Assassin’s Creed 4 Gets Pirated

By Alec Meer on February 27th, 2013 at 11:00 am.

Yes that is an AC3 screenshot. Well spotted!

Because – haha – there are pirates in it. Hahah. But you thought – haha – that I was saying the next Assassin’s Creed game had leaked to Bittorrent. Haha. Hah. Heh. Huh.

I am neither funny or clever. You know it, I know it, the tiny baby Jesus knows it.

Let’s just talk about the leaked reveal of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag instead. It’s nothing to do with Henry Rollins, I’m afraid.

As more officially revealed earlier this month, the series is apparently headed to a new time period with a new star. While nothing has been confirmed as yet, both evidence (in the form of a poster acquired by Kotaku) and rumour (a rather more spurious-seeming, and grammar crime-filled, post on Examiner) point to a piratical theme set in what appears to be the Caribbean. Rumour has it the star will be one Edward Kenway, granddaddy of AC3′s Connor McNoPersonality, and daddy of the star of AC3′s interminable prologue, Haytham Kenway.

While it’s unusual for the AC series to head backwards rather than forwards in history, the fact that Haytham had a rather more winning manner than his dreary son, even if it was mired in the Infinite Tutorial Of Doom, hopefully bodes well for Edward. I guess it’s a shame that Connor apparently isn’t being given a chance to evolve into something other than a scowling plank of wood, but screw it: pirates!

Not sure how being at sea half the time will gel with the AC series’ urban free-running, but the naval battles were one on the more entertaining aspects of the bloated AC3. I hope the inherent playfulness of a pirate theme means this increasingly self-regarding series can get back on track, shed a little weight on focus on good times once more.

There’s all sorts of other stuff flying around but to be honest I’m going to wait until something official emerges for fear of wasting your time with info-scraps which prove only part-true.

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109 Comments »

  1. ZIGS says:

    It’s official, Assassin’s Creed is the new Call of Duty

    • serioussgtstu says:

      Pretty architecture > man shooting

      • mouton says:

        Also, despite gameplay and story not being stellar, stabbing married hard-working roof watchmen is fun.

        Stab stab stab.

      • Snids says:

        Why is everyone pretending to be above shooting mans in games these days? It’s a staple of gaming.

        • socrate says:

          because its always the same boring stupid setup and that when i kill a civilian they say that the dumb dude never killed an innocent or civilian….seriously…

          the stupid part about Assasin creed is yet again we play the good side and that there is clearly a good and bad,thus showing that the industry as nothing to offer in terms of originality or storyline that is actually decent.

          In the end all you have to do is just wait for the final assasin creed since they just upgrade always the same system in the game to make it more decent which always end up being a small remake with a boring story and very very few step forward and usually alots of step back….but then again this generation of gamer is a bunch of idiot that will buy pretty much w/e…so why put the effort and making original gameplay,story or mechanic.

          Way easier to just dumb down and show nice killing animation.

          • Universal Quitter says:

            You know, tropes aren’t bad, in and of themselves. I can’t speak for you, but I’m more tired with the way stories are told in video games than the actual stories themselves. Stilted VO, repetitive dialogue despite exponential gains in memory sizes since speech first appeared in games, misplaced gameplay (or publisher) concerns triumphing over plot and pacing, bad plot and pacing triumphing over fun gameplay – these are the things that make me stop playing a game that’s supposed to have an engaging narrative arc.

            A story without a likeable protagonist or clear villain usually doesn’t work, unless you’re the Coen brothers or something. Just ask George Lucas. Or Mr. Plinkett.

          • mouton says:

            Actually, in Assassin’s Creed 1, there was no clear good/bad side – there was plenty of delicious delicious moral relativism, with your targets actually having a point. Only in AC2 did they become teh usual good/bad division and that’s where I mostly lost interest.

            It’s a pity AC1 had such a poor gameplay. I guess it is one of those “Choose one” situations.

    • akstro says:

      I dont see hundreds of games that offer the same gameplay as AC games. Do you?

      • Citrus says:

        You will see hundreds of games, just give UBI some more time.

      • woodsey says:

        Considering AC’s gameplay now consists of watching cutscenes in which major villains are killed off (at least three of them, in fact!), and sifting through poorly-designed menus in order to piss about with an inane, misplaced management mini-game (that’s not so “mini” any more), I’d say that yes, AC’s gameplay is reminiscent of an awful lot of stuff these days.

