The open-worlds of Assassin's Creed are some of the richest environments with countless things for players to do, and we have firsthand experience of just how impressive the Caribbean is. In Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag players will be getting the chance to find out just how deep and rich this world is.
We wanted to find out more specific details on how detailed Assassin's Creed 4's world is, and so we had the chance to speak with game director Ashraf Ismail about what players will be experiencing, come the end of Oct.
"To quickly define it, the uncharted islands, they are small little locations that are fairly small. So you find a couple things to do there, it's really meant to be things you find on your journey. You will find a treasure chest or you see some cargo and you pick it up. Those are part of the 75 uncharted islands.
"The other 50 locations, we actually have more, but the 50 are effectively much bigger locations, three of them being major cities. The diversity is really big; we wanted this world to be the most diverse world we've ever built.
"So we have caves, we have underwater sequences; we have forts, plantations and jungles. All of these locations are unique; none of them are the same. Forts are places that you need to take down through the naval and then raid on foot, so those are a lot about combat.
"Then we have jungles and they have unique enemies in them. Some locations are more about animals and some are about finding treasures and caves are really about stealth. In everything we do, we try to add a different modifier, which is a rule that changes everything.
"For example in a cave, Edward gets stripped of all of his weapons, so you kind of are naked, if you will. It adds that extra thought process for the player, so it makes them attack the area slightly differently," Ismail said.
Ismail then discussed the ways Ubisoft wanted to emphasize stealth for Assassin's Creed 4, especially when it came to the various surroundings that players will encounter.
"For this game, we put a lot of effort into stealth. We wanted stealth to be a very viable mechanic in the game. Pirates were outlaws, so stealth wasn’t important to a pirate, but this is an Assassin’s Creed game. We put in a lot of effort to make sure players have a lot of tools, but you don’t have to play in stealth, even though some locations will be very hard to just go in guns blazing.
"You can if you want, nothing stops you, but some locations are much more intense about employing stealth than others. For example, jungles and caves are where we pushed stealth. Forts are less about stealth. You can be stealthy if you want, but they are more about fighting.
"That’s one of the ways we add diversity into the game. It’s not just diverse from the visuals and the enemies; it’s also diverse in the way we set you up to play," Ismail said.
From everything we've seen so far from Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag is looking like one of the most vibrant, details, open and rich world we've encountered yet. Fans who end up experiencing this on next-gen will truly realize the difference.