Assassin's Creed 3's naval battles will fill an entire side-quest in the game, Ubisoft has told Eurogamer in a preview of the mode at Gamescom.
The game's main story will offer up "three or four" ship battles, with more available for those who want them. Completing the side-quest will offer economic rewards and ship upgrades.
The campaign will also offer a good reason as to why Connor is promoted to the commander of his own ship. While Assassin's Creed: Revelations offered up unnecessary and distracting tower defence sections, this year's inclusion of naval battles seems to fit far better with the main game.
The on-water sections are developed by Ubisoft Singapore, but crucially also feature on-foot boarding moments. These were made by the main Assassin's Creed 3 team, and offer short blasts of combat that keep things fresh.
Players will start the game with a standard ship and boring regular cannon balls. You'll be able to upgrade the ship hull (offering extra ship HP) and unlock the chain shot (two cannon balls chains together), heat shot (cannon balls on fire) and grape shot (a blast of debris similar to a giant shotgun).