ASSASSIN'S CREED is one of the gaming industry's top franchises.
For this reason, it's no great surprise that Ubisoft is rushing out another game in the series less than a year after it released Assassin's Creed 3.
However, despite its rapid arrival, from what little we know Ubisoft has still managed to add a few cool new features that should make Assassin's Creed 4 stand out.
Bye bye Connor
One of the most immediate and noticeable changes is the absence of Assassin's Creed 3's native American, revolutionary badass protagonist, Connor.
Where Assassin's Creed 2's protagonist Ezio Auditore spawned an entire mini-franchise, seeing the release of the Brotherhood, Revelations and Embers semi-sequels, it seems Connor's story has already ended.
For its latest entry in the franchise Ubisoft has chosen to go in a different direction, announcing that a new character, Edward Kenway will take the limelight.
All we know so far is that Kenway is a young Brit who used to serve in the Royal Navy before jumping ship, quite literally, to become a swashbuckling pirate.
Rum, sun and fun
Ubisoft has also changed the game's main setting, replacing revolutionary America with the sun and rum soaked 18th century West Indies.
While details regarding the exact locations remain vague, Ubisoft has promised that the vast Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag open world will feature more than 50 navigable locations.
If true then the game will be big, potentially featuring more gameplay and missions than the already epically long Assassin's Creed 3, which took us over 20 hours to complete.
Avast ye' mateys, it's a pirate's life for me
In keeping with all Assassin's Creed titles, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag is set to have cameo appearances from some of history's most infamous and influential figures.
The Canadian games firm has already announced that sea dogs like Blackbeard and Charles Vane will be in the game.
Sony PS4 and next generation fun on the horizon
Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag will initially tip up on the Sony PlayStation 3 and Microsoft Xbox 360 on 1 November.
However, Ubisoft has also confirmed that it will be released on the recently announced Playstation 4 (PS4) and an unnamed "other next generation console" that we're assuming is the rumoured next Xbox.
There presently isn't any word about what changes will be made for the next generation versions.
But, considering that the next generation technology is confirmed to be in the PS4, at the very least we're thinking they'll boast significantly upgraded graphics from the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions.
More multiplayer shenanigans
Finally, as well as its lengthy single player campaign, Ubisoft has promised that Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag will arrive with a number of multiplayer features.
We haven't received any specific details about what multiplayer matchmaking options Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag will have, but we've already seen rumblings about cooperative as well as competitive modes.
While we're not quite sure how cooperative would work on a stealth game where the primary aim is to stay hidden, it could still offer an exciting change from the series' traditional campaign gameplay mechanics.
Check back with The INQUIRER soon for more coverage of Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag. µ
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