Ass Creed IV Vid Conspicuously Lacks Sea Shanties

Yar! Yo-ho! Beard!

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.

So yes, there are pirates. They’re not entirely stereotypical, but they still do many standard pirate things – just with gratuitous slow-mo and stylish blood splatters.

Most of it looks like pretty standard Assassin’s Creed fare, but Brendan’s write-up of the reveal did carry a few appetizing morsels of intrigue. Mainly, the prospect of an open ocean has me chomping lemons in a scurvy delirium of delight. Expanded, more prominent ship-to-ship combat is also rather enticing, but I’m not sure how much stalky-listeny-collecty-stabby tedium I can stomach after so many other entire games of it.

I suppose I’ll find out this fall, as will everyone else on Earth. Maybe even some real pirates. “Yeah, this is decent,” they’ll say while terrorizing a Somalian coast with illegally acquired guns and grenades, “but where are all the shanties? And shit, I haven’t even seen a single shoulder parrot yet. What a sham.”


  1. Deeon says:

    Who cares, they are turning this in to CoD franchise, so here’s one big meh

    • GallonOfAlan says:

      I see your meh, and raise you a pfft.

    • lordcooper says:

      I see no machineguns.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      To be honest, the ship battles were the best part of AC3. After I did them all, I kinda stopped playing.
      This looks like it’s all about the sea battles, so I’ll probably get it. Buying one once a year though,…. no.

    • Liudeius says:

      I mostly agree, I haven’t played AssCreed since 2 because it’s always the same, but the heavy pirates focus might result in some significant changes.

  2. Durin says:

    Unimaginative, unoriginal, dull and easy…
    I only played the first, which got kudo’s for trying, and the second, which was allready all of the above, so offcourse I dont know how this one will turn out. But I have the sneaking suspicion that this will be rather the same, it being number four in a series of what; seven?.

    Id rather stab myself in the throat than play another bout (perhaps boat?) of this.

    And as the button says…Opinion Away!!

  3. Premium User Badge

    Earl-Grey says:

    What a sham.

  4. GoliathBro says:

    The first one was a flawed, but seriously fresh breath of air. The second improved upon it in every way, and was awesome. The rest I really don’t care for, and I havent been able to play past a few hours into revelations.

    • TT says:

      Turning an Assassin in to a Pirate (and a Captain) wont be easy. From the trailer they seem to be failing at both.
      Still hope they manage to pull a decent Pirate themed game, as so often its not.
      This one seemed to be on the good path link to but was canned.

      PS: Not intended as a reply..sry for the confusion

  5. Eddard_Stark says:

    AC going full boring derp. What a surprise. Not that it was all that awesome before, although the second one sans the addons was quite decent. The only trully great thing that emerged from these games was AC’s II soundtrack by Jesper Kyd. I’ll better just listen to that music and not waste my time on this shallow gaming fast food.

  6. Gap Gen says:

    I’m hoping for lots of After-Action Reports on this one.

  7. Thirith says:

    I know it’s easy to lay into the Assassin’s Creed series, but I think that at least some of the criticism is undeserved. For one thing, the games aren’t lazy cash cows and they’re not unambitious – they’re chockful with stuff, from the detailed cities to the historical references, and they’ve got gameplay elements coming out of their ears.

    The main problem is that they’ve become bloated and unfocused to an almost risible extent. While there’s a lot to do, little of it is fun or interesting. Many of the gameplay elements added post AC 2 don’t tie in well with the overall game, and for every naval warfare there’s a misguided Den Defense or a dreary trading mini-game.

    What IMO these games need more than anything else is a project lead who will look at all the ideas, test them, throw out the ones that aren’t fun and develop the ones that are. More isn’t always better, and in the case of this franchise it’s usually worse. Seriously, Ubisoft: focus, focus, focus!

    • Post-Internet Syndrome says:

      Yes. Yes.

    • Widthwood says:

      I’d be happy if they just remove HOLD-BUTTON-TO-BE-AWESOME movement mechanic. Or add an option to disable it.
      While fun in the beginning, after a while it feels a bit like driving a train, where the only level of freedom is choosing which track to take. All the original vertical level design is wasted and leveled to an equivalent of several flat surfaces.

      Sure, they probably made it in part because of gamepad’s limited capabilites in vertical navigation and lack of fast precise change of direction, but even in other console titles like Prince of Persia games movement feels better and better as you become more proficient, here it always becomes more tedious.

  8. ninnisinni says:

    Is it just me, or does the main character of this look a whole lot like Heath Ledger..?

    • Brigand says:

      Yep, he really does.

    • Gap Gen says:

      In the first picture, the guy on the left is like “Who taught you to dress like a pirate? Some kids at the skate park?”

    • Ansob says:

      Is it just me, or does he sound like Richard Madden?!

  9. amcathlan says:

    Meh. Was hoping for the first AC main character with some facial hair growth and maybe a bit of gruff. Guess we’ll be playing another hoodie wearing teenage-time-traveler.

    • Drayk says:

      Agreed. Gives this wanabee pirate a Beard !
      Is guybrush Threepwood the new assassin or what ?

  10. Astalnar says:

    So, it is a Sea Dogs with a slightly better combat system?

  11. Contrafibularity says:

    Much like Spring, Fall has been cancelled this year. Perhaps next year, eh?

