Bridging the gap: Ubisoft sheds light on Aveline's role in Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, and details the game's multiplayer modes.

By Luke Caulfield , Updated Jul 31, 2013 09:13 AM EDT
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When Ubisoft first revealed that southern belle Aveline de Grandpere would be returning exclusively to PlayStation versions of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, we were overjoyed to have another go with the franchise's first playable female assassin, but we were also kind of puzzled. Going by the timeline, Black Flag takes place around the 1720's, and given the time the Creed games span, it's likely we'll play as protagonist Edward Kenway up to his death in 1735, almost two decades before Aveline was born. So obviously, they won't be crossing paths like she did with Kenway's great grandson Connor. So where exactly does she fit in?

Well, the only other connection between Aveline and Kenway is that in both cases, their present day relatives re-live their memories in Abstergo animuses (animi?), rather than the Assassins. Apart from that, Ubisoft hasn't shared much else, save for some details on Aveline's missions in a recent posting on the game's official blog.

As Black Flag's lead writer Darby McDevitt wrote, "It's a ways forward so Aveline is a bit older. It's not directly related to the end of her story. If Assassin's Creed IV is like a novel, Aveline's missions are like a short story." He added, "The present-day is set in Abstergo Entertainment - which is this fun, hip company to work for... at first. You are able to access the Aveline stuff because your coworkers are working on retrieving different genetic memories from all kinds of different people."

Not a lot, but it's something.

Ubisoft also revealed some new details for the game's multiplayer mode, which sees the return of Wolfpack co-op, introduced in Assassin's Creed III, and fleshed out more in Black Flag with different modes of gameplay that see you and a partner try to complete various objectives. Customization is also heavy in GameLab, which lets players change various aspects and rules of multiplayer, up to 200.

Despite Black Flag's pirate theme, you won't be spending time forcing your online opponents to walk the plank, as multiplayer is mostly a landlubber affair, meaning there won't be any naval battles.

"You have to take into consideration that it took a very big dedicated team in Singapore about two-and-a-half years to do it for the solo [play]," lead multiplayer game designer Tim Browne said to VG247. "In Black Flag it's even better, but for solo. We've looked at it and we've considered it. We seriously considered it. We think it would be cool, but at the same time we tried it, and for technical reasons it's impossible."

"We looked at the DNA of multiplayer, and we thought that ship battles aren't really being the cool assassin. With multiplayer it's all about you working either as a team of four players or in free-for-all, where you want to be the best player. It's not so much about piloting a ship and using cannons to destroy the opponent's ship."  

Director Damien Kieken added: "One of the big added values of the naval battles in single-player is how they simulate the ocean. The ocean is really a toy. You have big waves, waves that stop your cannon balls: you have to play with the ocean. If you want that to be good in multiplayer, it means we have to perfectly replicate the ocean."

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is set to release this fall for PC, Wii U, Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, and will eventually release on the next-gen Xbox One and PlayStation 4.

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