‘Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag’ – Will Desmond Return?

Published 1 year ago by

Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag Trailer Logo

The internet may still be reeling from the official confirmation and box art for Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, and the newly leaked announcement trailer, but for those who’ve been following the series’ fiction thus far, the revealed setting and apparent connections to past Assassins poses a few potential challenges.

Fans were promised a brand new hero for the next game, and it looks like they’ll get it in the form of Edward Kenway. As an ancestor of Desmond Miles (and grandfather to AC3 protagonist Connor Kenway) Edward’s presence implies that Desmond will return. To discuss why that might pose a challenge, and the alternatives, consider this article spoiler-filled from here on out.

Beside the fact that Ubisoft claimed from the outset that AC3 would be the end of Desmond’s story, anyone who actually played the campaign to completion will know why he might not be available for a trip in the Animus. Mainly, because he was killed.

Before people accuse AC3‘s somewhat disappointing ending of being even more of a cop-out, explaining that Desmond somehow survived to keep on fighting isn’t the only option. We wouldn’t put that solution past them (since we’ve seen worse storytelling), but it’s hard to believe Ubisoft would flat-out invite criticism for undercutting the finale of the previous game.

Assassins Creed 4 Desmond Return

The immediate question that one might ask is: if Desmond’s parents and possible siblings also possess the genetic material of Edward and Connor Kenway, could Desmond’s father, mother, or other relative be taking his place in Black Flag‘s modern portion?

Excuses have been made in the past for why Desmond’s father, William, couldn’t carry out the mission himself, so doing so now would open up some serious plot holes. That being said, another Miles taking up the mantle could be interesting, if done properly (the historical heroes have changed over time, why not the modern ones as well?).

It would certainly be more acceptable than anything that reeks of an excuse or quick-and-dirty explanation or deus ex machina. Something along the lines of ‘Desmond’s memories were somehow stored in the Animus,’ or allowing another character to adapt to Desmond’s genetic memory (we didn’t tell you the Animus could do that?). While these work on paper to different degrees, they also mean that any significance placed specifically in Desmond’s training over the course of the series was more or less a deception.

Assassins Creed 3 Opening Cinematic

The other, perhaps most promising (and riskiest) solution is for Shaun, Rebecca and William Miles to recruit an entirely new modern-day Assassin who is also a descendant of the same bloodline. We’re not sure that such a new character would be introduced in a subtitled game – as opposed to Assassin’s Creed 4 proper – but given that Ubisoft seems to be changing their release strategy for what could be the next crop of games bearing the titular ’4,’ anything is possible.

There’s one thing that makes the selection of Edward Kenway as the new hero particularly interesting: he was married more than once. Haytham Kenway, the son of Edward and Tessa Stephenson-Oakley is already familiar to players. But Jenny, Haytham’s half-sister and daughter of Caroline Scott, Edward’s first wife, is a complete mystery.

Especially considering that Jenny was kidnapped at a young age to act as a concubine in Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace – a key location in Assassin’s Creed: Revelations. There’s no evidence of Jenny mothering a child in the extended fiction, but her time spent in Istanbul leaves plenty of theories wide open. And that’s not even considering the endless children and grandchildren possibly a part of Edward, Haytham, and Connor’s lineage.

Assassins Creed 4 Trailer - Edward Kenway

It’s anyone’s guess what move Ubisoft will make: going back on their word and keeping Desmond present in some sense, or taking this chance to do something truly fresh. Maybe even introduce a female protagonist (not on Vita) at last? Even if it’s not in a historical period, letting Desmond’s sister, cousin, or fellow oblivious Assassin continue his fight would be enough to grab the attention of even those who feel the series is growing tired.

What would you like to see in Black Flag? A brand new modern Assassin, or Desmond’s survival? More importantly, what solution would you most be disappointed to see used? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is expected to hit all platforms this fall.


Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce for all your AC updates.

TAGS: Assassin's Creed, Assassin's Creed 3, Assassin's Creed 4, PC, PS3, PS4, Ubisoft, Wii U, Xbox 360


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  1. I know that my opinion will not change anything, but I hope one of the best games for me to back the hero of the story to life ….. believe me, the game will be boring without him

    • I think they should bring desmond back and he should have memory loss. Then he starts to remember a little and he makes a mistake and runs into his old friends and gets memory back then yall add some stuff to it………..

  2. Personally I would love to see either Desmond some how survive and be a badass modern day assasin or have his sibling come through the ranks and make this series end on a fantastic note. A huge once and for all battle to the end encounter with the Templars and destruction of Juno.

  3. In all honesty, killing off the reason the series started would be rather disappointing. I would even be okay with it if they showed Desmond surviving, but maybe he’s in a recovering stage. Something along the lines of “We decided to keep the Modern Day Hero you have been following since the beginning.” Other than, of course, sending the story haywire and making us become attached to a whole new character, and start all over again. I don’t know, I’m a fan and love the entire series, and really dont want Desmond to just die off and us have to start over.

