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Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag takes a cutlass to pirate clichés, says Ubisoft

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Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag

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I'm probably not alone in thinking pirates deserve more beyond thick accents, Johnny Depp, and one seriously overrated Disneyland ride. After all, they're one-third of geekdom's holy trinity along with zombies and ninjas, and Sid Meier's Pirates is perhaps their best adventure on the PC so far that doesn't dive too far overboard with swashbuckling stereotypes. Ubisoft wants to pull off the same thing in Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, a naval-warfare-themed entry in the franchise born out of "clamor from the fans for a pirate game." Speaking to MCV (opens in new tab) , Lead Content Manager Carsten Myhill says Black Flag's goal is to "redefine piracy in entertainment."

"It's not easy," he adds. "It takes a very talented team, a lot of experience, and great tech. It's one thing having good naval combat, but combining that with good boarding and land-based gameplay in a seamless way is hard to do."

Myhill says pulling off piratical personality means "staying away from clichés" and showing the seafaring raiders in a harsher light. "We're avoiding things like walking the plank, parrots on the shoulder, and hooks for hands," he explains. "We're giving pirates the 'HBO reality' treatment. And that allows us to redefine piracy in entertainment. No longer is it for kids."

Black Flag's pirates won't mess around with theatrics, apparently, but they still seem just fine dressing as foppishly as possible (opens in new tab) . We've got more info on lead character Edward Kenway's assassineering across the tropical seas in our preview (opens in new tab) .

Omri Petitte is a former PC Gamer associate editor and long-time freelance writer covering news and reviews. If you spot his name, it probably means you're reading about some kind of first-person shooter. Why yes, he would like to talk to you about Battlefield. Do you have a few days?