Ubisoft's Game Director Ashraf Ismail for Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag describes there as being a "solid three to five hours" of gameplay in the game's present day setting, with a lot of "fun optional content."
During the pirate/assassin career of Edward Kenway we'll leave the Animus "five times" spending a mandatory "three to four minutes" before getting back in, and back to the high seas.
If you happen to like these adventures outside the Animus, then there's plenty to explore at Abstergo Entertainment, we fans can delve into the "meta story" of the series.
"In total, if you were to do everything in the present day – find everything, hack every computer, access every room – it’s a solid three to five hours," Ashraf Ismail revealed in a .
"For the main path – the stuff you’re required to do – it’s somewhere between 20 and 25 minutes. You leave the Animus five times during the game’s main path and each time you’re there for about three to four minutes."
The present day segments of the Assassin's Creed series haven't always proven popular, with some questioning why Ubisoft bothers with them at all considering they invest so much in creating our ancestral assassins. Ubisoft appears to have taken feedback on board and opted to make the majority entirely optional with 'treats' for explorers.
"It’s there to progress the story because there’s this meta story that we’re telling. Why are you researching Edward? Why him specifically? What did he do that’s interesting? There is a story that connects everything together," he said.
"We pretty much tried to boil it down to its most core essence because we know there are people out there who really don’t like the present day, and that’s okay. You don’t have to like it, but it’s part of the brand. For the people who like the present day and are big fans, we put in a lot of fan service and a lot of fun optional content."
"You get to choose if you want it or not," affirmed Ismail. What exactly do we get to 'choose to do or not' though?
"You have to hack computers and figure out how to access certain rooms and get through security. There is gameplay in just being able to access that stuff. When you access it, the content you find is a reward for us. Through this content you see what happens to Desmond after Assassin’s Creed III."
Mild spoiler alert.
"We used it as an opportunity to say goodbye to Desmond. There’s actually a lot of stuff linked to him that you find."
"We also have a lot of fun with the present day stuff. You get to see what Abstergo Entertainment as a company is doing with your research. You get to see the progression of what they’re trying to do, which is really fun. Some of it is just us making fun of the videogame industry and being a videogame company," he continued.
"We have the Abstergo Entertainment Employee Manual, which is kind of poking fun at our employee manual. There’s a lot of stuff we just had a good time with. It’s really there for people who enjoy it and want to see a bit more of it."
Check out thewith Game Director Ashraf Ismail.
Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag releases on Xbox 360 and PS3 October 29th in the US, November 1st in EU. It releases on PC November 19th in the US, 22nd in EU. Watch out for those.