Our Daily Beard – 07/03/13

With the news of the next Assassin’s Creed hitting the web this week, it seems appropriate to take a look at what the latest instalment promises.

First of all, there’s the name, which has resulted in confusion.

Assassins’ Creed 4: Black Flag.

I foresee two explanations for this:

  1. Based on the franchise so far, a numeral denotes a new character (this we know is true) and the subtitle denotes a smaller side-game (which appears likely as it’s a prequel historically speaking and looks somewhat gimmicky).
  2. Ubisoft just don’t really care about making it neat and want to generate pirate-themed excitement, because apparently everyone loves pirates.

I hope for the former, though it still bugs me- I like my naming conventions nice and neat. Having said that, the latter seems quite likely. Let’s face it, there are two basic reactions to the news of AC: ‘Assassins and pirates! Awesome doodz lol!’ and ‘Pirates, really?’.

I’m firmly in the latter camp, because I’m sick of seeing slapdash faux pirates on screens in the last ten years. I’m praying that AC4 will avoid the temptation to Disney-up the Caribbean setting and make things all ‘yarrr’ and ‘rum!’ and have increasingly unlikely scenarios (the games already tend to crowbar every possible iconic historical figure and event into a title that they can).

Hopefully, as per the other games in the franchise, the game will lean more towards the truisms of the era and respectful degrees of historical accuracy.

The main character is Edward Kenway, Haytham’s daddy-o. Remember him from the last game? Well, Eddie is going to be pirating around the Caribbean, doing some whaling (PETA threw their toys out of the pram) and pillaging and a lot of sailing, no doubt based on the sailing in the AC3. Eddie will meet a variety of famous people from the era- Blackbeard being wheeled out as the obvious choice. Some other less famous figures with equally interesting backgrounds are present too, like Charles Vane.

Eddie will also be able to dual-wield, which sounds rather cheesy and Hollywood, but it does mean that he can fire a brace of pistols. That is, let’s face it, very quintessentially piratey and is entirely within the bounds of realism. There were many moments where Connor could have done with a second pistol, rather than having to reload, or whip out his bow. There will be fighting underwater too, so you can do battle with sharks.

Don’t lump me in with PETA, but this is the second time we’ve had animals in the franchise and I’m already sick of the idea of predators as mindless monsters that launch suicidal attacks on your character. One thing that redeemed AC3 in that respect was that Connor had to skin every kill- thereby heavily reducing any implication of hunting just for fun.

Ship-to-ship combat looks promising with the addition of boarding, letting us employ the Assassin’s love of climbing to do things like board a ship by going mast-to-mast.

Oh, and no Desmond. Instead, Abstergo research analysts are using an animus powered by Des’s DNA. Interesting, but as much as I love the franchise, it’s time we saw the endgame for the overarching plot.

Here’s a trailer. Looking forward to more details!




by Bret

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