Assassin’s Creed 4 cover check: too many guns is the perfect amount
Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag is a real game, and we’ll learn more about it on Monday. I wasn’t personally at the event for the game, so I’m with you guys and girls waiting for more news. What’s funny is that I keep seeing people remark on how many guns and weapons we see strapped to the character on the cover of the game. Surely, this is some Ubisoft artist going crazy, right? Someone decided that guns are like Rob Liefeld’s famous pouches: the more, the merrier.
This conversation tickled my once-pirate obsessed brain, and I did a little digging.
Slow reload, many guns
It turns out there is some actual historical basis for the large collection of guns.
“Blackbeard knew the importance of image in his line of work. Before battle, he would dress all in black, strap several pistols to his chest and put on a large black captain’s hat. Then, he would put slow burning fuses in his hair and beard. The fuses constantly sputtered and gave off smoke, which wreathed him in a perpetual greasy fog. He looked like a devil who had stepped right out of hell and onto a pirate ship and most of his victims simply surrendered their cargo rather than fight him,” one article said.
There were more hints that pirates liked to strap multitudes of what would scientifically be described as “ill shit” to their bodies in preparation for battle. Among such ill shit, the flintlock pistol.
“A favorite weapon among pirates for its small size and light weight. An ideal weapon for personal defence and in boarding enemy ships. The firing mechanism was exactly like the larger flintlock rifles. Most fired a single shot and were loaded through the front of the barrel,” another site stated. “Reloading was such a lengthy process that pirates would often carry several pistols and various bladed weapons into battle. Blackbeard was known to have carried six pistols, and Bartholomew Roberts was said to wear four pistols. These pistols were sometimes tied to their belts with silk cords to avoid dropping them overboard during a boarding attack.”
“The preparation to use to flintlock was very long, so a pirate would often have many prepared and ready to shoot, before they would enter battle. The preparation usually took at least 30 seconds from an experienced shooter,” one more site explained.
Pirates are badass
I’d hardly call my sources peer-reviewed journals, but pirates have often been portrayed carrying multiple flintlock pistols into battle, and it makes perfect sense. You get your one shot, and move onto the next one. The guns could be used as clubs in a pinch. There’s also the fact that pirates operated as a kind of terrorist: You’re not likely to resist a man coming out you covered in guns and blades. The more guns you bring in that situation, the fewer you’d have to use.
If you imagine a character covered in guns mixed with the fluid combat from Assassin’s Creed 3, you get some interesting possibilities for battle. Imagine firing a gun and then either dropping it for the next one, using it as a melee weapon, or combining all those moves into one fluid animation where you take down a crew of rival sailors.
So yes, it may look like strapping that many guns to your body is overkill, but there’s a good reason for it, and it even opens the door to some interesting combat situations.