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Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag Is Really the Next Sequel in the Series

Ubisoft confirms what leaked marketing materials had suggested: Assassin's Creed is going full pirate.

Get ready for a million pirate-pun-heavy headlines spread out over the next several months of previews.
Get ready for a million pirate-pun-heavy headlines spread out over the next several months of previews.

After leaked marketing materials from earlier this week offered up a glimpse of a potential future sequel in the Assassin's Creed franchise--one that featured a sea-faring pirate as its protagonist, no less--all we could do was wait until Ubisoft got around to confirming or denying the existence of such a game. We did not have to wait long.

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag has been officially confirmed by Ubisoft as of today. Details on the game were not provided, but the new box art (which you can see embedded here in the story) certainly confirms both the title and the piratey aesthetic. The game is currently scheduled to release later this year for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, PC, and Wii U. Probably other platforms too, if we're being honest, but as of now, those four platforms are all that's been announced.

Going full on pirate makes a fair amount of sense, considering it lets the development team keep a lot of the assets and gameplay concepts found in Assassin's Creed III--especially those pertaining to nautical combat. Still, I'm not exactly sold on that subtitle. Apart from the obvious punk rock connotations, the term "black flag" is generally more associated with the anarchist movement, going all the way back to the late 1800s. The traditional black with skull-and-crossbones pirate flag is typically referred to as a Jolly Roger, though that wouldn't necessarily make for as "dark" sounding a subtitle. Of course, the black flag could be in reference to the naval combat term, also known as a "false flag," wherein ships would fly false flags to lure in enemy ships. Or maybe it's a symbol of parley, a nautical tradition wherein ships would fly a black flag to signal to would-be attackers that they wish to discuss or confer terms.

This is why you should never let me use Wikipedia before my coffee's kicked in. We'll have more on Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag soon. Probably.

Alex Navarro on Google+
249 CommentsRefresh
Avatar image for darth_mercer
Posted By Darth_Mercer


Avatar image for mezmero
Posted By Mezmero

Assassins fight for freedom but they are still bound to their creed. Pirates are free people of the sea and I fail to see why one would fight for anything but their own desires. I could imagine some story set in the Carribean or something. I'm willing to play it but the last 2 games left a bad taste in my mouth.

Avatar image for deathpooky
Posted By Deathpooky

On the one hand, the ship combat in AC3 was pretty great, the only positive addition they really made. On the other hand, what the hell? Where the fuck is this series going?

Avatar image for draxyle
Posted By Draxyle

This'll be the first AC I don't jump all over. I've really hit my saturation point, and you can definitely see how the development of these games is getting more and more strained as they have to keep up with these ridiculous schedules.

And 60 minutes exclusive to the PS3? That really feels like wasted development time of an already strenuous development.

Avatar image for supermonkey122
Posted By supermonkey122

I still wish they went with a feudal japan setting.

Avatar image for shaanyboi
Posted By Shaanyboi


Okay, I'm really done with this, Ubisoft. Seriously, stop.

Avatar image for bbqbram
Edited By BBQBram

Called it when III released. Still love the idea, as long as the protagonist is actually cool and not a bland douche.

Avatar image for jazz_lafayette
Posted By Jazz_Lafayette
@synekal said:

Are the ship battles from the third game really what people wanted in an Assassin's Creed game?

Why don't they just make the Assassin's Creed ninja/samurai game that everyone's been asking for? Before the series completely implodes and becomes a caricature of itself.

I can only assume market research indicated consumers would rather play a scalawag pirate than an intense Japanese character. Similarly to how Connor was compared unfavorably to Ezio.

Avatar image for aaron_g
Posted By Aaron_G

I really hope that they can make this game better than AC: III, I was very disappointed in the combat in that game. I did like the naval stuff, and if that is the direction they are going in, I may be okay with that.

Avatar image for saddlebrown
Edited By saddlebrown

Given the stuff that's going on in 2012 in the AC universe, the mere fact that there are still dudes plugging into the Animus is ridiculous. They should not have time to plug into the Animus for another 20-hour hunt for another artifact placed by the very same gods who are now attacking them. Also, Desmond is dead and his dad refused to get in the Animus in III. Who is even plugging into Edward Kenway?

It makes no sense.

