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Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag's modern setting is about exploring

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The modern day setting in Ubisoft's upcoming Assassin's Creed title, Black Flag, will feature no combat and is "all about exploring, eavesdropping and hacking," lead writer Darby McDevitt said during a recent Q&A session.

McDevitt answered questions "to help shed some light on the present day story" in Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag, which players explore as a new employee of the series' antagonistic corporation, Abstergo. According to his responses, players will interact with the present day through several missions with "a clear story arc." Players can discover new information by snooping, picking up audiotapes featuring stories of past Abstergo employees and more. Old characters are expected to return, but from different perspectives; the modern protagonist does not need a relation to Desmond in order to explore his family's memories.

"Abstergo's tech has improved," McDevitt wrote. "They have genetic memory cloud servers that allow anyone to dive into another's memories."

McDevitt added that player choice will play some kind of role when it comes to the game's two warring factions, the Assassins and the Templars/Abstergo.

"Not a literal ‘press X to choose sides,'" McDevitt wrote. "It will just present two sides of a conflict. You work for Abstergo, but you may like Assassins better. Or neither."

Check out the full Q&A over at UbiBlog. Yesterday, Ubisoft released screenshots of modern day Abstergo.

Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag launches Oct. 29 for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U and Windows PC. Next-gen copies for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 are expected to launch with their respective consoles.