Assassin's Creed IV footage highlights varied gameplay

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag is due this fall, and I'm kind of excited about it after seeing the latest gameplay footage. Check out the six-minute snippet Ubisoft has posted to YouTube:

The commentary is provided by AC4 Director Ashraf Ismail, who drops some interesting tidbits about the game. Enemies have been made "harder and deadlier," he says, making stealth more important. Oddly, AC4 will also have expanded gunplay, complete with combo moves and a free-aim mode. The latter could work nicely with a keyboard and mouse.

For me, the most impressive thing about the demo is the game's seamless transitions not only between land and sea, but also between stealth and action and a full-on naval battle. If variety is your thing, Black Flag appears to have it, right down to the different approaches available for taking over enemy ships. Ismail promises players will have "free agency in how [they] explore and play." If AC4 delivers, I might be able to get past the whole Pirates of the Caribbean vibe.

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