  4. While I know it may be difficult to do, and that ubisfoft said that he is dead, I really want Desmond to come back

  5. i really would like to see desmond again :/ he is my favourite character

  6. I don’t understand why Ubisoft decided to just drop Desmond like they did. Every game/series has it’s lead character. Batman wouldn’t be batman if it was about someone other than Bruce Wayne. Superman wouldn’t be the same if it was about Jimmy Olsen instead of Clark Kent. When I think about the AC series yeah it’s mostly dealing with the ancestors but it’s all wrapped around it’s center – Desmond Miles. I completely hated the way AC3 ended and since then I have had a hard time picking the game back up. Why didn’t Desmond’s father take his place instead…he was a horrible father and that could have been one of the first and last times he could have done something fatherly for him…that could have been a great plot twist! I have been a fan of the AC series since the beginning and think me crazy but AC1 is still my all time favorite. Don’t get me wrong, the other games are fantastic but you just can’t beat a classic. I’m buying AC4 in hopes that this has been one HUGE mind f*** by Ubisoft because without Desmond it just isn’t AC and for me it just won’t be AC anymore and I’ll probably be done with the whole series and probably sell the games back to Gamestop. Check yourself Ubisoft, before you wreck yourself! LOL

  7. Desmond has to survive, I heard rumours that Subject 16 shielded him at the ending of AC3, though I highly doubt it. It’ll be hard to adapt to playing as a different character in the present, but if we are Ubisoft are going to have to be spot on.
    Having completed all the games I’m very excited and still have so many unanswered question s which I though Revelations would answer. Maybe the series wasn’t just about saving the world afterall.

    • if subject 16 shielded Desmond that would be insane! If not then I still think Desmond’s father should have took his place.

  8. i would like to see the returning of desmond obviously as he’s the most cool guy in the whole assassin’s creed series

  9. In my opinion lucy is an assassin too so edward kenway could be related to her in a way like his sister line of blood or his line of blood and just keep desmond out of it any way or have desmond flashbacks

    • @The boss 112
      Desmond killed Lucy because she was a templar, not an assassin.

  10. Remember the “Consciousness Machine” thing that Juno explained to Desmond, when you’re looking for the plug-in for the third power source? I think that Desmond’s consciousness should be stored in that, and he regains it (I don’t care if slowly or instantly). Desmond, in my opinion, is just too important to get rid of.

  11. Look, i know Desmond died, but i mean they could bring him back somehow. Really. Since he has some super special DNA imagine what would happen to him after he’s exposed to all of that stuff. I honestly think they’re tearing out an important character, and disrupting the ‘flow’ of the game. Especially since in AC 4 you play as someone working for Abstergo.

  12. I think they should bring in a boy in his teens a unlikly hero but is desmonds little brother or cousin 15 year old that’s devistated over his kins death and wants to continue what desmond failed

    • Desmond didn’t fail

  13. You find Shaun and Rebecca in the abstergo building, maybe you are first person Desmond 0.o I found Shaun at a desk, talking to Rebecca, he seemed like Shaun for the british accent, also talking to Rebecca, they could be in disguise, or maybe they aren’t actually Rebecca and Shaun

  14. the apple could bring Desmond back to life!

  15. i think it would be cool at the end of assassins creed 5 that it would end in:
    a) you go to a top secret lab with desmonds corpse and hack into the animus, desmond awakes
    b) your character is shot while hacking information and killed, the screen then says sequence ended and reveals all of the memories of the abstergo employee were being relived by desmond in a top secret lab somewhere in the building— then the next game leading with the templars ressurecting desmond earlier, and him trying to have the assassins join the templars to stop juno

  16. honestly, they should bring desmond back. the whole thing started with desmond, not someone else entirely. the game start with desmond and that should bring him back, yes with some memory loss to who he is so he thinks he is an abstergo agent, but somewhere along the line after seeing shawn and Rebecca, he should regain a little bit of his memory and then the rest should fall back to him as the game progresses. it was insalting to me that ubisoft got rid of desmond and made me lose a little respect for ubisoft that they got rid of desmond. they need to bring him back because I can name 98 other people that got angered that desmond was killed off. UBISOFT!!! BRING DESMOND BACK!!!!!!

  17. Scooby dooby doo

  18. I feel like since desmond is dead they should do an AC were you go back to desmond (also going little farther in present Day) and like stop him from killing him then BOOM everything changes, you go back to desmond but starting off in the same postion you were in AC3 and you go on to lean that juno was lying or some s*** u dont know what ever urbisoft could thibk of there is a wide voritie for them after that

  19. I feel like since desmond is dead they should do an AC were you go back to desmond also going little farther in present Day and like stop him from killing him then BOOM everything changes, you go back to desmond but starting off in the same postion you were in AC3 and you go on to lean that juno was lying or some s*** u dont know what ever urbisoft could thibk of there is a wide voritie for them after that

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