Edward Kenway’s story may be the heart of Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, but his shoes aren’t the only ones you’ll be stepping into. You’ll also be playing as… yourself? That’s right: You are hired by Abstergo Entertainment to explore history, supposedly in search of a good product. You’re probably thinking, “Hold up, Abstergo is all Templars, right?” Well, sort of. Templars run Abstergo and use it for their own nefarious purposes, but there are plenty of normal folks who work there too.

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – Inside Abstergo Entertainment

Abstergo Entertainment is fun, chic and modern. Picture Google – if Google were secretly run by an ancient order out to create their own corrupt version of a perfect world. When you exit the Animus and wander around the office there are little statues on your desk (which showcase your progression in the game) and your coworkers are hard at work or milling around talking to each other. At the bottom of the screen you’ll see a corner of a tablet poking into your line of vision, and quick tap of a button brings it up – exposing your menus and interface when back in the “real world.” Though we only hopped out for a brief moment to peek around, Game Director Ashraf Ismail explains there’s a lot do in the Abstergo Entertainment office – if you want to, that is. And for those of you who are curious to know if the First Civilization will be making an appearance in Black Flag, don’t worry, we asked Ash about that too.

Heads up, some of this is a spoiler if you haven’t finished Assassin’s Creed III.

Optional Content, Cameos and WTF Moments

How much of the present day content is required and how much is optional?

In total, if you were to do everything in the present day – find everything, hack every computer, access every room – it’s a solid three to five hours. For the main path – the stuff you’re required to do – it’s somewhere between 20 and 25 minutes. You leave the Animus five times during the game’s main path and each time you’re there for about three to four minutes.

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – Inside Abstergo Entertainment

It’s there to progress the story because there’s this meta story that we’re telling. Why are you researching Edward? Why him specifically? What did he do that’s interesting? There is a story that connects everything together. We pretty much tried to boil it down to its most core essence because we know there are people out there who really don’t like the present day, and that’s okay. You don’t have to like it, but it’s part of the brand. For the people who like the present day and are big fans, we put in a lot of fan service and a lot of fun optional content. You get to choose if you want it or not.

What do players get out of that optional content?

You have to hack computers and figure out how to access certain rooms and get through security. There is gameplay in just being able to access that stuff. When you access it, the content you find is a reward for us. Through this content you see what happens to Desmond after Assassin’s Creed III. We used it as an opportunity to say goodbye to Desmond. There’s actually a lot of stuff linked to him that you find.

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – Inside Abstergo Entertainment

We also have a lot of fun with the present day stuff. You get to see what Abstergo Entertainment as a company is doing with your research. You get to see the progression of what they’re trying to do, which is really fun. Some of it is just us making fun of the videogame industry and being a videogame company. We have the Abstergo Entertainment Employee Manual, which is kind of poking fun at our employee manual. There’s a lot of stuff we just had a good time with. It’s really there for people who enjoy it and want to see a bit more of it.

We know Aveline will be making an appearance thanks to the present day content. Will we see any other familiar characters?

Aveline is specifically for PS3 and PS4. She’s not from the same time as Edward, of course, so her story is not really directly connected to Edward. There is a connection in the brand but I won’t say what it is. You get to see it when you play as Aveline. Aside from Aveline… There are awesome cameos. Let’s put it like that.

Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag – Inside Abstergo Entertainment

Assassin’s Creed has always had a supernatural element to it. Will that be returning in Black Flag?

We call those “What the F–k Moments.” You can’t have an Assassin’s Creed game without a What the F–k Moment. It has to be in there. The First Civilization, Juno… all that is part of the brand and yes, there’s progression in it. It’s not just a nod that we make to it. It’s actually part of the meta story. You see what happens after Assassin’s Creed III – you see the ramifications of that, and we push it further.

Assassin's Creed 4 Black Flag

Assassin's Creed® IV Black Flag

Release date — October 29, 2013
Developer — Ubisoft Montreal
Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag tells the story of Edward Kenway, a young British man with a thirst for danger and adventure, who falls from privateering for the Royal Navy into piracy as the war between the major Empires comes to an end. Edward is a fierce pirate and seasoned fighter who soon finds himself embroiled in the ancient war between Assassins and Templars. Set at the dawn of the 18th Century, the game features some of the most infamous pirates in history, such as Blackbeard and Charles Vane, and takes players on a journey throughout the West Indies during a turbulent and violent period of time later to become known as the Golden Age of Pirates.

ESRB Rating: MATURE with Blood, Sexual Themes, Violence, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol
the author

Anne Lewis began her career as an editor at PlayStation: The Official Magazine, where she worked under Gary Steinman. She can now be found skulking around the UbiBlog, once more working for Gary. Alas. When Anne isn’t writing about games, she's alphabetizing her comic book collection or shooting at stuff with a bow. Follow her on Twitter: @BDRAnneLewis

20 comments
RedLeaf
RedLeaf

Frig and brig?? The Jackdaw and the Aquila are both just brigs, not frigates or... frigs.

Emil
Emil

I'm sure ubisoft has got something really mind blowing coming up but I see alot of people saying they want an AC game that plays out in the modern world. Not really sure how good that would work out. AC has always been a game with two stories and if they did decide to make an AC game that lets you run around in the modern world. What would you do? Spend 10 minutes climbing one scy scraper and what would you climb with? + would there be guards on most of the rooftops or patrols with batons and knives instead of fully automatic guns? Stealing cars? That takes away alot of the stealthy assassin feel. Unless you drive around elecrical cars that makes nearly no sound at all. Desmond died, I got shocked and didn't like him dying but keep in mind. Ubisoft has to keep things new and instresting. Otherwise it'd just be desmond going through all of his ancestors while getting closer to abstergo and the templars. I'd rather have the story the way they did it. Every story can't have a good ending, but that doesn't mean it'll be a bad story.

