The reasons behind Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag's setting and time period might be more obvious to some, but Ubisoft clearly was seeing what Assassin's Creed III's naval gameplay was delivering, and so they decided to go all out with this next game.
In an exclusive interview with Examiner, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag game director Ashraf Ismail talked about why Ubisoft decided to go with the pirate setting in the Caribbean.
"We saw the early tests of the naval gameplay in AC III. One, it looked spectacular and we had never seen anything like that before in a video game. Two, it was getting really highly rated among people that were play testing.
"People who were trying it were having a lot of fun, and of course AC III was pushing navigation in the trees. So we just felt that all of that coming together was what we needed for a new world. We needed something spectacular for next-gen.
"We also had the character of Edward in mind, so he was always in the brand. We felt with the timing of everything with Edward being the grandfather to Connor, who happens to be in the pirate age, and just the idea of having this world that is really beautiful, we felt like we had the complete components.
"We were literally sitting in a meeting and we said ‘we’re doing a pirate game,’ and everyone’s reaction was, thumbs up," Ismail said.
Black Flag really does seem to be embellishing on the naval aspect of the game. Yes there is still the land combat, which fans of the series have come to know and love, but the sea has been expanded upon in a big way. When we had time with the game recently, we noticed how much more alive and engaging the naval gameplay is.
The sea has been packed full of ships to go after or leave alone and there have been an incredible amount of islands, collectibles and new missions added to the naval gameplay. Fans who enjoyed the naval gameplay in Assassin's Creed III are in for a surprise with Assassin's Creed IV's sea experience.