Assassin's Creed 3 was an ambitious, but ultimately very flawed, game. While many were quite fond of the narrative twist of the game's introduction, others were frustrated by how slowly the game progressed. It would take many hours before players would even set foot in the American Revolution--the very thing that the game advertised! Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag won't repeat that mistake, the game's lead writer promised us.
Darby McDevitt explained that previous AC games have been about the "traditional hero's journey, where you begin as nobody special and then you discover something about yourself, something in your past or your DNA or whatever that leads you on this hero's journey. What we're doing with Edward is really, really different."
What separates Edward from previous AC heroes is that he's already skilled at the beginning of the game, having been a sailor for two years. "He's already a pirateer fallen into piracy. We're not going to waste any time to build him into piracy. He's going to be a pirate when you press Start," McDevitt promised.
That means Edward will be able to fight right from the beginning of the game. He'll even be able to tree-run right away--an ability that wasn't introduced until sequence 4 (out of 12) in Assassin's Creed 3.
"We wanted to throw that curve ball," McDevitt said. "It's time for something very different, I think."