Who knows, maybe in the next game you get busted out of abstergo entertainment by the assassins after being caught hacking into some highly classified sh*t. Have faith in Ubisoft guys, they know what they're doing.

Tony
Tony

Why does it happen that when I log all the way out through the main menu, when my son logs in his character he still has my fleet. The app is the same it's my login but my sons fleet.

Austin
Austin

So on the end of AC3 they said Juno would find a way to come back. In my opinion I kinda think that Shaun and Rebecca are trying g to help Juno come back but for some reason. Because Shaun tried to get her to go inside your body as a vessel in AC4. I just don't understand I collected all the notes hacked all the computers and everything. I wish there was a way to make the Jack Dow bigger after the upgrades. And I wish there was more outfits like the captain Morgan outfit and the Edward kenway legend outfits they're more pirate than assassin and I dig it. I also wish there was a way to go into death on the ship modifications like changing the crew costumes swords etc like on brotherhood for the assassins and I wish you could take pirates with you and call them when you needed them like brother hood. Only part on AC3 I didn't like was that you couldn't travel with assassins outside cities. And last but not least it'd be cool if you could change the color of the ship and stuff not just the sails bit the deck and sides too. I got black sails but the elite upgrades just make everything gold and white fish and it kinda kills my vibe when I try to be this ruthless pirate with a mix matched colored ship. Also how do I get more gold and treasure in my manor downstairs part every time I go down there there's always the same amount. Except I went down there once and there was a chair there.

Stuart
Stuart

The modern day scenes spoil the game in my opinion they are totally unnecessary

shayne
shayne

assassins creed black flag brilliant game but at the moment to many crashes and glitches for you to finish the game most people have played the game and got stuck ubisoft still haven't resolved as yet.

Reuben
Reuben

the ending in AC III really was like WTF wonder what AC IV has as a WTF moment he is a kenway so hmmmm

FEB500
FEB500

One big question, why are Shawn and Rebecca now working for Abstergo (Templar's)???

russel
russel

I love assassins creed IV it's the best I've ever played

ambrish kamboj
ambrish kamboj

Is jackdaw bigger than the aquila? N if it is how much bigger?

LynArifin
LynArifin

I really want to know what happened to Desmond. I can't wait for this game to come out :) I'm kind of not happy with how Desmond could just die like that, it's just so sad so I want to to know what legacy he left behind. Also what happened to the others? Shaun? Rebecca? and William? Will we be finding out about them as well? :D I'm keeping the excitement bottled up until the release day. :D

Sam
Sam

I am not sure how people couldnt like the modern day part of the story, I mean AC1 was a little boring, but it was a main part of the story.. I liked in AC3 that you could free run for fair amount of time in the open world.. I cant wait (if they do) for when Ubisoft releases a game set in the modern day, I think it would be a lot of fun, and I think some people could agree with me.

Alexandre
Alexandre

The modern era as always been for me the core of Assassin's Creed. The games would not be the same without it. When I started playing the first one, It was a big surprise to find myself in 2012. I was not expecting this. As the series was progressing, I got attached to the character that was Desmond. I was able to identify with him and I was really shocked by the way the killed him. If they did of course, as I feel deep inside of myself that he might be still alive. I hoped since Brotherhood that Desmond would have a bigger importance in the gameplay himself. As many other people, I had this fantasy to walk in modern cities and climb on skyscrappers, stealing cars, motos, visit museums, old churches, investigating about Abstergo, etc. It annoys me that a half of the gamers complain about this important part of the meta story and I am sure it would not be better without it. This is what makes the charm. However, I cannot hold me any longer to visit Abstergo Entertainment facility in Montréal (plus, I live near the city, which is awesome) and learn more about what happened to Desmond and what Juno will do now that she's free. What are the real intentions of the First Civilization? They are some questions about Desmond and Eve and his son that remain to be answered and I would like they finally fulfill these plot holes once and for all. I like as they say those "what the f*** moments", but sometimes, I would like more answers than questions. Long live Assassin's Creed.

Fae
Fae

I adore the modern parts in Assassin's Creed, and it's always been my favourite aspect of the series. Really excited to see what Black Flag has to offer - I still have some lingering disappointment over how Desmond (and Daniel, for that matter) were handled in ACIII, but I'm always eager to come back for more. Maybe one day we'll get that fabled modern game.

visionl
visionl

I was extremely dissapointed with how AC3 ended... and I am one of the few that absolutely love the story and feels that more time should be spent on it. I don't think Desmond should have died that way and I truthfully hope that Ubisoft finds some way to ease him back in, in a you didn't see that coming type of situation. Hopefully they'll be an explanation too as to who exactly "EVE" is, and also explaining more about Alan Rikkin from AC1 and whether he's the true templar grandmaster . I'm tired of being mindf***ed and would like some straightforward answers for once. .

Tim
Tim

I just can't wait for the new Assassins Creed I am in love with the series and a huge fan I just wish I could afford the gear or an annimus chair to play in. Assassins Creed is the greatest game of all time. I am 33 and have played games since atari and nothing beats it. Keep up the astounding work ubisoft

Tedwa5GAMER
Tedwa5GAMER

This is very exciting. Aveline has missed a lot of parts which was her short story. Desmond is dead, so that just fudged everyone's heads and that is wow!

FEB500
FEB500

I can't wait that long!!! I barely play enough (3 hr straight) and still have time to for school and such!!!