In keeping with the marketing generally seen from the series, momentum is starting to build for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Thrusting players into the Golden Age of Pirates and a search for gold, gore and glory, the game’s new protagonist Edward Kenway will be making a big splash in the Caribbean this November.

Ubisoft has made somewhat of a habit out of cinematic trailers that get even casual onlookers interested, and the same is true for Black Flag. But beyond the swords and explosions of the newest ‘Under the Black Flag’ trailer lay serious hints at the game’s story; and evidence that Kenway may be more divorced from the Assassin/Templar conflict than some may expect.

Now that the veil of secrecy has been lifted from the next installment in the Assassin’s Creed series, it’s becoming clearer just how much of the romanticism of the setting and time period is going to be captured by the developers. Previous trailers have emphasized Kenway as one of the few who ever managed to “truly live free” from king or law – a theme strongly tied to the overall series to date, most notably AC3. Yet with Black Flag, Kenway will be following his own course to an even greater degree than usual.

Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag Gameplay Trailer

Anyone who’s been paying close attention to Black Flag since its reveal (or anyone wondering where Edward fits into the Assassin/Templar rivalry between his son and grandson) will have realized by now that the factions’ involvement has been downplayed thus far. And in this footage, Kenway’s claim that “his only oath is to his crew” casts his place in the Assassin Order even more in doubt.

Are we to take all this as a sign that Black Flag will be less focused on the war between both sides, and more on the setting and characters than any previous game; at least where Edward’s personal involvement is concerned? Not that it would be an unwise decision – the fate of the story was left wide open by the closing moments of AC3 – but if true, is this a sign of what direction future spin-offs will take, leaving numbered sequels to advance the modern plot?

Only time will tell, but whatever the case, fans of piracy, sailing, or another dose of Assassin’s Creed gameplay will want to prepare for the coming onslaught of details and gameplay as E3 2013 approaches.

Assassins Creed 4: Black Flag will be released October 29, 2013 for the PC, PS3, Wii U and Xbox 360. Next-gen releases are also expected.

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