I remain completely neutral on Assassin’s Creed Black Flag so far. It has a chance of being something great, like all these games do, and there *are* pirates involved, which there isn’t enough of unless you’re Jack Sparrow, or trying to kill Captain Tom Hanks. On the other hand, Assassin’s Creed III was a massive swing-and-a-miss that wasted a golden setup, and this is being handled by the same folks.
So, I don’t know yet how I should feel about AC4‘s first DLC, subtitled Freedom Cry. Because this is the kind of thing that could either go horribly pear-shaped in a hurry, or blossom into something amazing. And I’d really like for the overexcited yelp that came out of me by the end of this trailer to be justified.
Freedom Cry follows Adewale, an escaped slave who, in his younger days, finds himself first mate aboard Edward Kenway’s ship. Adewale’s adventure begins 15 years after Black Flag ends, when he is shipwrecked in the colony of Saint-Domingue (what’s now Haiti), shipless, and weaponless, but as a fully trained Assassin.
The DLC’s being spearheaded by Jill Murray, who was responsible for Assassin’s Creed: Liberation on the Vita, which I’ve never played, but have heard more than once that it’s got more going on for it than AC3. More than that, this is taking place around 1730, which is around the point the French slave owners in Saint-Domingue start really putting on their bastard hats, breaking France’s Noir code for ethical treatment of slaves. This is the period where the Haitian slave riots start sparking off. This is ripe territory, and moreover, it’s territory we’ve yet to really explore in gaming, and we’re being promised that Adewale’s gameplay will not resemble Edward Kenway’s in most ways. This is, for all intents, a completely separate game.
While I wish this was a full fledged 30 hour title, even knowing I’ve been burned before, it’s hard to not buzz with how this *could* go. This is closer to fulfilling that promise made by that Eagle Eye moment in AC1 than anything else, on top of, well, holy shit, BLACK PROTAGONIST. No release date yet but Ubi’s promising all the content to be available from the Season Pass you can get on AC4′s release to be out by March 2014. In the meantime, watch that trailer below. And maybe start ripping the Django Unchained soundtrack to your hard drive now. Shut up, you know you were thinking it.