Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag (AC4) is the upcoming addition to the popular video game series, which started in 2007. And as we know, the previous one, Assassin’s Creed III (AC3), was better loved by critics than fans. We know very little about AC4, but fans are already grinding the rumor mill based on the cover art…and on AC3. With the help of some commenters from a previous article, I’ve drawn my own conclusions about Ubisoft’s next installment in the saga of the Assassin’s versus the Templars.
What should we expect
A pirate theme
Obviously. From the cover art in AC4—that, and its title—we can expect even more adventure on the high seas than Connor had in AC3 in his warship, Aquila. We also know from Ubisoft that our AC4 protagonist is a privateer, Edward Kenway, who happens to be Connor’s granddad. (From AC history, we know Kenway died in 1735; from here-and-now history, we know the Golden Age of Piracy was in the 1720s.)
Commenter Johan Zdybal wrote, “I wonder if the sea battles in AC3 are representative of how they will be in [AC4]? Perhaps the sea battles in AC3 was a sort of proving ground and getting to work and feel right, so they use the tech in Black Flag perhaps?
Assassinations on land
If AC4 is a ship-based game only, it would be throwing out the AC series’ core concept: assassination and escape. I don’t think Ubisoft would do that.
But if Ubisoft has read their history books—and I know they have—they would know that the towns of Port Royale, Nassau, and Tortuga were popular hangouts for pirates when they were ashore. These seem likely locations for a pirate-themed AC game.
A present-day character
Now that Desmond is no longer in the picture, there should be a viewpoint character to work the animus. If nothing else, having a present-day character could help players new to the series understand the history of the game.
A PS3 and a PS4 version
Although it’s been confirmed that there will be a version of AC3 for the PS3, there are only unsubstantiated (yet awesome) rumors about a PS4 version. I’m going to go out on a limb—kind of like Connor did when he climbed from tree to tree—and say that there will be two PlayStation versions of the game.
Why do I say this? Because PS3 players will be getting extra content: “60 extra minutes of exclusive gameplay,” according to the PS3 cover art. I believe this content is there to mollify the gamers who buy the game for their current console, only to see the new console revealed shortly thereafter…
A Holiday 2013 release date
…which leads me to conclude the planned release date is around the same time as the new PlayStation. (Rumor currently has it at end of October.)
What we actually want
Back to basics
Commenter Tyler Newman wrote that Ubisoft needs to focus on what made the series “awesome:” :[I]nteresting time periods, well written and well voice acted characters,epic story lines, parkour along city rooftops, awesome rewards for gathering collectables and completing challenges, Unique weaponry perfectly suited for a silent killer, and most importantly FRIGGIN’ SUBTLETY.”
Commenter Jonathan Thomas said he would be a happy man, “[i]f ACIV goes back to these basics of making me feel like an actual Assassin not just a vigilante like ACIII did.” He liked the freedom of the original games to “to go and plan out my attack, rather than just get a mission.”