No sea battles in Assassin’s Creed 4 multiplayer

3 min read


I swore off the series after slogging through Assassin’s Creed III as Mr-absolute-lack-of-personality Connor – but everything I’ve seen about Assassin’s Creed IV so far has me rather excited to jump back in to the animus. One of the things I was most excited for though won;t be in the game.

With such a huge focus on naval battles in this sequel, I had expected it to be included in the game’s ever-expanding multiplayer offering; firing cannonballs in to a friend’s ship and leaving him to drown would have been a multiplayer highlight – but it’s just not going to happen. Ubisoft has confirmed that there will be no multiplayer naval battling.

“You have to take into consideration that it took a very big dedicated team in Singapore about two-and-a-half years to do it for the solo [play],” lead multiplayer game designer Tim Browne told VG247.

“In Black Flag it’s even better, but for solo. We’ve looked at it and we’ve considered it. We seriously considered it. We think it would be cool, but at the same time we tried it, and for technical reasons it’s impossible.”

One of the biggest problems in getting multi-layer naval battles working was simulating the ocean in an online setting, which just wasn’t possible, according to director Damien Kieken.

“One of the big added values of the naval battles in single-player is how they simulate the ocean. The ocean is really a toy. You have big waves, waves that stop your cannon balls: you have to play with the ocean. If you want that to be good in multiplayer, it means we have to perfectly replicate the ocean.”

“Over seven other consoles,” Browne said, before Kieken added: “It was one of the big hurdles. We didn’t want to go into that. It definitely wasn’t feasible in the time [we had].”

On top of that, it just didn’t fit in with the game’s established multiplayer.

“We looked at the DNA of multiplayer, and we thought that ship battles aren’t really being the cool assassin. With multiplayer it’s all about you working either as a team of four players or in free-for-all, where you want to be the best player. It’s not so much about piloting a ship and using cannons to destroy the opponent’s ship.”

Dammit.I really, really want to use cannons to destroy opponents ships. Boo! Instead, AC4 will include an expanded version of the previous game’s Wolf Pack mode, and a brand new feature called Gamelab, that’ll allow the game’s host to tailor multiplayer sessions using a ridiculous number of variables.

Guess I’ll just have to play some old school battleship.

Last Updated: July 30, 2013

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

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