The year's second-worst kept secret so far (the worst had to be the PS4's announcement at the PlayStation Meeting) has become official.

Ubisoft has revealed Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag , the next entry in the critically acclaimed blockbuster franchise. As rumored, we get a brand new hero and a brand new setting, along with "the most diverse and seamless Assassin's Creed world ever created." It will release for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Wii U, PlayStation 4, "and other next generation consoles." However, only a release date for the PS3, 360 and Wii U versions was announced: October 29, 2013.

Although many gamers have expressed displeasure with the "annualization" of this series, it's important to note that this game has been in development for nearly two years. Multiple Ubisoft studios (Montreal, Annecy, Bucharest, Kiev, Quebec, Singapore and Sofia) have been involved in this project's production. And here's an encouraging part of the press release; a statement by Ubisoft CEO Yves Guillemot:

"With the new hero and new setting we are creating the boldest and most unique Assassin’s Creed game yet, while still respecting the pillars of the franchise that have made it such a fan favorite. Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag is based on a true, harsh and exciting part of a legendary era and will thrill longtime fans and newcomers alike.”

The new adventure features Edward Kenway, a British man with a definite thirst for danger. He starts off privateering for the Royal Navy but ends up embracing piracy, and then finds himself involved in the ancient war between the Assassins and Templars. The setting is the dawn of the 18th century and other characters include "some of the most infamous pirates in history, such as Blackbeard and Charles Vane." Players will travel through the West Indies during what has become known as the Golden Age of Pirates. And everyone thinks pirates are awesome, right?

There will be over 50 navigable locations, combat features weaponry from the era in question, and the gameplay will reward "both daring and stealth." Plus, the new multiplayer experience "is more varied and ruthless than ever." If you purchase the game for either the PS3 or PS4, you can download 60 minutes of additional gameplay via the PSN after the game arrives and lastly, pre-ordering at GameStop nets you a Limited Edition collectible poster featuring artwork by award-winning artist Todd McFarlane.

And here's the world premiere trailer. Looks like it's running on next-gen hardware, doesn't it?