Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag has barely been confirmed, and some of the revealed details have already rubbed animal rights group PETA the wrong way. One of the new features in ACIV is the ability to hunt whales. PETA issued a statement saying:

“Whaling—that is, shooting whales with harpoons and leaving them to struggle for an hour or more before they die or are hacked apart while they are still alive—may seem like something out of the history books, but this bloody industry still goes on today in the face of international condemnation, and it’s disgraceful for any game to glorify it.

“PETA encourages video game companies to create games that celebrate animals—not games that promote hurting and killing them.”

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Whaling is not the only new thing ACIV has that’s different than the rest. Dual-wielding weapons is now a possibility, you will also have 4 pistols, a blowgun, and the rope dart makes a comeback. Black Flag will feature much more of the naval gameplay that its predecessor introduced. What more could you ask for with a pirate game? Edward Kenway’s ship, The Jackdaw, will be as crucial a character in this game as Kenway himself. As the game progresses, Kenway will learn more abilities, and his ship will unlock more upgrades. These are both crucial to advance in the game.

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If the protagonist’s name sounds familiar to you, it is because he is Connor’s grandfather. So this game is not a sequel to the third, but a prequel instead. That also makes this game different than any of the other installments. This game is also reported to be the first not to feature Desmond Miles. Kenway was a sailor in the British Navy, and quit to pursue the life of piracy. Events that occur early in the game, lead to Kenway becoming an Assassin. Creative Director Jean Guesdon says, “Edward Kenway is one of the most uniquely conflicted heroes in the franchise to date.”

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The main path of the story is around the same size as 3, but the global aspect of the game is much larger. You will have the chance to visit more than 50 locations around the world. You will also be able to scavenge shipwrecks, attack plantations, visit Mayan ruins, and more. The ratio of land gameplay to naval gameplay is pretty equal.  A lot of the missions will take place on land, in true Assassin’s Creed fashion, but a large chunk of missions will also take place on the water. It will be pretty close to 50-50.

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There is a new feature called the “horizon system” in BF. With this feature, at any given moment aboard your ship, you can pull out your spyglass and scan the horizon. This system allows there to always be at least 2 or 3 different mission opportunities available for you. These opportunities evolve based upon your progress in the game, so every player’s experience should be different. You will be able to rob merchant ships, pirates to rescue, or a whale to hunt down. This system also allows you to play the naval portion as much as you want and still have something different to do.

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The naval experience itself will be much different than in 3. The ocean physics were completely overhauled, giving the experience a more realistic feel. You will be able to “feel” the ship, when your sails are full, or when you’re going over a big wave. Raising and lowering the sails will have a much bigger impact, leading to storms being more intense. Some of the weapons you’ll receive on the ship are: Round shot (base weapons), Heat shot (essentially a shotgun for a ship), mines, and mortar. There are also 6 new AI enhancements, which will require you to master the system.

For all of the next-gen consoles, BF will be a “connected” single player game. The new consoles will not only bring better graphics, but with a larger community, even if you want to play alone, you will still be connected to all of your friends.

All in all, this seems like it will rank right up there, if not surpass, the rest of the Assassin’s Creed franchise.

 

Sources: VG24/7; All Games Beta

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I'm Erik a.k.a. TrexxArms. I'm more of a casual gamer, but I do play some competitive games as well. Majority of my free time is spent playing a game of some kind. Whether on console, PC, or mobile.