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PAX East 2013: Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Revealed

Source: Matt Hawkins
March 26, 2013

This past weekend, in Boston, attendees of the 2013 edition of PAX East were able to get a first hand look at Ubisoft's upcoming Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. The just-released gameplay reveal trailer (watch below) has a bit of what was shown behind closed doors, but not everything.

For those who aren't familiar, the "Assassin's Creed" franchise is an action adventure game that combines stealth gameplay in an open world. The main crux is how an individual from modern times must go back and relive the experiences of prominent assassins from whom he is descended from, via a fancy VR-like device that taps into ancestral memories.

The last game, Assassin's Creed III, took place during the Revolutionary War and centered on the experiences of the two Assassins of that era, Haytham Kenway and Connor Kenway. The sequel goes back in time even further and stars Edward Kenway, Haytham's father and Connor's grandfather. He's also a pirate, one who happens to be living in the golden age of piracy.

"Black Flag" appears to a significant departure for the series. You're still on the lookout for Templars, who seek to control all of mankind by obtaining artifacts that hold great power, known as the Piece of Eden. And you seem to do a fair bit of sneaking about in corners, as before as well, though perhaps more so than any previous installment, your Assassin is front and center, and under broad daylight.

PHOTO GALLERY: Cosplay photos from PAX East 2013

Being a buccaneer requires a great deal of skill, it was explained, as well as charm. The game promises to explore every single facet of what it means to be a pirate, which includes taking care of your crew and making sure your vessel is sea worthy. Basically, you canít spend the whole time just waiting in the shadows like before. But it's not all hard work and no play; there's plenty of pillaging other ships to look forward to, even whaling.

It would seem that naval warfare that part three introduced was so popular, Ubisoft decided to basically create an entire game around it. Though you'll be on land as well, in the jungle, sneaking around ruins, navigating plantations, plus running around towns. All the environments take place in the Caribbean.

Combat is always tweaked and upgraded with each new installment, and "Black Flag" is no exception. Gunplay seems to be a major focus; it was explained that pirates back in the day often carried multiple firearms, since they were such a pain to reload, so expect about 4 to 6 guns alongside a cutlass, which was the blade of choice for such folk. Though the patented hidden wrist blades that are standard issue for Assassins are back as well.

Speaking of, another "Assassin's Creed" staple are famous faces. But instead of rubbing elbows with legit historical figures, like George Washington and Ben Franklin, you'll be dealing with legendary pirates like Blackbeard, who was indeed a real person. Players should expect to get a history lesson to go along with their game, the kind of things that simply is not covered in history class (though in part four's case, it should all be fresh ground, unless you went to a high school that actual taught the history of pirates).

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag will be available on October 29 for the Xbox 360, Wii U, PS3 and PS4.

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