Those who aren't familiar with the Assassin's Creed franchise don't realize that there's one enduring protagonist that is rarely seen in promotional material and media.
And that's because he's not flashy, he lives in the modern world, and his name is Desmond. The AC stories have us playing as Desmond's ancestors and only occasionally do we pop out of the past and into the current time. We did this more in Assassin's Creed III , but Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag director Ashraf Ismail said we won't leave the Animus often.
During a recent interview posted at the Ubisoft's blog , Ismail said that in fact, the player will only be required to leave the Animus five times during the game. And each time you do, it will only last about three to four minutes. However, if you wish, you could spend up to five hours wandering around Abstergo Entertainment in present day:
"In total, if you were to do everything in the present day–find everything, hack every computer, access every room–it’s a solid three to five hours. For the main path–the stuff you’re required to do–it’s somewhere between 20 and 25 minutes. You leave the Animus five times during the game’s main path and each time you’re there for about three to four minutes."
I don't mind this at all. The Desmond parts of any AC are always the most boring, anyway, in my estimation. Just gimme the bad-ass assassin in an awesome time period, and I'm good.