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After weeks of speculation, codenames, and leaked maps, Ubisoft has officially announced the next installment in the Assassin's Creed franchise, titled Black Flag.
According to a report from The Examiner, Black Flag will star Edward Kenway, grandfather of Assassin's Creed 3's protagonist Connor. Kenway is said to be a privateer, asssassin and occasional pirate. According to a leaked map, the game will take place around 1715 in the Caribbean islands. Ubisoft did not provide further info on the game, however more concrete details are going to arrive sometime next week, according to various game journalists. Also, it's interesting to note that these same journalists have seen the game and had been asked to keep quiet about it until today. So look for further details on Black Flag next week.
The best part of Assassin's Creed 3 was commanding a ship and sailing the open seas. Seeing as Black Flag focuses on a pirate assassin, it'd be great to see Ubisoft develop the sailing and naval warfare of the previous game and turn it into a full-fledged pirate game. It would be a great change of pace from the previous games and Ubisoft did prove that they could make naval warfare exciting. That being said, I wouldn't want to spend the entire game on the open seas. That being said, it's crucial that Ubisoft crafts a great story, one focusing on pirates of the day, pillaging all they saw fit. Assassin's Creed 3's Captain Kidd side missions were a blast, so to se something like that blossom into a full game would be great.
Aside from the exciting pirate/sailing combo of Black Flag, it'll be very interesting to see where Ubisoft wants to take the present day story of Desmond. Assassin's Creed 3 ended fairly definitively, so perhaps Ubisoft will switch to another character in the present who is also a descendant of an Assassin. Or, in a twist, they could abandon the present altogether, keeping the focus entirely on Kenway and his story. Black Flag could end up being a completely standalone game, leaving out the present, end-of-the-world storyline out, which would be fresh and new.
Whatever way Ubisoft decides to tell their next tale, I'm very excited to take a ship through the Caribbean islands and experiencing what it's like to be a pirate assassin. Keep it locked here for more info on Assassin's Creed: Black Flag when we find out more information next week. Assassin's Creed: Black Flag is schedulded for a fall release on all major consoles and could also find its way onto next-gen systems.