With each passing week, it’s becoming clearer that in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, the modern portion of the historic epic – what once helped introduce the characters, plot and overall sense of conflict of the Assassin’s Creed series – is taking a backseat to pirate antics. We can’t blame the developers at Ubisoft for the decision, but the newest images promise that the modern means of walking in Edward Kenway’s boots will be featured in the game’s campaign.

The good news is that players will no longer be fleeing from Templar agents; in Black Flag, they’ll be (presumably) aiding them without even realizing it. The better news: membership with Abstergo Entertainment has its privileges.

The fact that the modern setting of Black Flag has been discussed so rarely in the marketing of the game hasn’t been lost on longtime fans. Since the modern story of Desmond Miles reached its conclusion with the climax of Assassin’s Creed 3, exactly how the developers would continue the story was one of the most nagging questions. They’ve come up with a solution, but whether fans accept it remains to be seen.

As it turns out, the genetic memories contained within the Miles bloodline – previously restricting the ability to walk through history to Desmond alone – have been extracted for ‘recreational’ use. The player is no longer an Assassin on the run, but an employee of Abstergo Entertainment (a subsidiary of the Templar-owned Abstergo Industries) exploring a key chapter in Desmond’s ancestor Edward Kenway’s life.

The images prove that funds are still not an issue for the modern-day Templars, although how extensively players will be able to navigate the offices of Abstergo Entertainment isn’t clear. It’s easy to understand why the developers are expecting players to get most excited about the chance to sail their own pirate ship through a world of island chains, but if Animus technology has advanced to the point of a desktop screen and speakers (as the image implies), we’d like to think they can offer a decent explanation.

What do you think of the new modern-day digs? Are you hoping for a new take on the idea of exploring an Animus from the comfort of your own cubicle, or simply looking forward to the historic setting and chance to explore the Caribbean Sea? Leave your thoughts in the comments.

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag releases October 29, 2013 for the PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U. The title is also slated for the PC, Xbox One, and PS4, but no release dates have been announced.


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