seek to fulfil Ubi's goal to “redefine the perception of piracy.”

Meanwhile back in the present day, (SPOILER ALERT) Desmond remains out of the picture, leaving you to take over his place within the Animus. And when we say 'you' we mean you. Yes, you. You reading this. You. Present day really will be present day too, and you'll have a place at Abstergo Entertainment where you'll become a part of the conspiracy that's been escalating since the first Assassin's Creed game. In essence, that means no more Desmond-type character (how that will affect the whole ancestry angle, we don't know) and no more doom-laden prophecies pointing towards the end of the world in December 2012. You may have noticed that December passed by without the planet exploding in a big fiery ball.

During Ubisoft's presentation, there's also a brief mention of multiplayer and its extension of the single-player campaign's “pirate fantasy”, with new maps, new modes and a new cast of characters. And that's all Ubisoft has to say on multiplayer for now.

Promising a “seamless open-world” and “the most varied world to explore” according to Creative Director, Jean Guesdon (a six year Assassin's Creed veteran), Assassin's Creed IV has to potential to deliver on Ubisoft's goal to create a “fresh, new experience”. On paper, it looks to be business as usual for the franchise, but once again, the scale of the ambition at work here is hard to ignore. With development starting back in summer 2011 and almost every Ubi studio pooling its resources into Black Flag, it's looking ship shape and Bristol fashion.

Concluding with a gameplay trailer that Guesdon assures us hasn't been photoshopped or tampered with in any way, we have to admit that Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is certainly looking like there's clearly life in the old dog yet. With the biggest AC world yet, vast oceans to sail, more advanced Naval Warfare, a new hero and pirates by the boatload, we're looking forward to plundering Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag's treasures in fall 2013.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is out on October 29th in North America and November 1st in Europe on PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4.


User Comments
Forum Posts: 7
Comment #1 by SweGabe
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 05:28:19 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
This all sounds really exciting and I'm totally looking forward to it!
But the last part about modern day worries me with "you" being in focus, its not first person like the god awful side-missions from Revelation, is it?

Forum Posts: 2008
Comment #2 by WINAS3
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 05:33:52 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Sounds good so far, looking forward to hearing more in the coming months.

Forum Posts: 49
Comment #3 by Ice884
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 05:39:03 AM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I am just confused as to why this assassins creed is traveling backward in time instead of forward just like all the other 4 games have (not including the first one)

Forum Posts: 68
Comment #4 by darthsabre
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 05:40:02 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
So, Ubisoft are looking to "ditch" the two character story setup and instead concentrate on the historical stoylines now.

I think that's a great move and Im really looking forward to the game.

Forum Posts: 38
Comment #5 by Reirid
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 05:45:51 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
i was worried about the no desmond-ish character too. They left the story open in AC3 for someone like that.. and there isn't gonna be one?

it does sound awesome over all though. Should be a great setting! Will be interesting to see if it covers some of the AC3 story too.

Forum Posts: 68
Comment #6 by darthsabre
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 05:53:31 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@5 There will be a story outside of the animus, just seems that it'll be told through cutscenes rather than playing it out.

Forum Posts: 101
Comment #7 by Maheeto
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 06:00:10 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
This could be the pirate/adventure game I've always wanted! Certainly has got me interested after seeing these videos. My only gripe is after playing AC3 I was looking forward to possibly seeing the introduction to the EVE bloodline and maybe some female assassins like Liberation. Hope they don't leave it as so many questions need answering.

Forum Posts: 97
Comment #8 by Beanz777
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 06:11:00 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
This all sounds fine and dandy but I don't see myself purchasing another Assassin's Creed game Day 1. Besides I haven't played part 3 and will only buy that once a complete edition is made.

Forum Posts: 330
Comment #9 by zepolman
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 06:15:50 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I am really hoping for unique historical pirates, the really cut throat kind as well.

Forum Posts: 497
Comment #10 by X-The_Used-X
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 06:40:26 AM
(2Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Get rid of the Multiplayer and it's sold to me!

Forum Posts: 698
Comment #11 by CaptainNick
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 07:12:12 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@4: AC isn't about moving forward in periods but going to different periods in time. They might as well have gone back to ancient Rome instead of going to the renaissance.

Forum Posts: 206
Comment #12 by jeschmit
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 07:29:29 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@10: I actually find the AC multiplayer kind of fun... And this is coming from an anti-multiplayer gamer.

