If you haven't seen enough of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag in recent weeks, and there's been plenty to see, then how about something a little more substantial. Ubisoft has released a trailer over thirteen minutes in length showcasing pure open-world gameplay. No campaign missions, no story teases, just Edward Kenway on his boat hunting for treasure and being a pirate. This is the core experience of Black Flag.
For me, the biggest selling point of the thirteen minutes of gameplay shown is just how much the player is able to get done. He starts a quest in a town, jumps on a ship and then both captures a ship, a ton of rum and finishes his mission in only a few minutes. Suddenly he's discovering a treasure map, escaping a storm and exploring dangerous ruins all without fast travel. Well, there might have been fast travel... there were some rather abrupt jump cuts.
Still, that's just a short-list of accomplishments that doesn't even acknowledge the breadth of options the player ignored or simply decided not to do. In thirteen minutes the developer was able to capture the heart of the Assassin's Creed experience and also display their vision of what a true pirate game should be. Not bad, not bad.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag launches on PS3, Xbox 360, and Wii U on October 29 in North America, followed by PlayStation 4 and Xbox One as each console is launched.