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Harpoon sharks and explore the sea in Assassin's Creed IV

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Checking out all the new gameplay features in Black Flag

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag takes us to the age of pirates, and because of that Ubisoft's Singapore studio was tasked with creating the full on ocean simulation. I spoke with lead designer Sebastien Berton who walked me through four of the major new features we can expect to go along with all this.

First up, there's harpooning! Yes, you can go throw a bunch of harpoons into sharks, you monsters. You're rewarded for the wildlife you hunt, as animals will get you vital upgrades for your character similar to Far Cry 3's system. With the sharks in particular, you'll first hook into them with a harpoon tied to a rope. One connected, you'll be pulled through the ocean and you have throw more spears at them until they finally die.

Next we learned a little more about how the underwater system works. It's a first for the series, and everything in the water is a threat to you while you search for treasure. You have to find pockets of air to stay under longer, and sharks can mess you up really easily as you can't fight back.

Sebastien also briefly touched on hidden caves players can find, and how the fort system has been upgraded in Black Flag. Check out the interview for the full details, and check out our past previews for more on the next big Assassin's Creed.

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