First image from 'Assassin's Creed IV': Yo ho ho and a bottle of KILL

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The Assassin’s Creed franchise has adopted an annual-release model the last few years, presenting gamers with a new opportunity every fall to jump across the rooftops of their favorite densely-researched historical cityscapes. But last year’s Assassin’s Creed 3 seemed to mark a turning point for the franchise. We don’t know much about the next entry, but Ubisoft just released an evocative bit of key art which reveals two things: 1. The name of the game, and 2. A very rough idea of the setting. Take a look:

So there you have it. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag will take the franchise’s usual historical-ninja-monk protagonists and set them loose in the land of pirates. The flag behind the newest assassin shows the iconic Skull-and-Crossbowns pirate flag overlaid with the mark of the Assassins. Memorize that image, because at least one of your cousins might get it tattooed on their bicep soon. Also, Mr. Pirate Assassin appears to have about twenty weapons on his person. So, presumably, this will not be a game about soft diplomacy.

We look forward to hearing more about this game, although personally, I’m hoping it’s a crossover between Assassin’s Creed and Sid Meier’s Pirates. Life lesson, gang: Always pay for the Letter of Marque. Always.

Follow Darren on Twitter: @DarrenFranich

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