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In honor of San Diego Comic Con this past weekend, Ubisoft sent out a slew of screenshots for Assassin's Creed 4: The Black Flag. Each image showcases the high-seas action that AC4 offers to players.
Like Assassin's Creed 3, Black Flag will allow players to burn off some steam by hunting animals. One shot shows Captain Edward Kenway fighting a shark with a harpoon. You won't always be so well-armed when you encounter them, unfortunately. You'll have to avoid them when making deep sea dives to find sunken treasure.
Naval battles will play a key role in the game. Players will steer their ship in battle and try to dodge as much enemy fire as possible while also ordering the crew to fire their swivel gun and fixed cannons. If you're prefer not to blast an enemy ship to bits, you can break their masts with chain shot and then board them.
One of the images released today also reveals fire barrels. These are going to be used like mines: you drop them overboard behind you and hope that your opponent's clumsy enough to hit them. If your opponent starts using them, though, that's going to be a pain in the ass. You'll have to be extremely careful with your steering while still evading cannon fire.
There are at least five different classes of ships that players will encounter: gunboat, schooner, brig, frigate, and Man of War. The two-cannon gunboat is the smallest but makes up for its size with speed. The Man of War carries between 16 and 50 cannons and possesses a range of special weapons as well, so you'll have to be ready for anything when facing one.
Assuming the ship class image is to scale, Kenway's ship The Jackdaw is somewhere between a brig and frigate in size. However, it's able to carry as much weaponry as a Man of War. It won't be heavily-armed when you first start the game, though. Instead, you have to upgrade the Jackdaw over time using money you've earned over time.
Not all your enemies will be in ships. Kenway and his crew will also attack coastal forts in their quest. Their ship can be equipped with a mortar in order to knock out a fort's cannon emplacements. Once you've eliminated any nearby enemy ships and punched a few holes in the fort, you can head ashore to finish off the troops stationed inside.
AC4 will debut this fall on current and next-gen consoles as well as the PC. The game's available in standard or limited edition flavors. Ubisoft is also offering a DLC Season Pass to pre-order customers.