The Average Gamer

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag Key Points

Assassins Creed 4 - Edward Kenway
Edward Kenway. Father of Haytham Kenway, grandfather of Connor Kenway and distant relation to Desmond Miles. Assassin-trained, charismatic rebel and feared on the high seas by even the mighty Blackbeard. How could you not want to be him?

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag will be out in Europe on 1st November 2013, three days after the American release date. Here’s everything we know, in handy bullet-point form:

The Protagonist – Edward Kenway

  • He captains a ship, the Jackdaw.
  • He’s trained by the Assassins.
  • He wears the hidden blade.
  • He dual-wields pistols
  • He uses swords
  • He probably likes women
  • He hits people in the face with broken bottles.
  • He’s Haytham’s dad (who is Connor’s dad from ACIII, for those of you who haven’t played it and skipped the intro to this post.).

The World – The West Indies, circa 1715

  • Sailors who were dissatisfied with life in the colonies, or stranded after shipwrecks, took to piracy in the Caribbean.
  • These sailors ran their ships democratically, allowing them to vote out a captain that they didn’t like.
  • The game covers the West Indies archipelagos, including Cayo Island Cat Island, Crooked Island, Tortuga, Cayman Island and more
  • Three key cities: Spanish-controlled Havana, English-owned Kingston and pirate-run Nassau.
  • 50 locations, including fishing villages, forts, tobacco plantations, hidden coves and jungle settings.

The Current Day Setting

Assassins Creed IV - Edward Kenway's Face

The Pirates

  • Edward Teach, a.k.a. Blackbeard – a showman with a huge black beard who would light candles on his hat so his head appeared to be on fire. How did he not set his beard alight?
  • Blackbeard travelled with Benjamin Hornigold, an English pirate who refused to attack English ships.
  • Jack Rackham, or Calico Jack was named for his habit of wearing calico clothing. How imaginative of his crew. He was responsible for the Jolly Roger symbol we all know and love. He won his first captaincy through a vote that displaced the former captain Charles Vane and, according to the internet, gave the ousted captain his own sloop, 15 loyal crew members, ammunition and goods.
  • Anne Bonny was Calico Jack’s lover and crew member. An Irishwoman, she moved to the West Indies with her husband James Bonny but later left him for Jack.

Assassins Creed 4 - Underwater Treasure

The Experience

  • Assassin’s Creed IV will apparently show how hard the pirate life was.
  • The world will be open, but gear-gated in a way. You can’t pit your puny ship against the galleons of the Royal Navy right from the start and expect to win.
  • Fishing villages will be filled with side-quests
  • Hidden coves will contain treasure, assuming other pirates didn’t get there first.
  • Pirates will attack plantations – why risk your ship when you can sneak in and take cargo straight from the warehouse?
  • Assassins Creed 4 - Freerunning through the Jungle

  • Edward Kenway will have to learn how to navigate the jungle and climb trees.
  • He can swim, and will be diving for treasure lost in shipwrecks
  • He needs a crew. Sometimes they’ll be lost in battle. You can pick up sailors from population hubs, or maybe find some who were marooned on the islands after shipwrecks or mutiny.
  • The one confirmed historical piece is the Marooning of Charles Vane. Given that this is the guy turfed off his ship by Calico Jack, perhaps Kenway was one of the 15 men who was loyal to him. What happened to the sloop?
  • Assassinations will retain their “open-ended” feel – i.e. kill all the things, kill some of the things and run away, or sneak around a bit.

The Sailing Bit

  • Captain Kenway’s ship is called The Jackdaw.
  • It’s 60m long, 48.5m high, boasts 26 sails and a diving bell.
  • You’ll start with 6 cannons and can fit up to 56.
  • You’ll have 4 mounted swivel guns as well
  • Also a harpoon to kill whales.
  • There will be 5 different ship “archetypes” to battle.
  • The first and only one revealed is the Charger, which boasts a battering ram mounted on its prow.
  • You’ll use Kenway’s spyglass to evaluate ships from far away, checking for valuable cargo – rum, gold, clothes or special items.

Assassins Creed 4 - Naval Warfare

  • In ship-to-ship fights, you can give the order to throw the grappling hooks any time you are close enough. This will allegedly jam the ships together at whatever angle the grappling physics will generate, creating a set of dynamic maps.
  • You can choose to swing wildly over the railings with guns blazing, or climb up the rigging, sneak onto the other ship and air assassinate, or attack in whichever assassin-ish manner you like.
  • You can bombard forts from your ship and follow-up on land. This will be a “seamless experience”, which I’m hoping means that when you destroy defences from your boat, they stay destroyed when you walk up to them. No incongruous set-piece battles, please.

Are you excited yet? Or so burned by Connor that you daren’t get your hopes up? Don’t tell me that a pirates game doesn’t excite you. I won’t believe it.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is available for pre-order now on all formats including the PlayStation 4, but not the Wii. Poor Wii.

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