Last February, Ubisoft officially announced Assassin’s Creed 3 and it was therefore expected that the next installment in the annualized franchise would be unveiled at a similar time this year. We weren’t surprised then to see Ubisoft sending out invites to an Assassin’s Creed related media event, one that’s since been spoiled (again, like last year) via leaks from retailers.

A photo of sketch art featuring the now-confirmed title of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag made its way through the media on Tuesday, followed by a leaked screenshot and a second photo of the reverse side of the poster, depicting a map that confirmed the Caribbean Islands setting in the year 1715 for the next Assassin adventure.

AC3 introduced put players into the boots of two new characters, Haytham Kenway and his son Connor (Ratonhnhaké:ton), and the game concluded the story of their descendant Desmond Miles. For the franchise’s next core installment we knew another new character would be introduced and today we have our first official look at Assassin’s Creed 4:

[Click to Enlarge]

Assassins Creed 4 Official Cover Art


Ubisoft looks to build upon the ship segments of Assassin’s Creed 3 and turn the high seas into the focus over urban environments. More details will be unveiled on Monday, March 4th, where we expect to learn who exactly the new Assassin is and how the game’s narrative will work if Desmond is out of the picture.

What we do know is that since AC3 took place during the years 1760 to 1783, a 1715 setting lends credence to speculation that the game could follow Connor’s grandfather, Edward Kenway, maintaining the ancestral line of Desmond Miles. Then again, since the last game in the series offered a slight twist in letting players play as more than one character from the past, a similar story structure may be implemented here.

No French Revolution or China setting this time, but we do expect the first full co-op campaign to be included in the next installment after being dropped from last year’s title. With Ubisoft making sure to include co-op features in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, the Rayman titles and even last year’s Far Cry 3, it’s about time their flagship series does the same.

[poll id=”47″]

Follow me on Twitter @rob_keyes and let me know if you’re excited about AC4!

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