While Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag focuses on the adventures of pirate Edward Kenway, Ubisoft is moving in a different direction for the game's additional content. Instead of exploring Kenway's life in a different timeline like Assassin's Creed III's downloadable content, ACIV's DLC will focus on the exploits of his African first mate Adewale. The DLC, entitled Freedom's Cry, will show Adewale fifteen years after the events of ACIV, when he finds himself shipwrecked in Saint-Domingue.
PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4 owners can also look forward to an hour's worth of extra content starring Assassin's Creed: Liberation lead Aveline de Grandpre. Aveline's adventure is being re-released sometime in 2014, but PlayStation-bound players will get a chance to see her in HD glory first.
Besides the fact that both sets of content will feature characters of African descent, they'll also share certain supporting cast members. Aveline's mother Jeanne, her mentor Agate, and cult leader Baptiste will all be in Freedom's Cry as child slaves. The Freedom's Cry DLC will also be written by one of the writers of Liberation, Jill Murray.
"This DLC takes place in the 1730s, about fifteen years after Black Flag. We get to see Saint-Domingue as it was in the generation before Liberation's elder cohort- Agate, Baptiste, and Jeanne- were enslaved there," Murray told Kotaku about the DLC and additional PS content. "We see the Maroon Resistance before they became involved in it, and take an open-eyed look at the conditions they would inherit and rebel against in a very different way than Adewale chooses. Adewale's heroism is informed by a life at sea, as a pirate, and then as an Assassin. Agate, Baptiste, and Jeanne are children and their reaction is very different."
"As for Aveline, she was removed from slavery by one generation and the degree of privilege granted by her social status," she added. "In Liberation, slavery was something she chose to engage with, when she could have pretended to ignore it. The events of Liberation give her good reason to question her ties to the Assassins, but never her commitment to the people she helped. The events of the upcoming DLC introduce her to a new ally, who plays a role in helping her resolve her ambitions and her doubts."
I'm glad Aveline and Adewale are getting a greater focus in this content. Aveline's game wasn't perfect, but I enjoyed the exploration of her role in New Orleans as an assassin and as the free daughter of a former slave. I'm pretty hyped for Liberation HD, since it will hopefully introduce Aveline to a new audience, instead of letting her fall into obscurity.
With Adewale, I'm always interested to see Assassin's Creed take on heavier themes like slavery; what's the point of having history as your canvas if you never really explore it? Assassin's Creed III briefly touched upon Connor's reality as a mixed-race Native American, but the game's pacing meant that anytime it became a focus, you were whisked away immediately to the next mission. The fact that slaves were present as America fought for its freedom was merely glanced over in a comment at the end of the game. Adewale will be neck-deep in slavery in Saint-Domingue and being an escaped slave means he'll tackle it head-on.
Freedom's Cry doesn't have a release date or a price yet, but the DLC will be a part of the Assassin's Creed IV Season Pass. For $20, you get a 20 percent discount on any DLC, additional single-player missions, weapons, skins, and collectibles, additional multiplayer characters, and the Kraken Ship Pack to customize your ship. The Season Pass will be available at launch on all platforms, except for Wii U. Ubisoft confirmed to GameReactor that all ACIV DLC will be skipping Wii U.