  12. Savage Henry says:

    ‘Poofy beards’.


    • I am Grand says:

      I did a double take at “poofy beards” too, but then I realised the writer is American and they probably don’t have that meaning over there :D Still, it was a shock :D

      • Savage Henry says:

        True, it’s easy to forget that young Mr Grayson is an American; but it’s a poor choice of phrase nonetheless. Give that man a smack on the fanny!

    • Gap Gen says:

      How about his gay abandon?

  13. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    What I don’t understand about this game’s marketing is why they are claiming that the game will be historically accurate in any way. Is that something people complained about in previous AssCreeds?

    “Boy, I sure love murdering dozens of people, but the game would be even better if it showed how life was really like during that time!”

  14. aamosnyc says:

    Why aren’t we calling this “AssFlag” yet?

  15. Lev Astov says:

    And here I thought I was about to congratulate Ubisoft for including sharks in a trailer without unnecessary shark violence, then the final flash ruined everything.

  16. strangeloup says:

    Disappointed by the lack of Greg Ginn and Henry Rollins.

    Also, I reinstalled AssCree3 recently, and fairly quickly remembered why I’d stopped playing and uninstalled in the first place. As Thirith puts it succinctly, “While there‚Äôs a lot to do, little of it is fun or interesting.” On top of that, a substantial number of little bits of bad design, in themselves each fairly inoffensive, add up to make the whole thing more frustrating than enjoyable. I had the same problem that Thirith cites with Far Cry 3, and I’m wondering if this is some kind of design trend at Ubisoft.

    I was trying to remember if there’d been any non-rubbish pirate themed games any time recently, and I found this article, and unless you count the Monkey Island remakes, the best we’ve got post-2000 are Tropico 2 and the 2004 remake of Sid Meier’s Pirates. Of course, trying to search for “pirate games” is a bit fruitless…

  17. jonahcutter says:

    They sure do love that proto-hoodie look.

    He’s a pirate for god’s sake. Let him wear a pirate hat.

  18. ExplosiveCoot says:

    Ugh, the main character’s accent is nails down a chalkboard uncomfortable to me. Vowel sounds floating all over the place.

  19. ShowMeTheMonkey says:

    I always feel that these games are essentially Zelda.

  20. Serenegoose says:

    I love how in this and the reveal trailer, the only women present whatsoever are there as arm decorations for the men – which is really the only way they could have made it less inclusive than writing us out of their version of history altogether. Who’s the protagonist? Oh, is it a white, mid-thirties, brown-haired male? Bold movie ubisoft, those guys never get their own stories.

    Honestly guys, you’ve had aliens, genetic memory machines, battle tanks made by da vinci, and a fist fight with the pope, but letting ladies in on the fun’s a step too far? I expect better than this. Do try harder.

    • brgillespie says:

      Stop whining.

      Anne Bonny is confirmed to be present in the game. There were only a handful of women active in piracy during the 1700s.

      • Gap Gen says:

        Everyone knows genetic memory time travel thing watsit only works on the Y chromosome.

      • Serenegoose says:

        Make me.

        It’s a fantasy game. There’s aliens in it. At this point, falling back on historical accuracy is a pretty flimsy defense! UH, IT’S HISTORY! THAT’S WHY WE CAN’T HAVE GIRLS IN IT. FOR HISTORICAL ACCURACY.

        Also, if demanding higher standards in my videogames – if pointing out when an entire games promotional material renders 50% of the population as nothing more than arm decoration is whining – and especially -especially- if it pisses off the likes of you, then I won’t stop. Because irritating you makes me giddy.

        Hearing that Anne Bonny in it makes me slightly happier. It’d be nice if they actually mentioned her though.

        • brgillespie says:

          I understand your frustration. It’s like when I found out that Tomb Raider’s protagonist was an attractive, shapely, athletic, British white female. I mean, we’ve had multiple games with this woman as the lead character! I immediately let Square Enix know that it was high-time that Tomb Raider’s protagonist was an intrepid Hawaiian native. It’s high time [random underrepresented stereotype] had a game of their own.

          In any case, I’ll contact Ubisoft and let them know that their AssCreed IV promotional material needs less focus on the cool 18th century pirate stuff you can do in the game and more 21st century political correctness.

          • Serenegoose says:

            The really sad thing is, you’re saying that as a joke. Do you really think games wouldn’t be better if we included other cultures and peoples into our stories? Do you really think every story worth telling can be told as effectively if you replace the protagonist with a white, male, thirty-something?

            Are you really content to wallow in juvenile, by the numbers prolefeed, designed by committee? That’s what you want?

            Well, alright.

          • brgillespie says:

            You’re missing my point.

            Games do have other cultures and peoples. However, not all games must include the melting pot of humanity to appease those that object to *this* gender not being represented, or *that* culture being stereotyped.

            If the protagonist of AssCreed IV *was* female, I wouldn’t be here in the comments complaining that the protagonist wasn’t the usual “white, brown-haired, 30s male”. I’d accept it as the design team’s decision, and either buy the product, or not, depending on if I liked the idea or not. I wouldn’t attempt to force modern concepts of gender inequality onto the product, or object that the Assassin character should be male.

            I certainly didn’t boycott Tomb Raider because it wasn’t a dude running around the island, or not play The Walking Dead because the lead character was a black convict.