Forum Posts: 892
Comment #13 by Klis
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 07:44:41 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@10 - I agree with you, except the idea of seamless online naval battles/ boardings could be pretty hawt!

Forum Posts: 14
Comment #14 by AndyBeans
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 07:57:39 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Ubi, we don't want "the most varied AC yet" or any other crappy superlatives, "adding variety" was what made ACIII "the glitchiest, least tested and most poorly received AC yet". Just go back to the Ezio games and try to match their quality or STFU.

Forum Posts: 40
Comment #15 by Ahabs Foot
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 11:48:34 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
This is actually the eighth in the series. 1. AC, 2. AC: Bloodlines on PSP, 3,4,5. AC II trilogy, 6,7. ACIII & Liberation, 8. ACIV

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #16 by DeMz
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 12:40:49 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
My interest in this series ended with Revelations. Now it's like FIFA - nothing changes but the title number with a couple of new features.

Forum Posts: 2972
Comment #17 by dante_kinkade
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 01:23:47 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Sounds really good, though kind of thought the new person in modern days would be the one that mentioned hacking the animus in III.
I just wonder why they are interested in him and if you get to find another apple or such.

@16 one big difference is called character and plot storyline and it is always different, new and great with the AC games, and story is always the best reason to be playing a game, that and if it ain't broke.
Even though adding the ship stuff was really cool and they have varied the side missions of going through tombs and abandoned building over all through the series to keep it fresh and interesting.

Forum Posts: 1227
Comment #18 by Vulfdrek
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 01:23:52 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I stopped enjoying AC right after brotherhood. Loved them all up until Revelations and now I feel like Ubisoft is doing a very fatal mistake. They're not giving the time for it's series to bloom into a beloved past game just to come back with a bigger one in the future. All of them are the same and it's ruining it's own franchise. :| They literally just got done with AC3 just a few months back and now it's already showing for another one. Why this game doesn't look bad and I like the whole pirate thing, to me it would sell better if it wasn't an Assassin's Creed game.

Forum Posts: 72
Comment #19 by NewLightShiro
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 02:35:50 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@15 If you really want to get technical, it's the ninth since there was that godawful Altair's Chronicles game on the Nintendo DS which I think was later ported to tablets and iphones and whatnot in an attempt to fool people into thinking they could have a genuine AC experience on their smart phones.

In all seriousness, the trailer for AC 4 looks promising and hopefully Ubisoft will learn to focus less on marketing and more on development.

Forum Posts: 7
Comment #20 by Herwin6
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 04:26:59 PM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
For the love of gmaing, please.. don't ruin the franchise.

Forum Posts: 163
Comment #21 by Peskens
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 04:30:34 PM
(1Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Why can't we customize or own Assassin, like Skyrim. Much better than this guy.

Forum Posts: 82
Comment #22 by TheSaboteur
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 04:58:16 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Mark my words, this game will be a rancid disappointment, just like AC3.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #23 by Brawl1994
Monday, March 04, 2013 @ 08:10:34 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Take out the multiplayer, focus on a heavily singleplayer story and it may be as good as AC2 was.

Forum Posts: 60
Comment #24 by Little Gray
Tuesday, March 05, 2013 @ 01:38:53 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@21 Probably because that would go against the entire basis of the Assassins Creed games and be incredibly idiotic. It can also make it much harder to do a story based game.

Forum Posts: 56
Comment #25 by Bamf333
Tuesday, March 05, 2013 @ 09:54:58 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
IS this defiantly A4 or could it be like Brotherhood and Revelations tagged on to 2, this could be tagged on to 3. Just seams weird having the numerical squeal a chronological prequel

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #26 by Devalaous
Wednesday, March 06, 2013 @ 10:46:45 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
10 games actually, there was an Ezio game for the DS.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #27 by KaedeShina
Thursday, March 07, 2013 @ 06:36:13 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
whatever the guys say,I'm looking forward to playing the epic singleplayer,can‘t wait for it!!