Avatar image for 1momosauky
Edited By 1momosauky
Avatar image for luciddreams117
Posted By LucidDreams117

No thank you, Ubisoft. I love the Assassins Creed series. I really do. But III was a disappoint for me and as I've read, several others. This will be the first game (console versions) I won't buy day one. I'll play the wait and see card. It's just not doing it for me anymore. Take a break. You're at risk of running this thing into the ground. Yes, I can accept that the way video games are now after Call of Duty's popularity and skyrocket sales year after year, that it's good business to put out yearly iterations so interest doesn't die but eventually it will and the players who will remain after everyone else has moved on, is your fans. And right now you're slowly pissing them off. At the very least you could have made this a continuation of the story. Instead it's a prequel. And not in the good way a prequel in this universe could have been.

My theory is, and maybe it's why they have no problem ruining this franchise, Wqtch_Dogs is to Assassins Creed as Assassins Creed was to Prince of Persia.

Avatar image for tomorrowman
Posted By Tomorrowman

Thank you for all the monkey island comments.

Avatar image for immortalsaiyan
Edited By ImmortalSaiyan

For as bad as AC3 was they were on to something with the navel combat. This direction is about the only thing that could of keep me interested in the sequel. Well payed Ubisoft, well played.

Avatar image for joshthebear
Posted By joshthebear

No thanks, I'm good.

Avatar image for neokef
Posted By NeoKef

@rebgav said:

Can I play as Henry Rollins? No? Fuck this noise.

Avatar image for dougquaid
Edited By DougQuaid

Will all of those pistols actually work or will they become bugged and unequip as soon as you leave the menus?

Avatar image for klager
Posted By Klager

@gregoryc: Already? That stuff is incorporated in the development of most triple A, cross platform releases at this point.

Avatar image for humanity
Posted By Humanity

I'm amazed they're still clutching to that original outfit concept that made perfect sense in AC1 but has since started looking more ridiculous and out of place with each new title

Avatar image for angrighandi
Posted By AngriGhandi

The annualization of Assassin's Creed is the reason I rent video games.

"Still exactly the same? Great! Glad I didn't spend 60 dollars to find that out."

Avatar image for eternitymemory
Edited By eternitymemory

@whatisdelicious said:

Given the stuff that's going on in 2012 in the AC universe, the mere fact that there are still dudes plugging into the Animus is ridiculous. They should not have time to plug into the Animus for another 20-hour hunt for another artifact placed by the very same gods who are now attacking them. Also, Desmond is dead and his dad refused to get in the Animus in III. Who is even plugging into Edward Kenway?

It makes no sense.

Desmond's dad doesn't want to go into the Animus? Don't remember that bit, but if that's the case then my only logical explanation for how playing as another Kenway is even possible just flew out the window and suddenly this game just got a whole lot sillier. To bad they can't just drop the whole modern Assassin framing device at this point because it's clearly not working out for these games.

...Now that I think about it, an interactive conversation between Desmond and his dad mentions his mom. I'm assuming Desmond's whole family are Assassins so if it isn't Desmond's dad I guess it could be her? But introducing her so late in the franchise would be really stupidly sudden (though I've been wanting a main game female assassin for awhile now so I'd take a poorly justified modern one at this point) so I think it has to be Desmond's dad doing this despite whatever issues he has with being inside the Animus.

On a completely unrelated note a random comment I saw on Tumblr compared this guy's look to Snow Villers and ugh. Snow's entire design in both XIII and the sequel just screamed "huge tool" to me and I wish I could unsee that comment because the longish blond hair and stubble does make them look alike. :(

Avatar image for aceofspudz
Posted By aceofspudz

@i_smell said:
@dark_lord_spam said:

Will Assassin's Creed's Newest Lead be Able to Find His Sea Legs, or Will Fans Blow the Man Down?

by Alex Navarro

Is the latest entry in the series a hidden treasure, or should you walk the plank?

by probably GameTrailers, when this comes out.

It's one thing to be lame, but I can't help but feel a grudging respect for GT's utter commitment to being lame. It's probably in their style guide.

Avatar image for hollitz
Posted By hollitz

Joystiq-headline-announcing-the-release-date prediction:

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag sets sail on 11/26.

Avatar image for milkman
Posted By Milkman

The game industry philosophy: Just keep making the same shit over and over until we have to fire everybody.

Avatar image for pop
Posted By Pop

I got no interest, I'm just curious to see who you control outside the animus. I'm guessing Desmond's dad.

Avatar image for cybexx
Posted By Cybexx

Surprising that they are actually calling this Assassin's Creed IV. I guess that they consider a new character enough to warrant a new sequel since the time period is not all that far off from AC3.

I was at a AC3 development talk where they mentioned that Ubisoft Shanghai's work on the Naval Combat sequences was far beyond the quality they were expecting them to deliver and the naval segments were designed in a way that specifically allowed them to cut them out if need be.

