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Assassin's Creed 4 offers "best multiplayer to date" - new gameplay details

Ubisoft touts online single player features, new Game Lab

Assassin's Creed 4's multiplayer will kick all that's gone before into touch - or rather, to pick a more appropriate metaphor, it'll stab everything that's gone before in the gizzard, then hurry off down a side alley, whistling innocently.

That's the conclusion a new factsheet (ta, Electronic Theatre) asks you to reach, anyway. It touts "a brand new set of pirate characters", "exotic and colourful locations" and a new Game Lab feature, which allows you to "craft your own multiplayer mode by choosing abilities, rules and bonuses", then share said mode with friends.

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That's on top of revelations about the modern day sections of the game's single player story, where you'll share tasks with other players for in-game rewards. "You [will] feel that there's other people also playing the game and somehow you can interact, or somehow you can take advantage with each other," game director Ash Ismael told Eurogamer.

As with other Assassin's Creed titles, the game's plot takes place in two different time periods. On the one hand, you'll star as 18th century heartthrob Edward Kenway, pro swashbuckler, pistol collector and molester of boats. On the other, you'll play some godforsaken 21st century jobsworth locked up in an Abstergo research centre, investigating Kenway's activities.

As said jobsworth, you'll get "boosts" when you perform research alongside other players, here known as "co-workers". "When they do research, and when you're doing research, you can share that information and you get a boost for it," Ismael explained.

The functionality isn't mandatory, however - Assassin's Creed 4 won't pack up and refuse to play without a connection. "It's not like the game is going to stop functioning or that you're not going to be able to experience Assassin's Creed because you're not connected.

"[This feature], the companion app - all of this stuff is extensions of the game. It's adding comfort or it's adding new layers that you can delve deeper if you choose to, if you want to."

Ubisoft already has a number of additional Assassin's Creed games in the works, possibly including Assassin's Creed: Rising Phoenix - the publisher assures that it'll keep the franchise "fresh" despite the sheer quantity of sequels and spin-offs. Black Flag is down for release this autumn. Here's a trailer.

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