Ubisoft lifted the curtain on the next entry in its wildly popular “Assassin’s Creed” series Thursday, officially announcing “Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.” Confirming a series of rumors and leaked promotional art that had emerged over the course of the week, Ubisoft is expected to announce more details about the game Monday at 9 a.m. PST.
In the meantime, Ubisoft sent out official art for the game, dashing any doubts that the game would feature pirates prominently. Featuring an assassin clad in the familiar white hood, wielding a cutlass and pistol aboard a boat, the art is strong evidence that Connor, the main character in “Assassin’s Creed III,” will be dropped.
Ubisoft has said that the next game in the series (despite the IV in the title, it’s the sixth in the console series and 14th overall) would feature a new lead character and time period.
Following the game’s release in October 2012, not all fans of the series were fans of Connor. And despite lofty sales figures, an American Revolutionary War setting and widespread anticipation, “Assassin’s Creed III” fell flat in some ways for critics.
The Los Angeles Times’ Todd Martens noted in his review, among other things, that although “one can wander colonial America, missions are largely of the Point-A-to-Point-B variety. There’s more map traversing than problem solving, and when one needs to find a key or fix a boat, the game points the way and everything is solved with the simple press of a button.” Others panned the game’s numerous glitches and sudden difficulty spikes, several of which were addressed in post-release patches.
The decision to launch a new numbered entry in the series marks a departure for Ubisoft, which followed “Assassin’s Creed II” with two more annual titles featuring main character Ezio Auditore da Firenze.
It is not yet known whether “Black Flag” will be out before the end of the year or whether it will make the leap to the next-generation PlayStation 4 and Microsoft’s still-secret Xbox 360 successor.
– Morgan Little