Ubisoft likes to keep the modern parts of its Assassin's Creed games as secret as possible. But at E3, they revealed a few details for the present day part of ACIV: Black Flag. For starters, you're the main character.
You'll be playing in the present as an employee of Abstergo Entertainment, the fictional video game company that's part of the series' anti-Assassin company and Templar front, Abstergo. You'll have a job at the company. A desk. Your own computer. You'll also be able to dive into the past of legendary assassins like Assassin's Creed IV lead, the 18th-century pirate-turned-Assassin Edward Kenway. "We want you to feel like you have your own Animus," the game's writer Darby McDevitt told me today during a show-closing demo of the game.
McDevitt and co weren't showing the modern stuff. He was showing me Kenway gameplay — the same demo our Kirk Hamilton recently wrote about. McDevitt did at least describe the modern parts as a "first-person adventure." He declined to clarify whether the modern parts would involve combat, but he said players would be able to poke around a lot, get involved in the modern drama of the Assassins and Abstergo and learn a lot about what's going on in the game's post-ACIII status quo.
There will be emails and videos to find as well as chunks of what will combine into a 40-minute radio play. That last one was included, McDevitt said, because he recently realised he wanted a way to experience part of his games while he is cooking in his kitchen. Let the inspiration come from wherever, man!
Characters will talk to you as if you're in the world, sort of like you're Gordon Freeman from the Half-Life games, he offered.
It's from the modern era that PlayStation players will be able to access three platform-exclusive missions (likely timed-exclusive, if history tells us anything) that let them go through adventures as Assassin's Creed III: Liberation protagonist Aveline de Grandpré. McDevitt. McDevitt advised me to imagine that we'd be able to sit down at another Abstergo Entertainment employee's computer and dive into Aveline's experiences. I suggested that the developers could use that concept to let us play in missions of other Assassins. He replied by saying that someone else had asked if the series' other protagonists would be in the game. All would at least be mentioned, he said.
We'll have more on Assassin's Creed IV in the months to come. The game will be out later this year for PC, PS3, PS4, Xbox 360, Xbox One and Wii U.