The game will feature three main cities; Havana, Kingston, and Nassau, Bahamas, which reside under Spanish, British and pirate influence, respectively. The game will also feature 50 other 'unique' locations to explore, with a 60/40 balance between land and naval exploration. Assassin's Creed IV will have a more open world feel, with missions similar to those found in Assassin's Creed, as well as fewer restrictions for the player. The world opens up sooner in the game, as opposed to Assassin's Creed III, which had very scripted missions and did not give players freedom to explore until the game was well into its first act. The player will encounter jungles, forts, ruins and small villages and the world is being built to allow players much more freedom, such as allowing players to engage, board, and capture passing ships and swimming to nearby beaches in a seamless fashion. In addition, the hunting system has been retained from Assassin's Creed III, allowing the player to hunt on land, and harpoon in the water.
A new aspect in the game is the ship the player will captain, Jackdaw. The Jackdaw will be upgradeable throughout the game, as well as having easy access to the ship when needed. In addition, a new underwater component is being added. The player will also have access to a spyglass, allowing the examination of distant ships, along with their cargo and strength. It can also help determine if an island still has animals to hunt, treasures to find or high points to reach for synchronization. An updated form of the recruit system introduced in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood will also return, allowing Edward to recruit crew members. While Kenway's crew will remain loyal to him, and can be promoted to captain acquired ships, they cannot assist you in combat or perform long-range assassinations, as in previous games. Ubisoft removed this aspect of the brotherhood system, believing it allowed players to bypass tense and challenging scenarios too easily.
In the present day, at the Abstergo Entertainment — a subsidiary of Abstergo Industries — offices in Montreal, Quebec, players will engage in modern day pirating through the exploring of Abstergo's offices, eavesdropping and hacking, all without combat. As well, various "hacking" games, similar to previous cluster and glyph puzzles, will be present, that will uncover secrets about Abstergo.
Multiplayer has been confirmed to return, with new settings and game modes, though it will only be land-based.
Operating System: Windows Vista SP SP1 or Windows 7 or Windows 8 (both 32/64bit versions)
Processor: Intel Core 2 Quad Q8400 2.6 GHz or AMD Athlon II X4 620 2.6 GHz
RAM: 2GB for Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8
Video card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 or AMD Radeon HD 4870 (512MB VRAM with Shader Model 4.0 or higher)
DirectX: DirectX June 2010 Redistributable
Disk Space: 30 Gb
Sound: DirectX compatible sound card with latest drivers
Peripherals: Windows-compliant keyboard and mouse required, optional controller
Operating System: Windows Vista SP2 or Windows 7 SP1 or Windows 8 (both 32/64bit versions)
Processor: Intel Core i5 2400S 2.5 GHz or AMD Phenom II x4 940 3.0 GHz or better
RAM: 4GB or more
Video card: Nvidia GeForce GTX 470 or AMD Radeon HD 5850 (1024MB VRAM with Shader Model 5.0) or better
Supported video cards at the time of release: Nvidia GeForce GTX 260 or better, GT400, GT500, GT600, GT700 or AMD Radeon HD4870 series or better, HD5000, HD6000, HD7000 series*
Note: Latest GeForce drivers tested: 320.49 for all series. Latest Radeon drivers tested: 13.1 for Radeon HD4000, 13.4 for Radeon HD5000 and above.
*Laptop versions of the cards may work but are not officially supported.