UPDATE: Ubisoft have confirmed that Assassin's Creed: Black Flag is indeed in development, along with an embargo for the full reveal. "We confirm that Ubisoft will announce all the details of Assassin's Creed IV Black Flag on Monday March 4th at 5pm GMT," reads the missive. Jonathan attended a Ubisoft-hosted event last night, so the timing might not be entirely coincidental...
Original story: It was only yesterday that speculation over the next instalment of the Assassin's Creed series might feature pirates appeared online, but now the internet has gone into full-on sleuth mode and dug up what could well be the boxart for the next instalment in the franchise. Posted on the official Assassin's Creed forums, the above picture, if yesterday's rumours are to be believed, is of Edward Kenway, father of AC3 character Haytham. If the picture accurately represents the in-game action, we will be welding more guns than a single British Regiment, on top of the usual stabby-stabby action.
It's been such a long road. Getting from there to here. It's been such a long time. But my time is finally... oh no, sorry, that's awful.
Do over. Welcome back, dear reader, to our weekly Xbox Live roundups where we showcase three of the best Indie games to hit the marketplace and give them some well-deserved attention. We've had to take a couple of months off over the silly season, but safeguards are now in place and we're ready to get back into the swing of things.
As always, the point of these roundups are to give you convenient links to the trial versions along with some mini reviews to explain why you ought to give them a chance. If you like what you see - and what you play - the inexpensive full version will only be a thumb jab away. Which saves you the trouble of having to locate the Indie marketplace in its horrible new dashboard position, more to the point.
It's good to be bad. Given half a chance, even the most honourable among us tend to dabble in a little light evil from time to time, whether it's the odd bit of stealing in Skyrim or blowing up an entire town for fun and profit in Fallout 3. However, most games that actually centre on the nasty tend to be extremely disappointing (Overlord, anyone?) as they never really let us cut loose... or use their premise as a shield to disguise some fairly mediocre game mechanics.
EvilQuest, however, manages to blend the need for greed with a heartwarmingly authentic retro RPG that evokes the glorious fond memories of the SNES/Mega Drive golden age.Click here to read more...
'No-one's asked that question today,' said Andrew Wilson, lead producer on Bodycount, when I enquired how what was once a project synonymous with Stuart Black, before the latter decided to jump ship last year, has changed as a result of Black's abandonment. 'To be honest,' he continued, 'Stuart left after nearly all of the pre-production, that is to say the design work, had been completed. I personally worked very closely alongside Stuart throughout that period and this is still very much the game we set out to make and I think the hundred or so people still working on the project would agree.'
Fighting talk, which is relatively unsurprising considering the way some corners of the media tried to use Black's departure to prophesy doom. But Codemasters are mightily proud of their arcade FPS and, on the evidence I was shown at E3, they certainly seem to have a strong right to be.
Some might worry about the use of the word 'arcade' to describe the gameplay at the heart of Bodycount, but those that would have short memories, and it serves to illustrate that this isn't a game looking to go toe-to-toe with the likes of Call of Duty or Battlefield in terms of 'who can provide the finest likeness of war'. As several of the team commented to me at various points throughout the hour I spent checking the game out, 'it's all about the guns'.Click here to find out how Codemasters are hoping to set Bodycount apart from the rest of the pack...