13 Minutes of Assassin’s Creed 4 Gameplay: Our Analysis

Ubisoft has released a 13-minute long video to showcase the open world nature of its upcoming pirate-themed game, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.

With commentary from Game Director Ashraf Ismail, the trailer offers insights directly from the development team on all that’s new to explore in the vast, diverse Caribbean open world such as hunting for lost treasures in uncharted islands or brand new naval features, including upgrading the Jackdaw with new weaponry and recruiting your crew to conquer new enemy ships at sea.

Here’s everything we’ve learned from the video.

The Basics

  • Edward is one of the most unique characters created for the Assassin’s Creed universe, he’s still trying to figure out who he is in life and what he wants to get out of it.
  • Assassination contracts are a way to get a bit of money and a way to gain a bit of notoriety.
  • The world map shows where the contract takes place.
  • The world shows over 50 locations, centered by Cuba. Florida up north. There’s plenty to do in the Caribbean sea.
  • The fisherman village is one type of location in this world. It’s there as a convenience to the player, where you can shop, upgrade Edward and the Jackdaw itself. It’s about the moot and ambience of the caribbean sea.
  • Taverns are places where you can hire crew, play minigames, drink if you wish.
  • There are many ways to complete the contract. You can use free aim system to shoot your target. Jump onto the ship and take him out with his crew, or follow him out into the open sea and pursue him down with the Jackdaw. Seamlessly go from ground chases to naval chase.
Ship Combat
  • Using the Spyglass, you can assess the danger and threat levels of enemy ships.
  • Rum is important in the economy system, so instead of destroying the ship, it’s better to plunder it.
  • Chainshots slow down the ship.
  • Round shot mechanic allows you to aim for the hull and do a lot of damage to the ship.
  • The specific enemy in the video is called a Frigate that you have to destroy as fast as you can because they do more damage the longer the fight lasts.
  • There are other enemy types, including the Charger and the Man of War. The Man of War carries over 100 cannons and you need to be heavily upgraded in order to face them.
  • You have to board enemy ships to take enemy ships and hijack their cargo.
  • If your ships get too close the two crews will fight each other. If your ships are a bit further you can go in for a sneak attack.
  • Use the swivel gun to take out a lot of the crew.
  • After killing the captain you still have to take out a few more crew members to complete the boarding sequence.
  • With every boarding you will be given three options: recruit the crew members, capture and send the ship to Kenway’s fleet, or salvage the ship to repair the Jackdaw if you took too much damage in the fight.
Sidequests, Playas
  • There is always something new for the player to do. In this case, uncharted locations are called playas—there are over 75 in the Caribbean world. Every playa has something important for Edward to find that will help in upgrading either Edward or the Jackdaw. It’s in the player’s advantage to explore these locations.
  • The game is entirely seamless with no loading times. You can let go of the wheel and swim over to the location.
  • In the example playa shown in the video, the player discovers a faction battle going on between two groups—the British and the Spanish. The player also discovers a passed away drunken sailor who has a treasure map on his body pointing to an island called Misteriosa. Every time you find one of these you know that you are going to find a treasure that is linked to the progression of Edward or the Jackdaw so they are very valuable.
  • The player can intervene in the battle between the British and the Spanish, waiting for the two factions to weaken each other before the player swoops in to plunder both ships.
  • The Harpooning system is connected to the game’s hunting system, which is used to upgrade Edward himself. You can upgrade the number of weapons he carries, his ammo count, and his health.
  • Sea shanties are collectibles you find in the world that you can sing with your crew. The more sea shanties you find, the bigger your playlist of songs.
Storms, Weather
  • Storms are very dangerous, which can cause you to take damage to your ship and cause you to lose crew members. Waterspouts will tear the ship apart and take out your crew. It’s possible to pull enemies into the storm and use it as a strategic element.
Exploring Ruins, Treasure Hunting
  • Misteriosa is a Mayan ruin. Mayan ruins are heavy with stealth and navigation capacities. There are a lot of treasures and hidden discoveries to be found at these locations.
  • There are multiple ways to go to your objective locations. As the game is an open world, you don’t have to follow the path and go straight—it’s possible to take a branching path and use stealth to your advantage.
  • There are new tools and weapons available to Edward Kenway. Among them is the Blowpipe, which you can use to fire Berserk Darts which make your enemies go crazy. Affected targets will attack anything and everything in sight including their friends, animals, or Edward.
  • There are many different ways of gaining crew members—you can recruit them from taverns, by completing sidequests, or plundering ships.
  • Synchronizing also adds a fast travel point into the world now.

The story of Assassin’s Creed IV revolves around Edward Kenway, a man who falls from privateering for the Royal Navy into piracy as the war between the major Empires comes to an end. He soon finds himself embroiled in the ancient war between the Assassins and the Templars. Set at the dawn of the 18th century, the game features infamous pirates like Blackbeard and Charles Vane, and takes players on a journey throughout the West Indies during a period known in history books as the Golden Age of Pirates.

The game is set for an October 29 release on the PC, Wii U, Xbox 360, and PlayStation 3. It will also see release on next-gen platforms.

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2 Comments on 13 Minutes of Assassin’s Creed 4 Gameplay: Our Analysis

Huntsman06

On July 23, 2013 at 10:01 am

If they do anything right about this game, it would be to change the controls back to what they were before Assassins Creed 3.

Slippery Weasel

On July 24, 2013 at 3:39 am

I like that they try to mix things up a bit with each instalment, unlike a certain FPS series that still sells ridiculous amounts of copies every year to its obedient goldfish fans.