games / Previews

E3 2013: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Multi-Platform) Preview

June 17, 2013 | Posted by Jeffrey Harris

During E3, Ubisoft gave us the chance to check out a hands-off demo presentation for the upcoming latest installment in the Assassin’s Creed franchise with Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. The only playable demo available was the multiplayer game mode which I didn’t get the chance to play during the conference. The behind-closed-doors preview showed off parts off the single-player campaign including the sequence shown during the Xbox conference.

One of the new single-player sequence showed off Kenway taking an assassination mission against two smuggler brothers. Of course you can take more than one approach to taking out your quarry. In this sequence, Kenway sneaks up on one while he’s enjoying a drink at a bar while the other escapes on his ship. Kenway then makes way to his own ship to pursue the remaining smuggler in a fantastic naval battle. It looks like the naval battles will be the most fun and impressive part of the game. In the massive open world of the game, the oceans will even have international ships going into battle against each other which you can take part in or ignore. Again, the naval battle have multiple approaches. In this one, Kenway and his forces board the other ship, and Kenway uses the mast to find the other smuggler and does an amazing dive to kill him. The game will provide multiple options for the ship you take over. You can use it to build up your own ship, you can acquire the crew members and make them a part of your own crew and acquire their supplies. The game looks to emphasize choice and how you want to play.

So far, I’m excited about this title. Mixing pirates and the Assassin’s Creed world is extremely apt. The naval battles and gameplay look tight. The developers emphasized how all the clothing right down to the colored patterns were painstakingly researched for historical accuracy. Another sequence shows Kenway acquiring a treasure map and searching a heavily guarded island and encampment for a treasure. Following the clues, you can find the treasure (where the X marks the spot) and also save some prisoners who you can recruit to your crew as well. This sequence emphasized a stealth approach.

In terms of story, I couldn’t get much out of the developers on where things were going with the franchise. One of the producers did say that Desmond Miles is in fact dead for good. And the game would continue the story and address the rather uncertain and weird ending from Assassin’s Creed III, which basically is the start of a world-breaking apocalypse.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag will be released on the Xbox 360, PS3, Windows PC, and the Wii U on October 29. The game is also set to be released on the Xbox One and PS4 at launch for both consoles in the fourth quarter of this year.

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Jeffrey Harris
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