Confirmed for the current generation, PC, and the next generation – with a Wii U version confirmed to be in the works, Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag is confirmed to be the firms most ambitious title yet; with 8 studios working on the project, and Ubisoft Montreal as the lead, Black Flag is an enormous operation.

Director Jean Guesdon named some of the studios in a Q&A released to the press: “Ubisoft Montreal is the lead studio for ACIVBF but it’s a real co-production with other studios (Ubisoft Singapore, Ubisoft Sofia, Ubisoft Québec for the Single Player and Ubisoft Annecy and Bucharest for the Multiplayer part).”

To dispel any worries about communicative problems in the geographically split development, Guesdon said “we’ve put in place a dedicated team to ensure the best possible communication with tools and processes to make sure that everybody knows what he has to deliver.”

In other news, the PS4 version which has already been confirmed should ostensibly be followed by a next-gen Xbox version, which cannot be announced since technically the Xbox hasn’t been announced. According to Ubisoft, the next generation version will include “improved graphics and physics” and, of course, “new connected features” which, according to Ubisoft, is a bigger deal than mere Facebook connectivity.

Details on system exclusive content have yet to be released.

Detailing some of the next generation changes, Guesdon said that “In addition to improved graphics and physic, Next Gen versions will bring to the players new connected features allowing them to feel that even if they remain ‘Single Player’ it will be better to be a ‘Single Connected Player’.”

“I mean, that Next Gen Consoles will allow players to have a solo experience that benefit the presence of a huge community.”

Features

We now know that Assassin’s Creed IV will star Edward Kenway, father of Haytham Kenway and grandfather of Conner. Given the apparently personality deficit in Conner, Ubisoft have been quick to reinstate character to their lead, saying that Edward will be a cocky and charismatic lead, who shares a penchant for grandiose, similar to Ezio. He is British, and a privateer.

Capitalizing on the popularity of the naval battles in the previous game, Ubisoft has coined Black Flag as “the first naval open-world game” which will tell “the true story of the Golden Age of Piracy”

The title will feature sights such as the wreck of the Spanish treasure fleet, and the marooning of Charles Vane. “The moment where Edward is marooned on an island with a nutcase with only a bottle of rum and a pistol between them, you can imagine how this scenario might pan out.”

Notable characters include Blackbeard, Benjamin Hornigold, Anne Bonny, and Calico Jack. Cities include Havana, Kingston and Nassau. Included are “up to 50 different locations” around the carribbean. Environments include jungles, plantations, coves and forts.

According to Ubisoft, the game is set in one open world – not a series of quest hubs like previous games. They stress seamless interaction with the world, even between types of game-play such as naval exploration and ground combat.

Included also are under-water mechanics, with previous games only barely allowing players to dip their heads in. According to Ubisoft, you’ll be able to traverse the depths of the ocean – even so far as the ocean floor.

Edward will have his own ship, which Ubisoft refers to as the “second main character” of the game. The ship is upgradable, but Ubisoft are keen to point out that the traditional land-based dynamic hasn’t been omitted for the open ocean.

According to Guesdon, the entire world of Assassins Creed 4 will be open from the start of the game, sans a few special story areas.

Desmond will not return, but players will still be able to enjoy the present day, according to the lead QA.

“The interesting thing that happened in December 2012 is that the real world and the fictitious world merged.”

“From December 21, we’re now in the same world as the Assassin’s Creed universe – so you are now a part of the AC universe. You will be yourself in the main present day. You’re researching the memories of Edward Kenway. You will be the present day hero researching Edward Kenway and being part of that conspiracy.”

“We’re taking players to a new era. An era filled with ruthlessness, danger, and non-stop action,”

“We are the perfect franchise to deliver such a story. We have the expertise in creating gorgeous, blossoming, sprawling cities; living, natural environments; and as we saw in Assassin’s Creed 3, intense naval action.

“We will treat this era with the same historical reverence as we have done with all the eras gone by… We will tell the true story of the Golden Age of Piracy.”

Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag is confirmed for “every available platform” on November 1st, but there’s no date for the PC or the next generation.

Source: Videogamer / Press Release Q&A