The first images of Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag's slightly futuristic era have been revealed. (Thanks, AllGamesBeta.)
Game director Ash Ismael previously told us that these modern sections will contain some sort of online connectivity where players will encounter each other as they take the role of various research analysts for the Templar-fronted Abstergo Entertainment.
"The hero is yourself," Ismael told us in June. "You're working for Abstergo Entertainment, and you're using the Animus technology. You're a research analyst, and you don't know why, but you're told to research the life of this guy Edward Kenway."
"The feeling and the mood of the present day will be a big surprise for people," he added. "Imagine when you exit that [Animus] workstation, you have this building that you can explore and you can find stuff. So we really push it. For us, that part is an homage to our fans."
Based on these pictures, it appears that these sections are in first-person, but it's a bit hard to tell as it's possible they're just dev shots of the environment and that's why there's no consistent avatar with their back to the camera. The futuristic cubicle with figurines of various Assassin's Creed characters is a cute touch, and it sounds like there won't be the only one. I suppose various virtual reality experts/analysts is a pretty good approximation for franchise fans trading their secrets and collaborating to unveil more of the series' mythos. How meta.