As multiplatform game development frees itself from the restrictions of the aging past generation of consoles, we're going to start seeing some really cool stuff. Exhibit A: according to Ubisoft, Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag 's huge open world will take half an hour to sail across.
In an interview with Eurogamer , Black Flag's game director Ashraf Ismail said, “We don't talk about it in terms of size, that would be a little bit unfair—there is a lot of ocean in the Caribbean. But it is the biggest game we've ever made...The story and narrative itself will last 15-20 hours, but we're hoping that people got lost in the Caribbean world, in the toybox we've created.”
Assassin's Creed's trademark side quests and discoverable locations will dot the landscape, and a fast-travel system will let you jump to any sync-point you've anywhere in the game world you've already explored.
Setting sail on a wide open ocean isn't an experience we've had many times, and likely never with Assassin's Creed's level of detail and polish. Sure, it took half an hour to walk across Skyrim , but Black Flag's slice of the Caribbean appears to be much, much bigger. Personally, I'm hoping to find some Easter eggs, like The Far Side-style tiny desert islands with a single palm tree and a scraggly survivor and a supply crate full of microwaves.
Assassin's Creed 4 is headed for release on PC sometime this winter.