The fact that previous Assassin’s Creed games kept hopping back to Desmond was a “contentious issue”, by which I mean 90% of players hated it and wanted the modern day stuff to just go away. Those players will doubtless be happy to hear that Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag has made most modern day excursions optional, but that there’s still plenty there to find if you want to go into it.

    As we already know, this time around you’re not playing Desmond – you’re playing yourself, as it were, as a new Abstergo employee investigating the life of Edward Kenway for reasons that are completely beyond you.

    Speaking to Digital Trends, game director Ashraf Ismail said of the modern day stuff: “The idea is that it’s you. It’s played in first-person. You don’t have an avatar, per se. So you are walking around this office, it’s a mini-open world. There’s a lot to do with it.

    “In the main path we don’t go to it too many times, we only go to it a few times. But for the true fans who love that kind of stuff, there is a huge load of content in this world that’s there to kind of give homage to our fans, develop the lore even further. It’s all optional, so if you want to put the time into it, it’s there for you [and] if you don’t really care, it’s okay. You don’t have to. There’s tons of videos, tons of images to find, you get to see what happened to Desmond after AC3. A lot of stuff for our fans.”

    So, while not entirely optional, it sounds like the modern day bits and bobs are pretty heavily minimised in terms of the main plot. Should please everyone who wasn’t a big fan of Desmond, at least.

    Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag is due out on PC later this year although that’ll obviously be sometime after the console release date of 29 October. This is Ubisoft we’re talking about, after all.

    Tim McDonald
    Tim has been playing PC games for longer than he's willing to admit. He's written for a number of publications, but has been with PC Invasion - in all its various incarnations - for over a decade. When not writing about games, Tim can occasionally be found speedrunning terrible ones, making people angry in Dota 2, or playing something obscure and random. He's also weirdly proud of his status as (probably) the Isle of Man's only professional games journalist.

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