It seems like only yesterday that we gamers were picking up our bows and tomahawks when Assassin’s Creed III made it to the shelves last year. On Monday however, Ubisoft announced the next chapter in its award-winning series with Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.

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While #3 followed the story of Connor during the American Revolution, Black flag will feature his grandfather, a pirate/assassin named Edward Kenway.

Gameplay will take place both on and off the open seas, dashing from ship to ship as well as over rooftops in classic Assassin’s Creed style. Players will free-roam through expansive locations under the Caribbean sun such as the Cuban capitol of Havana, the British town of Kingston, and Nassau: the conventional swashbuckler’s hideaway (think Tortuga). Ubisoft makes a bold claim that these locations, as well as the naval based exploration, will be free of loading screens, allowing the player to pilfer, plunder and stab their way across a vast open world before returning to town for some music and ale without ever cutting to a loading screen.

Assassins Creed Black Flag

Naval gameplay will include opportunities to hunt down, board and ransack other vessels as well as the freedom to explore 50 discoverable locations yielding riches with which Capt. Kenway can upgrade his gear, his crew and his ship. While sailing the open seas, Kenway can make use of his trusty spyglass to spot other random events and missions such as new islands, vulnerable convoys, and the threat of navy pursuit. Underwater exploration will be another new feature of the game. Players will be able to explore underwater environments full of wildlife, coral reefs and sunken ships filled with shiny loot.

Throughout the storyline, the game will also feature appearances by several famous historical pirates such as Calico Jack, Charles Vane, and of course the infamous Black Beard who can be seen in this world premier trailer which was leaked yesterday.

Assassin’s Creed IV is scheduled for release on October 2013 for those gamers eager to raise their sails and chase that horizon.

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