        CoD might be crap, but at least it knows the part of its premise that appeals to its fans: seeing shit blow up and shooting commies.

        • noodlecake says:

          What you’re talking about isn’t the gameplay. The gameplay part works very well, you’re just being pointlessly obtuse. The menu surfing required in the economy aspect of AC3 was horrible, and the main character was a dullard, but when the game shined, it really did. The gameplay was a marked improvement over ACII. The combat was a little more challenging, some of the missions were actaully challenging and couldn’t be broken by just summoning goons to help you. I thought they did a great job with some aspects of the game.

          • woodsey says:

            It’s not obtuse, that crap had greater focus than the actual core of the series. Free running was very awkward an awful lot of the time, missions were always bound by incredibly strict parameters, and you hardly ever get to assassinate anyone.

          • welverin says:

            There’s an economy aspect? I’m over halfway through the game and haven’t been trouble by it yet. Sure i had to send that one trade caravan, but since then I’ve completely ignored that aspect of the game, just as I ignored the den defense parts of Brotherhood.

            I have gotten burnt out on the series and had been thinking I skipped the next game, but a pirate themed game might be different enough to change my mind.

    • Teovald says:

      It has been official for quite some time.
      There are not a lot of evolutions between AC1 and AC3. The games are still enjoyable, as long as you don’t expect a lot of changes in the different games (there are some limited evolutions though)
      I haven’t yet played to AC3. I don’t see this game as full retail price worthy… When it will be in a GOTY edition with all its addon under 15€, I will probably buy it.

      I would happily kickstart/pay full price for a free running games with some new mechanics (and a real challenge, AC is a joke in that regard); but I don’t know any..

      • noodlecake says:

        There are tons of differences between AC and ACII. AC was pretty dull and badly paced. Read any review of AC and compare it to a review by the same magazine on ACII and you’ll find every single journalist disagrees with you. ACIII hsad some quite big changes too, it felt pretty different to play, the combat feels different and the way the main character moves in general is a lot different. While the improvement isn’t anywhere near as big as the difference between AC and ACII, there is definitely more of a significant upgrade than any FPS series has brought.

        I’m getting the impression that you’re one of those people who thought San Andreas was better than GTAIV because there was a larger number of features despite GTAIV being a much tighter game with better gameplay mechanics.

      • noodlecake says:

        I agree about the challenge part. Although ACIII is definitely more difficult than ACII, especially if you want to get 100% sync, some difficulty options would have been nice!

      • 2helix4u says:

        It all went downhill after the first one IMO. The best setting + the least “story” HANDILY beats AC3, which refuses to get out of the players way for hours and hours and oh my god am I in a prison now?
        AC2 is a better game than 1 but I liked douchey Altair more than bro Ezio.

  2. Dimonte says:

    This is the tale
    Of captain Jack Desmond
    Assassin so brave
    Of the seven games

    On tired old quest
    To kill all the Templars
    Couldn’t care less
    Of this chosen theme

    (yeah, already posted this comment on Eurogamer, but why not whore a little more attention)

  3. Moni says:

    I’m thinking of Zelda: Wind Waker, where it was a sort of open-world-ish thing. It was quite fun sailing between islands just because the sailing felt quite good.

  4. Crosmando says:

    I wonder how long it will take Skidrow to crack Ubi’s DRM this time

  5. Jams O'Donnell says:

    I know pirates are popular and all, but what a boring setting!

    Assassin’s Creed: Victorian England
    Assassin’s Creed: Feudal Japan
    Assassin’s Creed: ’60s New York
    Assassin’s Creed: Neanderthal
    Assassin’s Creed: Russian Empire
    Assassin’s Creed: French Revolution
    Assassin’s Creed: Spooky Hitler

    All more interesting than another bloody pirate adventure. Hell, I’d even settle for Assassin’s Creed: Zombies.

    edit: Unless of course they want to make Assassin’s Creed: The Sea Hawk. That would be just dandy.

    • Bhazor says:

      That reminds me of why I hate AC so much.

      Fascinating settings that the artists clearly spent months researching with gameplay that consists of killing the same five guards again and again. The one thing I like about the gameplay is the free running but that is so streamlined I might as well be just using quick travel.

