One thing the PlayStation 4 launch window doesn't look short on, is Triple-A titles with many well-known franchises leading the way. One such franchise is Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed, one which has boomed over the last six years to amass a phenomenal 50 million units sold across all platforms from seven titles. Announced in early 2013 Ubisoft are preparing Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag for release on current, and next-generation systems - and the PlayStation 4 is included.
The year is 1715. Pirates rule the Caribbean and have established their own lawless Republic. Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag introduces Edward Kenway, a brash rebel Pirate trained by Assassins. His fight for glory has earned him the respect of legends like Blackbeard...
Naval Battles look stunning in Black Flag.
As expected this is a third person action adventure game and while the land based action should be pretty familiar to fans of the franchise - although we can expect a few changes to the gameplay of course, but now action takes place on water too. In fact naval exploration now takes a large role in the game with a 60/40 split between land and naval based missions. The game includes locations such as Kingston, Havana, and Nassau and there will be over 50 locations to explore with a large open world providing locations such as jungles, forts, cities, and small villages to explore.
Multiplayer will also be returning to the franchise although details regarding player numbers and content remain under wraps. What has been confirmed though is that the multiplayer won't include naval battles which is, in our books, is a little disappointing as it could have stood out in an ever increasingly crowded multiplayer market.
Ubisoft have also confirmed that the PS3 and PS4 versions of Assassin's Creed IV will include around an hours worth of exclusive content which other systems won't receive. This content will be made available as (free) DLC post launch however the exact contents remain unknown at this stage.
Action in the streets in Assassin's Creed IV.
One new aspect to this game is that whaling will play a major part however that seems to have upset animal rights group PETA who described its inclusion as "disgraceful for any game to glorify it". Well, bollocks to them we say. Whaling is something that has been a part of mankind's history for centuries, probably longer, and it's something that you can't ignore. Should we remove any mention of apartheid as it was "disgraceful" how about the holocaust? You can't hide facts, and if it adds to the authenticity then so be it.
Perhaps Ubisoft's response was a little more impressive when they stated to IGN"History is our playground in Assassinís Creed. Assassinís Creed IV Black Flag is a work of fiction that depicts the real events during the Golden Era of Pirates. We do not condone illegal whaling, just as we donít condone a pirate lifestyle of poor hygiene, plundering, hijacking ships, and over the legal limit drunken debauchery." Well said Ubisoft, well said.
Whaling plays a part in the game.
Visually this game looks absolutely gorgeous with visuals that far surpass the current generation of consoles. The attention to detail is astounding and the naval battles in particular look like nothing we've ever seen in a video game. With the additional power provided by the Playstation 4 we can only hope that the developers minimise one of our biggest bugbears about the PS3 era - screen tearing. In any case, as a first generation title for Sony's new console, phenomenal.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag will be a Playstation 4 launch title on November 15 in American and November 29 in Europe and Australia, a couple of weeks after the current-gen (read: PS3) release in late October. With the recently announced delay to Ubisoft's stunning looking Watch Dogs this game has shifted up in the must-have launch title list.
Below is an absolutely gorgeous "Under the Black Flag" trailer released in mid-May 2013.