With the recent announcement of the sixth game in Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed franchise- Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, comes a rather polarised set of reactions from the game’s fans. Playing this time around as Edward Kenway, the swashbuckling pirate assassin, we are set to be treated with another helping of the lineage that Assassin’s Creed 3 gave us. Edward, the grandfather of Ratonhnhaké:ton (Connor), and father of the Templar, Haytham, already seems to be a much more fleshed out character than Ratonhnhaké:ton ever was. He’s set to be greedy, ruthless and charming, all in equal measure (everything that you would want a pirate to be), and he’s an assassin, too.
This all seems well and good, but what has been the sticking point with most fans is the idea of the game being a bit too H20 centered. Ubisoft have done their best to dissuade people from worrying too much (I’m sure haystacks will still feature in this game), saying that the transition between sea and land will be immersive and very much individually centered (choosing to land on beaches whenever the player sees fit for Edward to do so). As well as all that, it looks like we’ll see Ubisoft’s effort at bringing underwater combat into the game, as Edward has been seen to fight sharks in a teaser video! We have been told that the game will feature roughly a 50/50 split of naval combat (which promises to be even better than the last game) and the traditional rooftop escapades that we’re used to. That just doesn’t seem enough for some people though.
Assassin’s Creed was my introduction to proper video gaming, and I’ve followed the story right from Altaïr’s beginnings to Ratonhnhaké:ton effectively securing the fate of Western civilisation in AC3. I’ve seen the torturous repetition of the first game’s ‘eavesdrop, follow, assassinate’ structure turn into treetop lynching by the hands of a shaven headed Mohawk, which makes me think that things can only get better in future. There’s no need to worry about Desmond boring us in modern day sequences any more (here’s hoping our next modern day character might even succumb to a bit of fall damage every now and then, too); there’s the chance for Edward to bring some interesting character traits to the Kenway family, and I’m also quite looking forward to punching a shark in the chops.