      I would love a big budget feudal japan action adventure. But I would hate Assassins Creed: Shogun

    • MuscleHorse says:

      My vote goes to Assassin’s Creed: Futurama!

    • yhancik says:

      Assassin’s Creed : Tatcher’s Britain

    • ulix says:

      I’m always a big proponent of an open world game in ancient Rome, not matter if its an Action game, Action Adventure or RPG. I know AC already had Rome, so that won’t happen.

      • Jams O'Donnell says:

        I very nearly added AC: Roman Empire to the list but decided against it because Rome had already featured. It’s a good period for it though, as is ancient Greece.

    • Gap Gen says:

      How about Russian Revolution? You could kill Trotsky with, I dunno, a crampon. Change history and all.

    • Morlock says:

      AC: Post 9/11 Iraq.

    • guygodbois00 says:

      “The numbers people tell me the romantic vampires are really big right now and we feel like they would seamlessly fit into … the Assassin’s Creed storyline”. A paraphrase, obviously.

    • Berzee says:

      You’d think they might do something Old Testament-y given the leanings of their silly backstory.

      • TsunamiWombat says:

        Any biblical scholar will tell you the Book of Judges would be perfect for this, since the ‘Judges’ practically were the Assassins.

        • Berzee says:

          I know, rite!

          (Incidentally, I have long imagined making a game based on Joshua/Judges (other books too but…A Ruth game requires more creativity than I’m currently able to muster ;_;) — I think it would be a pretty fascinating setting. Mine probably wouldn’t attribute all the victories to Alien Artifacts but if that nonsense would get me a Fox-Catching, Lion-Eating, Gate-Carrying, Donkey-Jawbone Samson Game, it juust might be worth it.)

          I’m not sure how much Parkour the Judges did, but that one judge did jump down a toilet and/or out a window, so we can work with that.

  6. Kollega says:

    I don’t think being at sea would interfere much with freerunning, be it on ships or in coastal towns. I mean, Jack Sparrow does that pretty often.

  7. akstro says:

    Just give me a cyberpunk AC so I can be done with the series. AC3 discouraged from staying on rooftops and there wouldnt be tall buildings in the carribean as well, so I will probablt hate it. Also: naval combat got old fast so I wouldnt rely on that to carry an AC game.

    • yhancik says:

      That’s Watch Dogs, no?

      • akstro says:

        Not really cyberpunk. I was thinking a few decades into the future on the same vein as Cyberpunk 2077. What does matter is the series needs to keep the core gameplay and expand on it, not throw it away for something like naval warfare. And by expansion I mean more stealth mechanics. An openworld cyberpunk game focused on stealth assassinations is mouth watering for me.

  8. serioussgtstu says:

    Have they gotten rid of the Animus rubbish yet?

    • Reiver says:

      Why would they? It’s a pretty integral part of the story and has on occasion worked quite well. They’ve certainly toned down elements of it from the first 2 games but it was still there and i can’t see it going anywhere. It just needs to be better handled and done in a more coherent and compelling way, like the end of Brotherhood for example, rather than binned. It’s the overall plot (including the animus) they really need to sit down and look at as well as the mechanics. The world building and (sometimes) the movement is second to none but the lack of interactivity is such that i just wish it was an rpg rather than an action game most of the time.

      • serioussgtstu says:

        I applaud your enthusiasm, but it’s such a hindrance to the series. Why Ubi feel it’s necessary to continually pull you out of the fun so that you can spend time with Desmond is beyond me. It’s not a good story telling mechanic and the majority of the gaming community seem to resent these sections. It was interesting in the first game, but since then it’s become a silly legacy from series the developers seem obliged to continue. The fact that they outsourced the development of these parts in the third game really says it all.

        It’s not an integral part of the story. I can literally phase it out of the narrative right now: Desmond dies and his genome is placed in the Animus. Now the game can continue as before, except without making the player resentfully spend time with Desmond before more history stabby goodness.

    • Triplanetary says:

      My feeling is that they don’t need to get rid of the animus stuff, they just really, really need to move some of the focus off of it. The sci-fi frame story is pretty blah, sure, but it’s serviceable. The problem is that Ubi doesn’t seem to be aware of it, because with every new AC game they’re like, “The players must surely want moar Desmond!”

