It’s not much of a leap to link pirates with the Assassins, and this trailer does so rather straightforwardly. Disenchantment with order, devotion to freedom (and debauchery), and a certain predilection for pointed objects – they’re all present and accounted for. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag will apparently show us the “true story” of the pirates, “rough and unvarnished”. (The story, that is, not the pirates. You can’t varnish a pi- well, I wouldn’t want to be the one to try it, anyway.)
If you’re detecting a certain lack of excitement in these quarters, you’d be right. As a longtime Assassin’s Creed fan, I just can’t bring myself to get too worked up about this installment. After the agony and the ecstasy (mostly agony, though) of Assassin’s Creed III, Ubisoft’s next game really needed to sing a redemption song to get the franchise back on track. Instead, what we’re getting is another one-year-later sequel; but what’s worse is that it’s got a ‘IV’ tacked on to the end. Is Black Flag really going to be the bold next step for the franchise? When you consider that Brotherhood, ground-breaking in so many ways, didn’t get that honour, you have to wonder. I loved the naval combat in Assassin’s Creed III, but I don’t think that doubling down on one of the shining lights in an otherwise broken game is the way forward for Assassin’s Creed. Hopefully, Ubisoft and Edward Kenway will prove me wrong when Black Flag launches on October 29th.
Well, well, well. Just days after the existence of Assassin’s Creed IV was confirmed – and with two days still to go until Ubisoft’s official “reveal” on the 4th – the above trailer’s been leaked, courtesy of GamesRadar. While the original video has since been pulled from YouTube, we can safely assume that October 29th will see the fourth major entry in the Assassin’s Creed franchise, just a year after Assassin’s Creed III.
Black Flag stars Edward Kenway, father of Assassin’s Creed III’s charming ne’er-do-well Haytham Kenway. As such, it will almost certainly be a prequel; and, judging by the trailer, naval battles (my favourite part of Connor’s journey) look set to play a prominent role. So far, so good; even if so far, so little in terms of gameplay. It undoubtedly looks pretty enough, a worthy successor to this, this and this.
His official Wiki entry confirms that Edward was an Assassin, an ‘occasional pirate’ (gotta love those New World hobbyists!) and, most importantly, an ancestor of Desmond Miles. Also, in a first for the Assassin’s Creed series, he’s blonde! Who said Ubisoft can’t innovate, eh? (His golden tresses certainly seem to have impressed Blackbeard, given how effusive the bloodthirsty buccaneer’s being with his praise.)
We’ll know more when Black Flag is officially announced on Monday. For a look at the box art and a spoiler-filled analysis on what all of this could mean, man, click on past the break.
Look, unnamed British narrator, we get that you’re just trying to keep your troops informed. We get that you’re sticking to that whole ‘know your enemy’ shtick. That said, have you considered that maybe, just maybe going into as much detail as you just did isn’t exactly going to boost your troops’ morale or fill them with confidence?
Not that morale or confidence ever helped much with a tomahawk to the face, I will concede.
From one iconic piece of headgear to another – Michael Fassbender will don the cowl of an Assassin in the big-screen adaptation of Ubisoft’s acclaimed series. It doesn’t stop there, though – he’ll also be co-producing the movie, through his DMC Film label, alongside Ubisoft Motion Pictures. Hopefully, this means that the Fass is aware of the…less-than-stellar history of game-based movies, and subscribes to the whole ‘If you want something done right…’ school of thought.
Details are few and far between at this stage, although we do have the following tidbit from Variety – the story “revolves around a man who learns his ancestors were trained assassins after he is kidnapped by a secret [organization] with ties to the Knight Templar, and sent back in time to retrieve historical artifacts.” So, basically Assassin’s Creed then.
The CEO of Ubisoft Motion Pictures reveals that Fassbender was their ‘first choice’ to play the lead role. That makes sense; really, at this point, it’s probably worth questioning your reasoning if Fassbender isn’t your first choice for anything ever.
Let’s not forget that this is merely the latest salvo in Fassbender’s relentless assault upon the geek consciousness. Besides his aforementioned portrayal of Magneto, he’s had roles in Band of Brothers, 300, Inglourious Basterds and Prometheus. Any way you slice it, that’s an impressive resume; which is partly the reason I feel slightly more optimistic about this than I would’ve otherwise. Yes, Hollywood adaptations of games have had a chequered history, but Fassbender might just break that cycle. Ah well, we’ll have to wait and see; and, given that this has only just been announced, we’ll be doing a lot of the former before we get a chance at the latter.
Given that Assassin’s Creed III deals with the period of chaos surrounding the creation of the United States of America, it would have been practically treasonous to not have a trailer out on the 4th of July. ‘Independence’, that shiny bundle of patriotism up there, manages to do what every other trailer for Assassin’s Creed III has done till date – i.e., make October 31st seem even further away.
As promised, Ubisoft finally went public with the official announcement of Assassin’s Creed III today, along with the above trailer. Here’s an excerpt from the press release, followed by a closer look at the trailer :
Set against the backdrop of the American Revolution in the late 18th century, Assassin’s Creed III introduces a new hero, Ratohnaké:ton, of Native American and English heritage. Adopting the name Connor, he becomes the new voice for justice in the ancient war between the Assassins and Templars. Players become an Assassin in the war for liberty against ruthless tyranny in the most stylized and fluid combat experiences in the franchise to date. Assassin’s Creed III spans the Revolutionary War, taking gamers from the vibrant, untamed frontier to bustling colonial towns and the intense, chaotic battlefields where George Washington’s Continental Army clashed with the imposing British Army.
Assassin’s Creed III is powered by Ubisoft-AnvilNext, a revolutionary new game engine that delivers breakthroughs in visual quality, character models and artificial intelligence. Assassin’s Creed III will feature a ground-breaking level of stunning graphics that bring Colonial America to life.
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After weeks of speculation, Ubisoft finally released a picture of the Assassin’s Creed III box art via Twitter. Shortly after Ubisoft’s reveal, Game Informer went public with the news that Assassin’s Creed III will grace the cover of their next issue, as seen below.