Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is an upcoming historical action-adventure open world video game being developed by Ubisoft Montreal and published by Ubisoft. It is the sixth major installment in the Assassin's Creed series, a sequel to 2012's Assassin's Creed III modern story and a prequel to its historical storyline. It is scheduled for an October 29, 2013 release in North America.
The game will feature three main cities; Havana, Kingston, and Nassau, which reside under Spanish, British and pirate influence, respectively. The game will also feature 50 other 'unique' locations to explore, with a 60/40 balance between land and naval exploration. Assassin's Creed IV will have a more open world feel, with missions similar to those found in Assassin's Creed, as well as fewer restrictions for the player. The world opens up sooner in the game, as opposed to Assassin's Creed III, which had very scripted missions and did not give players freedom to explore until the game was well into its first act. The player will encounter jungles, forts, ruins and small villages and the world is being built to allow players much more freedom, such as allowing players to engage, board, and capture passing ships and swimming to nearby beaches in a seamless fashion. In addition, the hunting system has been retained from Assassin's Creed III, allowing the player to hunt on land, and harpoon in the water.
A new aspect in the game is the ship the player will captain, Jackdaw. The Jackdaw will be upgradeable throughout the game, as well as having easy access to the ship when needed. In addition, a new underwater component is being added. The player will also have access to a spyglass, allowing the examination of distant ships, along with their cargo and strength. It can also help determine if an island still has animals to hunt, treasures to find or high points to reach for synchronization. An updated form of the recruit system introduced in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood will also return, allowing Edward to recruit crew members. While, Kenway's crew will remain loyal to him, and can be promoted to captain acquired ships, they cannot assist you in combat or perform long-range assassinations, as in previous games. Ubisoft removed this aspect of the brotherhood system, believing it allowed players to bypass tense and challenging scenarios too easily.
In the present day, at the Abstergo Entertainment — a subsidiary of Abstergo Industries — offices in Montreal, Quebec, players will engage in modern day pirating through the exploring of Abstergo's offices, eavesdropping and hacking, all without combat. As well, various "hacking" games, similar to previous cluster and glyph puzzles, will be present, that will uncover secrets about Abstergo.
Multiplayer has been confirmed to return, with new settings and game modes, though it will only be land-based.
The main character of the game will be Edward Kenway, a British privateer-turned-pirate and eventual member of the Assassin Order; father of Haytham Kenway, and grandfather of Ratonhnhaké:ton, the two playable characters of Assassin's Creed III. Real-life individuals that will be encountered include the pirates Edward "Blackbeard" Thatch, Benjamin Hornigold, Anne Bonny, Jack Rackham and Charles Vane.