Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag sets sail

Ubisoft has lifted the lid on what’s bound to be one of the most eagerly anticipated games of 2013: Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, bringing pirates to your PC and console starting October 31st.

Here, of course, is the debut trailer, confirming everything we thought we knew, and throwing in a few extra surprises.

As promised, we’re introduced to an all-new hero to go with the all-new setting. This is Edward Kenway, grandfather of Assassin’s Creed III‘s Connor Kenway (Ratonhnhaké:ton). The new Mr. Kenway is a gentleman with a thirst for “danger and adventure”, we’re told. Formerly with the Royal Navy, he’s somewhat fallen from grace, becoming a fierce pirate, seasoned fighter, and somehow embroiled in the Assassin/Templar wars.

The game itself hops into the start of the 18th Century, and – in true Assassin’s Creed fashion, is packed with classic characters of the era. Expect Blackbeard, Charles Vane and even Anne Bonny to make appearances, as you travel through the West Indies in the Golden Age of Pirates.

Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft explains:

With the new hero and new setting we are creating the boldest and most unique Assassin’s Creed game yet, while still respecting the pillars of the franchise that have made it such a fan favorite. Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag is based on a true, harsh and exciting part of a legendary era and will thrill longtime fans and newcomers alike.

We’re looking at the usual bits and pieces in Black Flag: A vast open world, 50+ navigable locations, Assassin’s Order weaponry combined with typical pirate armaments, and rewards for stealthy, daring gameplay. And yes, there is multiplayer, reportedly “more varied and ruthless than ever”.

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So that’s the good part. The interesting part is that Black Flag has been in the works for nearly two years now, with primary development happening at Ubisoft Montreal. They’re not alone: At least six other Ubisoft studios are also contributing to the game, including Annecy, Bucharest, Kiev, Quebec, Singapore and Sofia.

Expect Assassin’s Creed Black Flag to hit Xbox 360, PS3 and Wii U in late October, with PC, PS4 and “other next generation consoles” following some time later.

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