With Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag, Ubisoft is pushing their popular annual franchise to its limits. More specifically, they are taking the traditional open world mechanics gamers have come to know and love in Assassin’s Creed, and seamlessly blending them together.
To illustrate that point, Ubisoft has released a new 13-minute gameplay trailer for Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag that showcases some of the varied experiences gamers will be able to enjoy in the game. And, unlike the more focused gameplay demo from E3 2013, this video highlights the open world of Assassin’s Creed 4.
One of the first things gamers will notice from the trailer above is the seamless transition from land to sea traversal. Unlike in Assassin’s Creed 3, players won’t have to sit through a loading screen before taking to the sea. At any point in time, players can take control of the Jackdaw, Edward Kenway’s ship in the game, and head out to explore the Caribbean.
Speaking of the Jackdaw, the demo also addresses the ship’s role in Assassin’s Creed 4. While The Aquila in AC3 was more of a means to an end, a platform for what amounted to a handful of side missions, the Jackdaw is almost like a second character. For example, the crew of the Jackdaw is instrumental for surviving naval encounters, and they are also part of the AC4 story. Players can also upgrade the Jackdaw by plundering enemy ships or by finding hidden blueprints, as seen in video.
The trailer also features plenty of classic Assassin’s Creed elements like stealth kills, synchronization points, and assassination contracts, so don’t expect any radical reinventions on that front. The same can be said about the traversal/free-running, which is not unlike what was seen in Assassin’s Creed 3.
It’s also worth mentioning the game’s free aim mechanic, which gives players greater control while brandishing their firearms, almost like a third person shooter. Our multiplayer preview of Assassin’s Creed 4 confirmed the lock-on aiming from past franchise entries is still present, but if this demo is any indication perhaps the single player requires gamers acquire targets on their own.
With next-gen technology at their fingertips, it appears Ubisoft is pushing the Assassin’s Creed franchise to its limits by seamlessly blending their open world areas. It’s unclear just how big the Caribbean environment is, but the map in the demo suggests there will be plenty of islands to explore.
Assassin’s Creed 3 merely teased the idea of a pirate assassin, but Assassin’s Creed 4 delivers that idea in all its glory. Whether the open world mechanics will support the game’s story – of which we have heard very little – is yet to be seen.
What do you think of the open world gameplay in Assassin’s Creed 4? Which are you more excited for: the naval exploration or the island exploration?
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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