Contrary to what you may have learned from Jack Sparrow and the Crimson Pirate (note to self: update pop culture references), the life of a pirate was not really a glamorous one. Meagre life expectancy, no real buried treasure, an assortment of increasingly horrific ailments and the closest thing to Keira Knightley was the mouldy deck mop. Luckily though, the folks at Megarom must suck at history, which is why they treated us like mythical pirate kings at the Cape Town launch for Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.

Yes, you read that right. A game launch in Cape Town, because last time I checked, boats don’t have eToll tags. So with promises of great weather (oh, you Joburgers are so gullible) Megarom’s Devon Stanton and Rene Fraser set up a little shin-dig at the V&A Waterfront aboard the Jolly Roger pirate ship to celebrate the launch of the sixth game in Ubisoft’s best selling franchise.

Those of us lucky enough to be in attendance were greeted on the docks by Devon, sword in hand (not like that, you perverts), who encouraged folks to dress up in the provided pirate props for some photo opportunities. I braved a fake beard of some indiscriminate hairy origin (tasted like mongoose fur to me) and did my best pirate impersonation by secretly downloading an mp3 illegally on my phone. I kid, I kid.

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With some drinks in hand we were all soon bundled aboard the Jolly Roger, like some reverse version of rats on a sinking ship, where we were greeted by the sight of several PlayStation 3’s and LCD screens setup on board for us to try the game out for ourselves later. Refreshments were laid out and with the pirate garbed crew clambering all over the deck, we soon set off, much to the surprise of a not insubstantial few people and their sensitive stomachs who thought we’d just be cooling our heels in the harbour.

Soon we were coasting around the, well, coast of Cape Town with increasingly miserable looking weather trying, and failing, to dampen our moods. While provided gold doubloons flowed freely at the bar, keeping everybody in high spirits, Devon grabbed a mic to talk to us a bit about the game and all its improvements, inviting us to try it for ourselves.

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A few people accepted the invitation and proceed to play a game about being on a pirate ship at sea, while on a pirate ship at sea. Pirate-ception, I tell ya! Unfortunately, their equilibrium soon caught on to what was going on, prompting many to abandon the controllers before they gave us a far too hands-on description of what they had for breakfast.

But not even the threat of bile-stewed stomach contents could sully the jovial atmosphere, as with all the formalities out of the way, everybody settled down to just mingling and having fun. Real life faces were matched to twitter handles (much to Devon’s relief), the search for the only meaty food platter aboard commenced, seagulls were mistaken for dolphins, dolphins were accused of rape and iAfrica’s Hadlee Simons made far too many bad nautical puns. Strangely enough though, only a single joke about able seamen was made. You’re slipping, Cape Town. You’re slipping.

Megarom also gave away a fantastic prize of an Assassin’s Creed swag bag containing an AC hoodie, some AC paraphernalia and every single AC game released thus far, including the latest, Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, to the best, and fortunately only, person dressed like a pirate. Congratulations, person dressed like Jack Sparrow whose name I forgot to ask even though you were standing right next to me.

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And with that we headed back to port, the grins on our faces stuck in place by equal amounts of the fun we had and the freezing wind that had been assaulting us for the last hour or so since the sun had begun to set. But there was one more surprise as Rene and co dished out Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag t-shirts to all in attendance as we disembarked once docked, kind of happy to have our landlubbing feet back on a surface that didn’t impersonate obese people jogging, but a little sad for our little adventure on the high seas to be over.

Guess we’ll just have to settle for doing it again – minus the bad jokes and impending nausea – on our TV screens at home. On that note, keep an eye on the site today – we’ve got something quite special for Assassin’s Creed fans that we’ll be giving away.

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Last Updated: October 30, 2013

was reviewed on PC

Kervyn Cloete

A man of many passions - but very little sleep - I've been geeking out over movies, video games, comics, books, anime, TV series and lemon meringues as far back as I can remember. So show up for the geeky insight, stay for the delicious pastries.

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