It’s the one nagging criticism about the Assassin’s Creed series: while the developers at Ubisoft have made their name in the third-person action genre, their heroes are more accurately described as one-man-killing-machines than ‘deadly assassins.’ While the hero of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag may be a pirate above all else, that doesn’t mean they won’t be countering old criticisms.

The previously-released stealth walkthrough video showed that a few gameplay additions make stealth a legitimate strategy – but can it still be as cool as running in, guns blazing? That’s the task falling to the newest Black Flag stealth trailer from Gamescom 2013, making the case that Edward Kenway is as much a sly predator as he is a swashbuckler.

The new trailer won’t convince every skeptic that simply running into combat with swords swinging isn’t the most efficient way of approaching missions – especially since Edward Kenway seems deadlier than previous protagonists – but there’s no reason to give up hope that the new stealth mechanics won’t right many wrongs.

Assassins Creed 4 Black Flag Stealth Attack

We watched during our E3 demo of Black Flag as the developers chose to bypass a dozen guards instead of fighting them; perhaps this time around, with the chance to sail the Caribbean aboard your very own ship, and take out seaside ports with endless volleys of cannon fire, players might actually appreciate a few subtle combat tactics.

Whatever the case, the many tropical locations – hidden and charted – to be found in the game will be nice to look at – a fact proven in the newest screenshots and artwork. Take a look:

So far there has been some evidence that naval exploration, treasure-hunting, stealth and combat can be combined into some potentially exciting results, but it’s hard to believe that all of the issues surrounding Assassin’s Creed‘s stealth can be solved at once. We won’t bet against the developers, but perhaps they’d be better off focusing on elements of gameplay that most fans haven’t just accepted as par for the course.

What do you think of Ubisoft’s chances of injecting competent stealth strategies into the Creed formula? Could they streamline the systems enough to make stealth a legitimate option, or is the true covert gameplay contained mostly in the cinematic trailers? Sound off in the comments.


Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag will be released on October 29, 2013 for the Xbox 360, PS3, and PC, and on next-gen consoles.

Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.