Learn About The History Of Piracy Courtesy Assassin's Creed IV

Learn About The History Of Piracy Courtesy Assassin's Creed IV

Most videogame trailers are purely promotional tools, but Ubisoft's latest teaser for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag couches its capitalist goals in the pleasant haze of an arguably accurate history lesson.

The Assassin's Creed franchise has always relied heavily on actual, real-world history. The first game focused on the late-medieval middle east, while the second was set within Renaissance Italy. The third, in turn, took place during the American Revolution, and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag transports players to the pirate-infested waters of the 18th century. While none of these games could double as a quality history text, this reliance on reality gives the series a unique identity, which Ubisoft seemingly wants to expand with Assassin's Creed IV.

Thus, the firm is offering prospective fans something of a primer on the era the game portrays. The clip embedded at top-right serves as the first part of a three-vignette series of short lessons focused entirely on the history of piracy (before the term was corrupted to describe basement-dwelling media hoarders). More specifically, this video focuses on "the brutal life of a sailor in the 18th century, the 'Pirate King' Henry Avery whose exploits grew to legend and inspired a generation, and the Spanish War of Succession which sowed the seeds of piracy in the Caribbean."

As far as historial accuracy, Ubisoft does a pretty solid job of covering its subjects, though the clip's two-minute runtime hampers its ability to portray the events of the time period in full. More egregious though is Ubisoft's subtle attempt at painting Assassin's Creed IV as a historial retelling of these events, when it's almost certainly going to include all kinds of tiresome references to the Animus, golden apples and whatever Dan Brownian conspiracy theory the developers can attach to Blackbeard et alia.

That said, the video is still a refreshing change of pace as far as promotional clips go. We'll take a short history lesson over non-stop explosions, swears and vaguely cinematic camera angles any time. Propers to Ubisoft for at least attempting to teach players a bit of history, even if most are only interested in the game insofar as they're able to stab dudes in the neck in hilariously brutal fashion.

Source: YouTube

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Edward Kenway went to the Caribbean to find the pieces of Eden, but he only got... One Piece.

AGAIN with the debauchery! Why do they always treat debauchery as something bad?

...really looking forward to this. Hope Edward is as fun as his son.

Ubisoft really managed to annualize Assassin's Creed to the point where I just can't even play it anymore.

I had a great deal of fun with one (yes, flawed execution, but a helluva great idea) and two (free running sandbox bliss, even if a departure from the core idea of the first). And I was positively surprised by how Brotherhood played really well and didn't felt like just an cashgrab.
I even enjoyed the PSP one (played much like the first, but the story stood between non-existant and crap).

But then they started releasing them faster than I could beat them (in a reasonable pace), and I didn't felt like playing AC one after another, nonstop.
And Revelations was really, really bad! I couldn't even finish it! (Ezio again? didn't we played through all his story yet? tower defense? And all those materials and bombs?)

Now it just feels tired. I can't stand anymore of those accents, those Animae hubs, that lacklustre combat, that "I didn't command you to jump there, dammit!", and so on...

And that's a pity. The first one was supposed to be "Hitman meets Shadow Of Colossus", with promising story and good settings... I really would like to see that done right.

I don't think I learned anything historical from AC2 watching it on Spoiler Warning. Maybe since then they've done better? Still, I don't get the impression they should have a reputation as good history material.

Also I feel the need to say "It's a me! Mario!" was unforgettably bad and completely out of place.

Also also I want to hear someone try to argue that it can't be too bad since it's Ubisoft and not EA.

Looks fun.
I'll definitely get it at some point once the price goes down a bit.

'Historical accuracy' my [cutl]ass! Just seems to perpetuate a [Hollywood-ish] myth of unfounded romanticism imho.

Well the historical accuracy of this game is highly questionable. Still, I am very much intrigued. Looking forward to what this game will shape up to look like in the months to come.

White hoods are in fashion in any age.

dunam:
White hoods are in fashion in any age.

I would say nowadays they are slightly out of place.

First google image for 'white hoods' = image

Wouldn't mind seeing Ezio go to town on these guys.

s_h_a_d_o:
'Historical accuracy' my [cutl]ass! Just seems to perpetuate a [Hollywood-ish] myth of unfounded romanticism imho.

Granted, this was actually what sailors who sought out to be pirates saw it as. Adventure, freedom, gold. Until they found the harsh reality of course. Chances are the game will skimp out on the harsh details and get straight to the adventure.

You know what it needs, though? A scurvy meter, which can only be reduced by consuming large amounts of whatever counteracts scurvy.

The:

s_h_a_d_o:
'Historical accuracy' my [cutl]ass! Just seems to perpetuate a [Hollywood-ish] myth of unfounded romanticism imho.

