Ubisoft released another live action trailer for Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag this week, about six months since the first trailer the game received. So I thought it would be an opportune time to take a look at the trails for the game so far.
No, this trailer doesn’t actually contain 4000 minutes of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag footage. That would comprise the entire game, which Ubisoft has already handily hacked up into several thousand other trailers. But still, ten minutes is a pretty healthy helping even by Ubisoft trailer-every-14-seconds-to-the-point-where-I-have-yet-to-write-a-sentence-that-doesn’t-contain-the-word-trailer standards. And you know what? It actually looks kind of great. I still worry that all this icing only serves to hide a fundamentally stale cake, but time will tell. For now, HARPOONS.
Don’t ever let it be said I am not a lover of juvenile humour. To allow its actual name to take the stage for a moment, time for another Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag trailer. I’ve just gone and counted and this is the twentieth one that has been made available, not counting extra versions, additional languages or live streamed events. I have to pray that that is some sort of record, because any more would surely cause deadly games-burnout. There’s some merit in this latest effort though – Game Director Ashraf Ismail narrates the attack of main character Pirate McPirateson on an opposing fort. Despite my snark, it’s actually pretty cool. Sail on to check it out.
Would you like to see 14 minutes of Assassin’s Creed 4 footage? Well tough, because you have to. It’s PS4 footage, which means there’s a good chance it’ll match PC on release. Should it actually get released at the same time, of course. Oddly enough, Ubisoft hasn’t found time to get back to us regarding that.
Actually, it’s only four mins long. Boom boom. There have been so many posts about Black Flag, the fancy dress party of Assassin’s Creed games, that I nearly didn’t post this trailer. You know the deal. It is shippy, watery, and anything that starts with a sea shanty is now legally obliged to have a slow and portentous refrain at the end. But I want to reclaim the RPS piracy tag, and my previous attempt at that didn’t end very well. There’s no chance that Black Flag will sink on the PC, so here we all are. And I’m curious about Black Flag, even if my enthusiasm for Assy Creedy has waned thanks to 3’s ploddery.
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This is reporter Nathan Grayson, on the scene for the SHOCKING NEWS TIMES. You might be disturbed and even somewhat aroused to hear that Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag has boats by the boatload, but I can exclusively confirm it via a non-exclusive video. In it, you’ll witness scandalous scalawag Edward Kenway steering a ship, upgrading said ship, shooting other ships, leaping between ships, and even disembarking once or twice because he doesn’t play by your dumb rules. Go on, watch. Be shocked and infuriated, because that is the purpose of news.
Ubisoft’s been kinda sorta a little better about treating PC gamers like humans (or at least wallets with people attached) lately – what with the partial decapitation of its draconian DRM and shoring up of arbitrarily spaced out release dates – but some things never change. Mystifyingly, the Assassin’s Creed series has continued to bound right over PC on day one, preferring instead to fall off a roof and use our spines as cushions weeks later. For Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, that trend will not be changing – nor will the one where Ubisoft neglects to explain precisely why it keeps doing this in the first place.
Ah, that joke is so old now. Anyway: Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag is all piratey! That means boats and leaping about on tropical islands, which you can see happening the first gameplay footage from E3, below. I’m sure I’d be at least 70% more upbeat about this if I wasn’t having to suppress my general cynicism towards this series of games.
I say “conspicuously” because the latest Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag trailer contains all other pirate things. Boats, poofy beards, vast seas, tropical settings, gruff voices chattering, cannons, SHAAAAAAAAAAAARK, dead men floating, black flags, a different SHAAAAAAAAARK, and magnificent hats. No sea shanties, though. That is the crying-est of shames. Oh, hm. No shoulder parrots either. And hey, where are all the eyepatches and peg legs? Jeez, this doesn’t look like a realistic pirate game at all. So much for historical accuracy, game series about cyber memory men who survive physics-defying leaps into hay bales and murder pretty much everyone who died between the years 1189 and right now. What a sham.
Below you will find the first in-game footage of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. I haven’t watched it yet because it’s being released onto the internet at 5pm and the downloadable copy I have is settling onto my hard drive so slowly that it won’t be ready for viewing until 4:59. I’ll add some thoughts below the line after I’ve watched it but, for now, here are three things that I hope to see:
1) A shark attack.
2) A shark running up the side of a building.
3) An assassin who has replaced his hidden blades with sharks that pop out of his sleeves.
I reckon that last one is a certainty. Let’s find out!
RPS Feature Captain Hypebeard
When Man In Suit came on stage and said that Ubisoft were the best possible company to tackle piracy, I roared with laughter. But the other two billion journalists sitting in the ornate hall stayed deadly quiet. I didn’t understand. Then six black flags (six black plastic posters) were dramatically unravelled over the balconies to either side of us and Man In Suit announced the making of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. ‘Ohh,’ I said loudly to my neighbour. ‘He means the THEME of piracy.’ I nodded knowledgably and took some notes for you.
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Assassin’s Creed IV has pirates, a subtitle, a release date and a trailer. The pirates caught me unawares when the internet accidentally started yo-ho-hoing about them last week and the subtitle was unexpected too, but the release date of October 29th should surprise nobody. The adventures of Desmond and his ancestral chums arrive every autumn as predictably as a new FIFA. As for the trailer, it is below and it made me extremely happy for the minute or so that I managed to pretend it was a game about a pirate who doesn’t also happen to be part of a conspiratorial, century-spanning clandestine organisation.