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Why ACIV: Black Flag Intrigues Me

ACIV

To preface this article, it is completely coincidental that DefaultPrime’s own Kyree Leary just wrote a great piece on how he’s not excited about Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and I am now close on his heels with an article how I am excited by the newly announced title. Kyree made some great points which I share (arguably, the most notable of which is the pet eagle he’s pushing so hard for), but I saw some things within the newly released trailer that intrigue me about ACIV.

For anyone who has talked to me about the Assassin’s Creed franchise, they know it’s one of my favorites of all time. However, I think it’s fairly obvious that the franchise has been going downhill lately. I have played through every title in its entirety and enjoyed them (to some degree), but ACIII was by far the weakest iteration of the franchise for me and I had to force myself at times to push through to the end of the game. The game progressed too slowly and there were some frustrating bugs; however, the game did hold gems of brilliance. The fighting system was still entertaining and the new addition of naval warfare was fantastic. Obviously, Ubisoft is leaning on the naval warfare angle with Black Flag because they know the fans enjoyed that. What I’m hoping for is that the majority and focus of this upcoming title is still on-foot based. Not necessary on land, but on-foot based. What I mean by that is I think it would be very cool if, like was depicted in the trailer, you attack another ship while at sea, have to board that ship, and then explore it on foot. Or use the boat to blast at towns on shore, then run ashore and finish the job on foot. Naval warfare can be an integral part of the gameplay, but the core fighting mechanics have to remain strong.

What has me most interested in this new AC title is the personality of Edward Kenway, the new assassin. Without spoiling anything, anyone who played Assassin’s Creed III knows Edward is linked to people in that last title somehow. It’s not necessarily that this new assassin is linked to past ones, but it’s his apparently merciless personality that has me excited. The Assassin’s Creed franchise has never had an antihero as the main character. The trailer indicates that Edward is the worst of the worst in terms of pirates. Even with that whole story that’s told, the telling moment for me within the trailer is when Edward walks up behind a man with a woman, kills the man without saying a word, and puts his arm around the woman and keeps walking. This is a side of an assassin that has never been encouraged before: a ruthless man who feels no shame toward killing anyone and taking what he wants: a man who doesn’t care for the common people, but is just out for himself. I think that could be a very fun character to play. Everyone becomes an enemy, there are no rules surrounding any interaction.

Edward seems like he could be the center of mayhem within this new title and that seems intriguing to me. He seems like someone who does not necessarily explicitly care about stopping the Templars. Now, for the people thinking “without fighting Templars, how does an assassin fit into the overall story?” Within a pirate themed game there many ways Ubisoft could manage this feat. Perhaps Edward is going after a rare treasure within an ocean or seatown that the Templars just happen to be going after as well. This way, the assassin is killing the Templars and thwarting their evil plans without explicitly aiming to, or caring about their life long objectives. There are many clever ways the story could be woven that could work well.

After Assassin’s Creed III, I was a little let down with the AC franchise, however, this Black Flag trailer has put some pep-in-step (so to speak). Kyree made a good point in his article that this is just a trailer, which goal is to make a game look fantastic. But I will remain optimistic about this game until something proves me wrong… hopefully nothing does.

Lucas has evolved in his video game preferences. With a foundation in predominantly sports game, action adventure games are now his favorite to play. He is a competitive swimmer and likes to play volleyball, basketball, and golf.
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