Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag has been officially unveiled by Ubisoft, along with several new details about the new game, which will see players take on the role of a pirate in the early eighteenth century.
Black Flag's main character is Edward Kenway, the father of Haytham Kenway and grandfather of Connor Kenway from Assassin's Creed III. A pirate -cum-assassin operating in the Caribbean in 1715, Kenway commands a ship called the Jackdaw, and is joined on board by several key figures from pirate history including Charles Vane, "Calico" Jack Rackham, Anne Bonny and the notorious Blackbeard.
Ubisoft has said that it wants to dissect the Hollywood-ised, sensational image of pirating's golden age, and explore the flawed, human aspect of these characters more closely.
Black Flag will also let players explore the Caribbean of the eighteenth century, with 50 separate locations set to feature in the game. These include cities like Havana and Kingston, as well as jungles, abandoned forts and even underwater sections. Assassin's Creed IV will do away with the teleporting system that featured in previous Assassin's Creed games, allowing players to seamlessly transition from place to place, boats to land.
Similar to Grand Theft Auto IV, you will be able to travel the entire world of Black Flag with only minimal load times, meaning you board your ship in Kingston, sail the entire length of the Caribbean Sea and disembark in Havana without any stoppages.
The naval combat from Assassin's Creed III will naturally return as a large part of Black Flag and has been tweaked and optimised to suit the pirate era. Your ship will be fully customisable, and you will be able to use a spyglass to scout other ships on the ocean, before boarding them with your crew and plundering them for loot.
So far, during the on-land sections, Black Flag looks similar to previous Assassin's Creed games, and will see you sneaking across rooftops to reach your assassination targets. However, Ubisoft has said that Edward Kenway's fighting style will differ from characters in previous games and focus more on dirty tactics and improvised weapons.
The present day setting will also return from previous Creed games, though will not feature Desmond Miles. Instead, Ubisoft said, players will play as "themselves" investigating the history of Edward Kenway from the series' iconic Abstergo Labs. No other details than that are available right now.
Black Flag's multiplayer is also shrouded in mystery for the moment, though Ubisoft has promised it will feature new maps, characters and game modes.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is set to launch in the autumn of 2013, and will be available on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U and the PlayStation 4, which was recently announced by Sony and will also launch later this year.