      A brief intro and outro, and maybe a brief bit in the middle would suffice. Constantly interrupting the reason I actually play the AC games – the historical settings – and shoving this boring guy and Veronica Mars in my face* is monumentally poor decision-making.

      *I would actually be delighted to have Veronica Mars shoved in my face, but only in the most literal sense.

  9. Artista says:

    Assasseas Creed needs to go back to basics.

  10. bigjig says:

    Wish there were more pirate games, but more in the vein of Sid Meier’s Pirates than another bloody Assassin’s Creed game

  11. GallonOfAlan says:

    If Hank was in it I might be interested.

  12. derella says:

    AC3 was the lowpoint in the series, for me. It was the first time since AC1 that I completely ignored everything except for the main story. I don’t know if it was the setting(pretty, but somehow less fun to run around), or Connor. When I was playing it, I had a “lets get this over with” mentality the whole time.

    • woodsey says:

      Exactly the same. I actually found Conner to be quite endearing, for what little they did with him. But the game itself clearly has the attitude of “let’s just get this done”. I trudged through Revelations so that I’d be in-sync with the overall storyline still, and yet AC3 ignores a bunch of stuff it set up in order to end as quickly and dully as possible. And gameplay-wise, they make no use of the fact that its an open-world when you’re on missions, and assassinations are an after-thought.

    • Iskariot says:

      The same here. I fell in love with Haytham, one of the best AC characters ever, but Connor had no personality at all.
      I perceived the game mostly as sloppy and filled with loose design ends.
      I liked infiltrating the forts and the ship sailing was extraordinary, but in general the game felt more like chore.
      The cities in AC3 were incredibly boring. I really missed the beautiful ancient architecture.

  13. Kits says:

    I’m actually a little surprised they haven’t gone the inception route. Desmond just being the ancestor of some future guy in the animus all along, letting them switch to a post-Juno timeframe.

    • ulix says:

      That can (and will?) still happen.

      • Spoon Of Doom says:

        Well, it would explain why we’re still getting Desmond’s ancestor, even though Desmond’s role was supposed to be over after AC3.

        • Supahewok says:

          Won’t happen. If you recall, in AssCreedII Desmond remembered a little bit of Altair, right up until Altair sired his child, the next in line for Desmond’s ancestors. After that, the perspective stayed on the newly conceived embryo, which says that the memories only go up to the point of the next in line being conceived. Although it is possible for Desmond to have had a kid before the first game (which I find kinda doubtful, but who knows), that kid would not have any of the memories of Desmond’s Animus escapades.

          Of course, Ubisoft could just retcon all that. I think it’s a bit more likely that either a) Desmond becomes part of the Animus like that subject 17 guy, b) Desmond is cloned (by either the Assassins or the Templars, they’re both insane enough to do it), or c) Juno uses some magic hokey-pokey to bring him back.

          Honestly, the only thing we can practically guaruntee is that Desmond is going to be brought back somehow. Ubi kept him around for 5 damn games despite him being disliked by everyone. Why should they change to getting an actually likable protagonist now?

          • TsunamiWombat says:

            Except this was retconned in Revelations when Desmond had Altair memories of Altair later in life – POST siring his child.

  14. dawnmane says:

    Assassin’s Creed: Alexander the Great.

  15. TheApologist says:

    Ubi: We’ve got a new Assassin’s Creed game!

    Me: Oh great, do I get to stealth around, sneakily assassinating bad guys to uncover mysteries and conspiracy this time?

    Ubi: No, you’re a pirate! A ship captain, doing naval battles!

    Me: er…

  16. Anguy says:

    How about AC in ancient Greek or Rome?

  17. Cunning Linguist says:

    I have a feeling this one will be getting pirated zealously.

  18. OutrightErrant says:

    I actually rather enjoyed the sailing mechanic. It was decidedly more fun than clumping around in the towns, at least. Actually, that makes me think of something; perhaps it was an intentional design decision to make the towns feel harder to move through than the forests? While you were out in the frontier you could basically always get from point a to point b pretty simply, but in the cities if you weren’t on the ground it just felt awkward, gaps wider than they needed to be, chimneys and second stories in the wrong spots.

