by Joseph Leray
When we saw "Assassin's Creed IV" late last week, game director Asraf Ismail mentioned that an early prototype of the naval combat in "Assassin's Creed III" really cemented his team's desire to make a pirate-themed game. "When the very first prototype of ['Assassin's Creed III']'s naval battles started coming around, and we gaiged all the play-testers' reactions, we knew we had something in our hands," he said.
Watching this new trailer, it's easy to see why.
Beyond the obvious appeal of shooting heavy pieces of metal at hollowed-out wooden megaliths, I get the sense that climbing the rigging and swan-diving from the crow's nest could make good use of "Assassin's Creed"'s signature mechanics. Keeping open world games cohesive and unified is tough, but it's not hard to see how the ship architecture in "Black Flag" might come into play.
It also helps that Edward Kennway, the pirate-assassin protagonist, seems like a rum-swilling, treasure-troving rapscallion. With Altaïr and Ezio saving the Holy Land and rubbing shoulders with Renaissance Italy's finest, "Assassin's Creed" has always had an air of stuffy pomp and circumstance -- mucking about as a black-hearted rogue seems like a fun diversion.
The PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and Wii U versions of "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag" will be available, like most top-name games, in late October. We don't know for sure when the next-gen versions will be out, but according to Ubisoft's most recent earnings call, CEO Yves Guillemot wants it out of the oven by next Spring.
Joseph Leray is a freelance writer from Nashville. Follow him on Twitter