PAX East 2013: Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag preview

It’s the year 1715. You are Edward Kenway, an assassin during the last ten years of the ‘Golden Era of Piracy.’ Not only do you have your own ship, but you have the willpower and force to do whatever it takes to man it. This is Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. Yarrr. While Assassin’s Creed 3 may have introduced you to ship combat, this new title takes you on a completely new and exciting pirate-themed ride.

Edward is by no means alone; a captain doesn’t run a ship alone. Hiring your own crew through cunning and force, you become a true scourge of the Caribbean Seas. “Mercy is weakness” and nobody ain’t got time for that. Not only will the ship combat be more advanced, but it becomes your upgradable baby. The more fearsome and threatening ships will have the better loot, and if you want it, you better upgrade. You won’t always be able to strong fist your foes — that’s when tactics come to play. Can you board enemy vessels and fight it out? Damn right you can.

While there has always been a sort of sandbox style of gameplay in previous AC games, this one is pushing that envelope even further. You have a ship, a crew, and open waters… you are going to explore. What’s that you see with your spyglass? Mayan ruins, a village, unclaimed forest — go for it. You’re a pirate, do whatever you damn well please.

As Edward, sure you’re a pirate, but never forget that you’re also an assassin. Fight your way through missions with an arsenal of pistols, duel-wield cutlasses, and never forget your stealth killing trademarked wrist blades. The assassinations and combos will be more brutal and better than ever before, stringing multiple pistols shots into a flurry of cutlass slashes.

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag will mesh land and sea combat like never before in the series. Even underwater will be an exportable environment to plunder and explore. How will you leave your mark on the Caribbean?   

Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag will be swashbuckling into stores on October 29, 2013. Yarrr!