  19. guygodbois00 says:

    Ohhh, Mr Meer…

  20. Surlywombat says:

    Take out the the whole Assassins Creed bit, add in:

    Ship management,
    a crew made up of proper characters,
    Crew leveling,
    Ship upgrades,
    Hunting treasure galleons

    Basically I’m thinking the sea and ships of AC3 + Pirates! + Kotor + Silent Hunter = greatest game ever made.

  21. Iskariot says:

    I think the AC3 ship sailing could become a beautiful core mechanic for a game.
    Hiring crew, training them, outfitting them, buying and upgrading and outfitting ships etc. etc. could be very entertaining. If you add to that a few cool detailed seedy coastal cities and you might have a monster hit on your hands.

  22. wodin says:

    I really like Haythem..he was like a James Bond figure..a neat little twist too.

  23. Snids says:

    Pirates, YES! Hopefully around some lovely Caribbean islands. Exploring caves. Having swordfights, killing plantation owners, getting clues from parrots, drinking rum, making sandcastles, digging a hole so the tide floods it, easting sandwiches with a bit of sand in them, ice cream, getting sunburnt, saucy postcards, end of the pier show, bumpercars and falling asleep in the car on the way home.

  24. Adekan says:

    Found AC3 terribly boring myself. Hadn’t played any of the previous games, so prior experience had no effect. Loved the ship missions and ship combat, loathed everything to do with all of the characters and found the non ship combat groan worthy.

    If this one is set entirely on board ships, I could be convinced to give it another go.

  25. TsunamiWombat says:

    The ship parts of AC3 were the best parts, and are making me want to reinstall and continue the game just to play more of them. So i’m down with this.

    Other acceptable choices would be Victorian England, ‘Les Miserables’ France, the Russian Revolution like in that comic, and Fuedal China

  26. grenadeh says:

    So this new protagonist has to be related to Desmond, if he is related to Kenways father. Also is he actually an assassin or a templar, considering Kenway was a templar. I wouldn’t say Kenway had the attitude of someone who split from the norm. I want answers damn you Ubisoft, who is the assassin, John de Lancie?

  27. Deviija says:

    I am disappointed that Assassin’s Creed (for the main platforms/multiplatforms) still is not going to have a woman as protagonist. A pirate game would have been a keen opportunity to be The Red Lady, or Ireland’s ‘Sea Queen of Connaught’ (Gráinne Ní Mháille), even Anne Bonny and Mary Read if the game is dead set on the Carribbean, or Huang P’ei-mei.

    And I’m also rather bummed that we still aren’t going to Egypt yet. All the architecture and culture… ah, I want it.

    I liked Connor. Out of all the AC protagonist dudes, he was the most likable, to me.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      Yeah, it’s a bit weird that there’s not been a lady yet, considering Desmond must have an equal number of male and female ancestors (that’s right isn’t it??). Actually, the Vita game had a lady, right? I guess that counts.

  28. LennyLeonardo says:

    This is tremendous news. The seafaring in AC 3 was really underdeveloped, but amazing fun. You could see the potential to expand it into a game of its own. Yay. ROGUE WIND.

    Bit miffed it won’t be Victorian London and/or Paris, but I’d bet ten shillings that’s in the works.
    Yes I know there’s no such thing as Victorian Paris.

  29. Beelzebud says:

    I Can’t Decide if I’d want to play this game. They shovel these out like a Swinging Man, and it leaves the franchise with Nothing Left Inside. Maybe I just need some Black Coffee or a Six Pack and Three Nights to get Wasted and think about this.

    Perhaps they can Rise Above the fan’s clamoring Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie, before the series has No Values. I’ve Heard It Before though, so I’ll try to keep from Beating My Head Against the Wall, before I Slip It In to a Depression and be put in a Padded Cell.

    Oh by the way, I like Black Flag.

    • LennyLeonardo says:

      The big question is: PC or console? The PC is obviously the superior platform, but don’t you want to make your TV piraty?

  30. SabreWolf says:

    Gotta say I’m skeptical…. Feels like AC3 just came out, and they already have another one? They only had about a year to work on it…. but i’ll keep an open mind.

    That being said, I WANT A STEAMPUNK ASSASSINS CREED!!!

    ———————————————-
    http://www.indieinformer.blogspot.com

  31. Dread Pirate Rogers says:

    You know what I’d love to see an Assassin’s Creed set in? The near future. Not to the point of interstellar travel, but to the point of flying cars and megacities that are entirely self-contained.

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