Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag game director Ashraf Ismail has released some new gameplay footage of the highly anticipated sequel in the critically acclaimed open world adventure franchise. The focal point was naval gameplay revamped from its introduction in Assassin’s Creed 3.
Ashraf gave commentary over the seven minute video which you can watch below but here is a breakdown and quick analysis of what was shown…
Throughout the entire video it’s apparent that Ubisoft has tried to add some relevance and reward to exploration. Players can loot dead bodies for treasure maps that lead to actual upgrades instead of either useless money or in the case of most side content in Assassin’s Creed, nothing.
Edward Kenway then boards the Jackdaw which Ashraf says is essential to upgrade. That makes sense considering the game is pirate themed featuring iconic personas such as Blackbeard. Anyway, we then see Edward sailing and exploring whilst heading towards Misteriosa; an island with the aforementioned treasure. Ashraf also notes that there are over 50 locations to explore seaside in Black Flag. He also mentions that storms are dangerous with the ability to kill crew members.
During the voyage, Edward encounters Spanish and British ships mid-battle that can optionally engage in. Ashraf opts to continue on his quest for treasure. It is left unknown if there are any effects or rewards for participating in these large scale random battles. It does look intriguingly dynamic and fun though.
Edward docks on the island and digs up his treasure which is a blueprint used for upgrading the Jackdaw. We then see Edward in action against a British frigate that carries cargo necessary for purchasing upgrades. It is noted that almost all ships can be boarded seamlessly through intelligently designed ship platforming. A Swivel gun is shown to pick off targets for those that do not want to jump into the fray immediately. Naval combat seems similar although definitely refined. New weapons and an expanded upgrade system are appearing to be a logical and intriguing advancement in the mechanics of naval combat. That is of course if the upgrades are as useful as Ashraf implies.
After the battle the player is given three choices. Choices include salvaging ship parts, a vague description of recruiting (maybe you can send them on missions similar to the Assassin’s Guild in previous games), and direct employment to Edward’s fleet.
Rounding out the demo is a sequence featuring Edward attacking and conquering a Fort similar to the system in past Assassin’s Creed games. Other random tidbits include synchronization points now also acting as fast travel points. The environments are also heavily populated with wildlife and stunning landscapes containing luscious nature imagery.
I think Ubisoft is on the right track with providing reasoning for investing time into the side content they annually boast about. Those dynamic choices after taking over ships are also highly fascinating. I’m not blown away yet but Black Flag certainly is higher on my radar now.
Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag will be released on November 1st and will be available on all major consoles including PS4 and Xbox One. Tell us your thoughts below and return for more Assassin’s Creed coverage.
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