It’s Official: Assassin’s Creed 4 Has Pirates
Warning! We’re including Assassin’s Creed 3 spoilers in this post, and speculating about Assassin’s Creed 4.
It seems Ubisoft learned something from Assassin’s Creed 3: namely that the nautical portions of the game were both its best ideas and its most criminally underdeveloped.
So when it comes to Assassin’s Creed 4, we’ll be seeing more of the high seas. Ubisoft announced today that the game is called Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, the black flag being a pirate flag and the assassin being you.
Taking a look at the keyart Ubisoft shipped with this announcement (which is really all it is — the information that this piece of art exists and that the next iteration on the formula is Assassin’s Creed Pirates), I think we can glean some quick information from it. First off, that assassin on the cover: not Connor from Assassin’s Creed 3. He looks more Anglo to me than previous assassins, what with his two-day scruff and brownish-blond hair. Also, if you’re currently playing the Generic Video Game Hero drinking game, you can go ahead and take two: one for white male, one for scruffy, rough-but-handsome facial hair.
That makes for some interesting points to my mind. For one, we’re ditching Connor, a character who was lackluster at best last time out. Two, the ancestors of Desmond Miles have run the gamut as far as ethnic background, but they were all of Middle Eastern descent originally, and all had dark hair and relatively darker complexions. If we take from this piece of art the assumption that the pirates are Western European, likely British, and that this dude looks more Anglo than previous assassins (admittedly subjectively), plus the fact that former protagonist Desmond Miles supposedly died at the end of the last game — well, I think that’s a recipe to suggest there’s a new boring present-day person in the Animus. And that probably means a new assassin bloodline.
Still, and here’s the real thing: Do we need another Assassin’s Creed game this year (which is likely when it’s coming out, given Ubisoft’s track record)? My answer is a vehement, loud “No.” As fun as Pirates of the Carri-Oh god my jugular sounds on paper, Assassin’s Creed 3 failed to meet expectations on a number of levels. The degree of polish we expect from this series was definitely not there, and a lot of the new systems in the game didn’t work as well as they should have. A nautical refresh might be good for the series, for sure — but what it really needs is a sharply designed game that has had the proper amount of time in development. You don’t have to rush to market, Ubisoft. Come back in a few years and you’ll come back a hero.
Plus, the ship combat in Assassin’s Creed 3 was pretty thin, and really needs to be much deeper to hold up a whole game.
Also, here’s a pertinent question: How does one sneak up on a ship? Or sneak up on people while on a ship? Please don’t say “magic wolf invisibility powers,” Ubisoft.
All that said, we have exactly no details about Assassin’s Creed 4 outside that image up there and the name. Ubisoft says we can expect more info on March 4 — that’s Monday. So stay tuned for updates then.