Avatar image for zornack
Posted By Zornack

I didn't much like AC3 and thought the ship combat was pretty meh, so...

Avatar image for metric_outlaw
Edited By Metric_Outlaw

Wow, a new Assassin's Creed already? I still haven't gotten the bad taste of 3 out of my mouth yet.

Avatar image for triumvir
Edited By Triumvir

Good. The naval combat stuff was one of the few good parts of AC III. I still won't buy it after that turd, though.

Avatar image for rentfn
Posted By rentfn

@rebgav said:

Can I play as Henry Rollins? No? Fuck this noise.

Avatar image for fistoh
Posted By Fistoh

I'm hoping that you play as Greg Ginn, who was actually an assassin, and the LAPD are the templars.

Avatar image for phoenix87
Posted By Phoenix87

Black Flag eh?

Needs more Henry Rollins

Avatar image for megamagick
Posted By MegaMagick

Assassin's Creed IV: We Ran Out Of Ideas But You'll Buy This Anyway Because We Programmed You To.

Avatar image for sgtsphynx
Posted By SgtSphynx

@rebgav said:

Can I play as Henry Rollins? No? Fuck this noise.

Avatar image for death_burnout
Posted By Death_Burnout

Everything about the title is bad, but hey, it is a smart way to keep all that 'boat tech' which was arguably the better part of III. I wouldn't be willing to part ways with that so soon.

Avatar image for radioactivez0r
Posted By radioactivez0r

For a moment I was worried we might have to go without a new AC game for over 12 months. Thanks, Ubi, for preventing a panic attack.

Avatar image for ripelivejam
Posted By ripelivejam


Sorry, but there's profit to be had.

here's hoping watch_dogs tanks commercially so they won't be forced to drag it needlessly out too.

i'm not well versed in the series but i'm assuming fans would've been happy if the series ended with brotherhood or maybe revelations?

Avatar image for clonedzero
Posted By Clonedzero

i'll play it if they get rid of the blinding white loading/transition screens every god damn two seconds they have in every AC game.

seriously who thought that was a good idea?

Avatar image for zzzellyn
Posted By zzzellyn

Assassin's Creed: Wind Waker

Now pay Leonardo diTingle 100,000 dubloons to reveal the location of the eight fragments of the Apple.

Avatar image for gaspower
Posted By GaspoweR


Avatar image for zenmastah
Edited By zenmastah

After the utter garbage that is AC3, im giving up this series.

Godspeed to anyone still playing these..

Avatar image for joey_ravn
Edited By JoeyRavn

After the disappointment that was AC3, I can say I'm back on board with this game.

Get it? Back on board. Like in a ship. Boarding a ship. Like pirates do.

Avatar image for little_socrates
Posted By Little_Socrates

Couldn't motivate myself to finish AC3 or Revelations. So, unless there's a marked change in tone (aka if this game is basically Monkey Island with dude-stabbing) I will be skipping this one as well.

Avatar image for jimbo
Posted By Jimbo

More than happy with this AC mechanic being spun out into a full on Piratey game, but they should probably be treating it as a spin-off (or seperate franchise entirely) while simultaneously getting AC back to being AC.

The naval stuff in AC3 was good and has stacks of potential, but AC3 as a whole suffered pretty badly from not knowing what it wanted to be. It ended up being a bit of everything which amounted to nothing.

Avatar image for klinkcow
Edited By klinkcow

I'm going to have to disagree...Black Flag is possibly the ultimate title for a video game, or the universe...



Avatar image for efesell
Edited By Efesell

I really don't care what they call it I am so down for Assassin Creed pirates.

Avatar image for steelerzfan101
Posted By steelerzfan101

Interesting. Very interesting. I did not see them going in this direction at all. But hey, Pirates are cool right?

Avatar image for klei
Posted By Klei

@paulunga said:

HOLY FUCK, 60 MINUTES OF EXCLUSIVE GAMEPLAY? I love me some gameplay, getting more gameplay sure sold me on that version!

It doesn't sell me on it at all. It's probably going to barely get 30 frames per second, have uglier graphics and intense load times. I'm getting it on PC, where it'll run at 60 frames per second, it'll look great and load quickly. Keep that extra gameplay hour, mate.

Avatar image for officegamer
Posted By OfficeGamer


Avatar image for dom_catz
Posted By dOm_CaTz

weird. I wonder why they felt the need to put the number on this even though in the past with other side stories the number was left off. still wondering how the hell this will tie in to everything considering how the last one went.