Forum Posts: 1074
Comment #28 by JuggernautClone
Saturday, March 09, 2013 @ 01:33:59 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
You know, if this game was called "Pirates: The Video Game" or some name to do with pirates, I think it would be awesome. However, they called it Assassins' Creed. They also said in this preview that the ship was your main ticket to doing things in AC 4. Do you all remember when Assassins Creed games were about, oh I don't know, ASSASSINATING people and not sailing ships and micromanaging money and growing weed in the forests of colonial America (or whatever the hell they did over there, I honestly didn't care for that part of AC 3)? Perhaps they ought to go back to those times of AC 2 and... well just AC2 really after this game, but perhaps take a 3 year hiatus at least after this game as well. I'll play this, but I will definitely be renting it from Gamefly, and if I can't plat it because I need more time to do MP trophies than their trial allows for, I don't really care.

Forum Posts: 12784
Comment #29 by ShadowStar83x
Saturday, March 09, 2013 @ 09:22:45 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Looking badass so far!

Forum Posts: 16
Comment #30 by SpeedDemonTJ91
Sunday, March 10, 2013 @ 02:44:41 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I heard from so many people how great Assassin Creed was so I bought the trilogy. I played them and was disappointed with the gameplay and everything else. I felt the game was horrible and could have been better. I'm not going to buy anymore of these games.

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #31 by Broda
Monday, March 11, 2013 @ 04:42:42 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Im looking forward to it

Forum Posts: 1093
Comment #32 by Seppukun
Tuesday, March 12, 2013 @ 09:23:29 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Seems nice, some time left to get platinum on AC3 then =)

Forum Posts: 1122
Comment #33 by Doomsdayman
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 06:12:47 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@7 Monkey Island.

I thought revelations was quit good more so a finish to the story.
AC3 I didn't like (mostly because of Conor). Also why pirates?

Forum Posts: 9
Comment #34 by Y010SWAG1337MLGPRO
Wednesday, March 13, 2013 @ 11:23:20 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I enjoyed Ac3. Hope this one is good too.

Forum Posts: 10
Comment #35 by MUTTONSTACHE
Thursday, March 14, 2013 @ 07:39:29 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@33 cause the built a cool ship mini game in ac3.

Desmond parts always felt lower quality than animus parts so will be good to see them try something different in present day. By going back to gramps ubi can sell us many tales. His son going to the dark side. Three way team-up from gramps to Conner.

How do you know if you are a pirate?

Forum Posts: 0
Comment #36 by xDreamCloudx
Friday, March 15, 2013 @ 04:09:26 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
This game is going to be SO epic!

Forum Posts: 250
Comment #37 by Ballerium
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 @ 02:20:16 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
What did everyone dislike about Connor? Native Haters!

Forum Posts: 48
Comment #38 by repulsor101
Wednesday, March 20, 2013 @ 03:51:14 PM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
@28 Assassin's Creed 3 IS about assassinating Templars. All of the stuff you mentioned is optional. If I recall correctly, the story is fully based on hunting and killing Templars (and sometimes helping the patriots). The Naval Battles, Hunting System, Trading System, etc. are there to make the world more believable. The story introduces them, then leaves it to you to descide if you want to do them. I don't see anything wrong with that.

Forum Posts: 56
Comment #39 by GRIIVIREAPER
Friday, March 22, 2013 @ 05:56:22 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Is it just me or do the graphics look fucking pretty?! Can't wait to just look around at the beauty of it all. I've platinum'd every AC that was possible this one looks better than 3 :)

Forum Posts: 56
Comment #40 by GRIIVIREAPER
Friday, March 22, 2013 @ 06:02:02 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
Hey guys sorry for dbl post buy I HAVE A ?!!!!! Where r we going to be when we touch land to fix our ship and crew?? Help me out mates

Forum Posts: 5
Comment #41 by Dejaninho93
Saturday, March 23, 2013 @ 03:35:13 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
I really enjoyed ac3, but this setting is also great too.

Forum Posts: 4
Comment #42 by Gh05t
Thursday, April 11, 2013 @ 06:30:50 AM
(0) Thumbs Up Thumbs Down Report Comment
10 bucks says we get to screw Anne Bonny...

You need to register before being able to post comments.


Game Info
Ubisoft Montreal


US October 29, 2013
Europe October 29, 2013
Japan November 28, 2013

Resolution: 480p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p
Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1
Players: 1
Online Players : 2-8
ESRB: Mature
You need to log in or register to use MyTrophies.
Related News




You need to log in or register to rate games.

User Score is based on 185 user ratings.