E3 2013- Prepare For Adventure With Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag
Approaching the Ubisoft booth, one couldn't help but watch the endless loop of trailers playing on multiple overhead screens meant to keep those waiting in line to demo the upcoming Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag entertained. In one of these memorable videos, we see an agile and deadly pirate clear the deck of a Spanish galleon with deadly precision and ease.
Taking place in the 18th-Century West Indies in what could only be described as an "epically huge" open-world area, you play as that pirate - Edward Kenway, a member of the Assassin Order and grandfather of Connor Kenway from Assassin's Creed III. As a pirate captain you command the Jackdaw, creating a new gameplay aspect since you have to not just maintain but also upgrade your ship and your crew as you progress in your travels on the open sea.
Edward Kenway towering over the Ubisoft booth at E3
Sylvain Trottier, an associate producer on the title, walked us through a demo of The Horizon level and it was rather impressive. As we follow Edward in his pursuit to eliminate targets, the immediate impression is that Ubisoft has gone through great effort to make the Caribbean environment as detailed and immersive as possible. Crabs go scurrying when you run down the beach while lush jungle foliage move realistically as you brush pass. It's even more evident once you board the Jackdaw and get a taste of naval warfare. Rolling waves affect your aim as you fire your cannons at enemy ships and sea storms threaten to capsize your ship, possibly losing supplies and crew to the deep.
The thing that piqued our interest the most was Ubisoft's integration of a tablet. Combined with a downloadable companion app, the tablet functions as a second screen. Capable of managing your fleet and inventory (functionality normally accessible through submenus) without ever leaving the main gameplay screen, it also allows a second player to join in the experience as a navigator.
Watch the video below to see what Sylvain had to say about the immersive environment, the optional companion app, and a mention of a PC-specific technology.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag should be released in time for the holiday season.