When the developers of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag first promised to drop players into ‘the Golden Age of Pirates,’ there were plenty that scoffed at the idea of such a title. Sure, there was a time and place when pirates made their name in the Caribbean Sea, but not on the same scale witnessed in fiction, right? Wrong.

The developers at Ubisoft have turned to more than just fiction for their next chapter in the Assassin’s Creed universe, with the latest video released focusing on the historical accuracy of the weaponry, the combat, and the circumstances that gave rise to Edward Kenway’s gang of famous friends.

Although ‘Blackbeard’ may be a name known to even casual fans of the ‘pirate life,’ Black Flag will be giving a dozen key historical figures and buccaneers their time in the spotlight; from the likes of Benjamin Hornigold and Charles Vane to the deadly (but beautiful) Anne Bonny, the game’s writers have called on as much real-life history as they did for AC3.

But where the American Revolution is a subject known to nearly every American, and most history buffs in general, the Golden Age of Pirates has become shrouded in myth and legend – meaning that amidst the swashbuckling and high-seas adventure, players of Black Flag might just learn something too.

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Whenever a new Assassin’s Creed game is unveiled, much of the emphasis is placed on the chosen hero’s arsenal of blades and bullets. But for our money, we’re more interested in the overall setting than Edward Kenway’s take on the Hidden Blade (although we’re suddenly curious to know if psychological warfare will play a role in gameplay itself). Especially since Black Flag‘s launch trailer gave a more believable reasoning for Blackbeard’s outlandish appearance than any we’ve heard before.

It’s one thing to accurately depict a time period and setting (and the action that accompanied it) but a true accomplishment to help modern players actually understand a heavily-fictionalized time in history. This video briefly describes the circumstances that led to an explosion of piracy – and previous trailers have given glimpses of how Edward falls into a life of privateering. But with Edward’s blatant disregard for authority and lust for adventure, players might also be able to understand what drove a handful of sailors to become famous the world over.

What are you most looking forward to with Black Flag: the additional chapter in the Assassin’s Creed story, or a chance to step into an accurate recreation of the pirate-filled Caribbean? Share your thoughts 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.