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by Germaine Stanza
I don’t pay a whole lot of attention to gaming releases anymore, but I can’t seem to stop seeing ads and trailers for Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag. Based on enjoying the franchise’s past games, it’s peaked my interest. Assassin’s Creed 3 wasn’t without its issues, but I’ve always loved these games for their textbooks’ worth of historical content, and for the sheer beauty of the maps. That said, there are a few things I’m desperately hoping we see in “Black Flag” to keep things interesting. Here are 5 in particular.
1. Jack Sparrow?
We know we’ll be seeing Blackbeard in this Caribbean pirate era game, and other famous buccaneers are rumoured as well – but is it too much to ask for a Jack Sparrow cameo? Of course, there’s probably some sort of issue with Disney that will keep it from happening, but even a Cap’n Jack-inspired spin-off could be fun.
2. Unique Ships
AC3 didn’t focus as much on ships as “Black Flag” presumably will, but it would still be nice to see more variety. We think of pirate ships as part of each pirate’s identity, and if all the ships look the same (as they basically do in AC3), the game will be lacking in atmosphere. Here’s to a ragtag variety of vessels!
3. More Games
Every now and then, gallivanting around in a massive open world can get a bit dull, and that’s why AC3‘s inclusion of little gambling games – checkers, and various similar board games evidently grounded in colonial culture – was brilliant. Plus, we all know about the massive explosion of gambling in the video game industry. Just glance at the BetFair Exchange, where millions of users are exchanging real cash on games ranging from casual arcade options to competitive poker tournaments. “Black Flag” would do well to capture (or at least interest) droves of Internet gamblers by increasing the in-game gaming options.
4. Accurate Cultures
It’s not that the franchise has ever been particularly inaccurate – but for a history buff (guilty) it was a bit aggravating that native Americans all but disappeared from AC3 after the initial sequences, and that African-Americans were difficult to come by. Personally, I’d love to see a more accurate New World “melting pot” of cultures and backgrounds in “Black Flag.”
5. Diverse Outfitting
Finally, much like the ships, it would be nice if the outfits all looked different. Of course, assassin protagonists have always dressed similarly, but beyond these characters everyone seems to look the same. The Caribbean in the age of piracy seems marked by individual personalities, struggling pirates and loners trying to make it any way they can, and of course proper colonists and men in uniform. Showcasing different images and different personalities out and about would be a huge plus!