Granted, this was actually what sailors who sought out to be pirates saw it as. Adventure, freedom, gold. Until they found the harsh reality of course. Chances are the game will skimp out on the harsh details and get straight to the adventure.

You know what it needs, though? A scurvy meter, which can only be reduced by consuming large amounts of whatever counteracts scurvy.

Scurvy results from a deficiency of vitamin C, so they'll be fine if the game turns out to be a lemon.
:P

s_h_a_d_o:

The:

s_h_a_d_o:
'Historical accuracy' my [cutl]ass! Just seems to perpetuate a [Hollywood-ish] myth of unfounded romanticism imho.

Granted, this was actually what sailors who sought out to be pirates saw it as. Adventure, freedom, gold. Until they found the harsh reality of course. Chances are the game will skimp out on the harsh details and get straight to the adventure.

You know what it needs, though? A scurvy meter, which can only be reduced by consuming large amounts of whatever counteracts scurvy.

Scurvy results from a deficiency of vitamin C, so they'll be fine if the game turns out to be a lemon.
:P

its not all "Hollywood myth"

if they were sailors beforehand they already had plenty experience of the hardships because they were just part of the job...plus you were on a sailing ship in the Caribbean which even then was probably quite a nice place to be on occasion...

and as a pirate you didn't have to deal with the officer class, the societal class structure as a whole and the kind of "discipline" that could be handed out by those people for anything they saw as an infraction

pirate ships were also actually pretty well run usually as well as being "classless" and somewhat "democratic":

for example here's are Bartholomew Roberts (aka Black Bart) Shipboard Articles from 1721 (aka "The Pirate Code"):

ARTICLE I - Every man shall have an equal vote in affairs of moment. He shall have an equal title to the fresh provisions or strong liquors at any time seized, and shall use them at pleasure unless a scarcity may make it necessary for the common good that a retrenchment may be voted.
ARTICLE II - Every man shall be called fairly in turn by the list on board of prizes, because over and above their proper share, they are allowed a shift of clothes. But if they defraud the company to the value of even one dollar in plate, jewels or money, they shall be marooned. If any man rob another he shall have his nose and ears slit, and be put ashore where he shall be sure to encounter hardships.
ARTICLE III - None shall game for money either with dice or cards.
ARTICLE IV - The lights and candles should be put out at eight at night, and if any of the crew desire to drink after that hour they shall sit upon the open deck without lights.
ARTICLE V - Each man shall keep his piece, cutlass and pistols at all times clean and ready for action.
ARTICLE VI - No boy or woman to be allowed amongst them. If any man shall be found seducing any of the latter sex and carrying her to sea in disguise he shall suffer death.
ARTICLE VII - He that shall desert the ship or his quarters in time of battle shall be punished by death or marooning.
ARTICLE VIII - None shall strike another on board the ship, but every man's quarrel shall be ended on shore by sword or pistol in this manner. At the word of command from the quartermaster, each man being previously placed back to back, shall turn and fire immediately. If any man do not, the quartermaster shall knock the piece out of his hand. If both miss their aim they shall take to their cutlasses, and he that draweth first blood shall be declared the victor.
ARTICLE IX - No man shall talk of breaking up their way of living till each has a share of l,000. Every man who shall become a cripple or lose a limb in the service shall have 800 pieces of eight from the common stock and for lesser hurts proportionately.
ARTICLE X - The captain and the quartermaster shall each receive two shares of a prize, the master gunner and boatswain, one and one half shares, all other officers one and one quarter, and private gentlemen of fortune one share each.
ARTICLE XI - The musicians shall have rest on the Sabbath Day only by right. On all other days by favour only.

and this particular set isn't a unique example : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pirate_code

Sleekit:

ARTICLE XI - The musicians shall have rest on the Sabbath Day only by right. On all other days by favour only.

Yo ho ho! It looks like the pirate's life for me!

Alssadar:

Sleekit:

ARTICLE XI - The musicians shall have rest on the Sabbath Day only by right. On all other days by favour only.

Yo ho ho! It looks like the pirate's life for me!

music on demand is nothing new to pirates :P

nerdpride:
I don't think I learned anything historical from AC2 watching it on Spoiler Warning. Maybe since then they've done better? Still, I don't get the impression they should have a reputation as good history material.

Meh, Brotherhood taught me a bit about the Borgia's, and i know a bit of Italian thanks to the Ezio Trilogy.

Obviously the things that happen in the games are not accurate, the overall plot for example. but most of the characters and how they act is pretty accurate.

DVS BSTrD:
Edward Kenway went to the Caribbean to find the pieces of Eden, but he only got... One Piece.

/slowclap

We have a winner.

it really looks good and i really enjoy the AC games. i think i will get it.

Sounds like a great pirate game. Too bad there's going to be some half-assed attempt to tie it into the Assassin's Creed franchise.

 

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