Since Ubisoft has publicly stated that they intend to continue along the course of delivering one Assassin’s Creed experience each year, it stands to reason that gamers will only have to wait another eleven months before they’ll be able to step into the shoes of a new assassin. Still, that doesn’t mean that the studio is done with its current offering, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, which despite average series sales, could be the foundation for an entire pirate-themed spinoff series. Regardless of what the future may hold, Ubisoft is set to release their “Freedom Cry” DLC, centering on former slave-turned-Edward Kenway’s first mate Adéwalé, on December 17th.
Details on the story DLC, which does not take place in an alternate version of events and follows the Jackdaw pirate fifteen full years after the events of Black Flag, has been under tight guard – but, with only one week left before release, Ubisoft has started teasing why Adéwalé’s standalone adventure was worth the wait.
According to Ubisoft Community Developer Gabe Graziani, who spoke with Major Nelson, the upcoming add-on won’t just flesh-out the Black Flag storyline, it’ll also provide gamers a chance to play as “one of the most brutal assassins ever“:
It’s been decades since Adéwalé earned his freedom from slavery through raw violence, but his hopes of escaping the foul business of human trafficking are dashed when he finds himself embroiled in conflict. Faced with a situation in Port Au Prince, Haiti that he can neither abide nor ignore, Adéwalé must confront his past and fight to liberate the slaves confined there and in Saint-Domingue, Jamaica and Cuba.
Driven by righteous rage, Adéwalé rates among the most brutal Assassins ever. With the strength of Connor and the finesse of Ezio, Adéwalé uses a ruthless set of weapons, including an iconic machete, a booming blunderbuss, a veritable hand cannon, and a prescient of modern shotguns that can deliver a lethal blast in a broad cone capable of neutralizing multiple enemies.
Check out images of the Adéwalé in action below (click for full size versions):
It’ll be interesting to see how the “Freedom Cry” DLC ties-into the larger Assassin’s Creed 4 storyline – especially since Ubisoft has previously claimed that the add-on will also provide a few hints about what to expect in Assassin’s Creed 5. In the main game, Adéwalé is a dedicated friend but also a vocal critic of Edward Kenway’s selfish pursuit of riches – eventually turning to the Brotherhood of Assassins for a more meaningful purpose in life. Given the fifteen year timespan between Black Flag and “Freedom Cry,” it’s safe to assume the developer required such a significant time jump so that they could include some intriguing ties to future events (not to mention possible Assassin’s Creed 3 callbacks) – since the core premise, Adéwalé freeing slaves, could have easily been told around the same time as the main campaign.
In addition to his own storyline, Adéwalé will also enjoy his own upgrade system – including alterations to his personal ship, the Experto Crede:
Brand new mechanics govern Adéwalé’s system of upgrades and equipment, rewarding you for freeing slaves throughout the West Indies and surrounding open ocean. Not only will you gain access to more lethal weapons and tools, but also new upgrades for Adéwalé’s ship: the Experto Crede! Hunt down and destroy ships escorting massive slave galleons to rescue hundreds of slaves and paralyze the slave economy.
For years, Ubisoft has been trying to find a good format for post-release Assassin’s Creed story DLC, especially after the controversial reaction to Assassin’s Creed 2 DLC – which inserted two “missing memories” back into the game. Many fans felt as though the studio had actually held-back those particular sequences so that they could be sold later as add-ons and, since that time, Ubisoft has experimented with several other approaches: larger campaign side-missions (Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood), an alternate timeline experience (Assassin’s Creed 3), and now a standalone story based on an established character.
Reaction to the aforementioned Assassin’s Creed 3 DLC, which featured “King” George Washington as a tyrannical ruler, was more positive but, for many, didn’t necessarily carry a lot of emotional weight – given that the alternate telling of history wasn’t tied to the larger Assassin’s Creed story. Hopefully, this time, Ubisoft will find the perfect balance with a fresh and interesting add-on story – that also happens to tie-back to the ongoing franchise plot.
Assassin’s Creed 4‘s ‘Freedom Cry’ DLC releases December 17 for the PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One. A release date for Wii U has not been given.
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Source: Major Nelson