Naval-based missions will account for 40 per cent of Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag's total mission count, creative director Jean Guesdon has revealed.

Speaking about Ubisoft's upcoming pirate game in a Q&A provided to this morning, Guesdon stated that "mission wise, land missions will represent approximately 60% of the game and naval ones 40%. But if you take the global experience that players will leave with [AC4] we're more talking about 50-50."

But despite the shift towards seafaring, Guesdon claims that land-based gameplay "remains important" to Assassin's Creed 4, and that "free-running, social stealth and combat are still the key pillars" of AC4's ground gameplay, with the player able to engage in free-running and combat during "the boarding sequences of ships".

"The Seamless, systemic open-world system (Horizon System) packed full of sea and underwater activities will represent a big part of the game," Guesdon added.

"At any given moment in the game when you are aboard your ship you can take out your spyglass and survey the world. The Horizon system ensures that you will always have 2 or 3 pirate 'opportunities' available to you. That could be a merchant ship convoy to rob, a whale to hunt, fellow pirates to rescue... the list goes on.

"These opportunities happen systemically and evolve based on your progress, meaning that every player's experience will be different. It means that if you love the naval experience you can play it as much as you want, being constantly and variably challenged outside the main story path."

Assassin's Creed 4: Black Flag was officially revealed earlier today. The game introduces new assassin Edward Kenway, an ex-Royal Navy sailor who sets sail on the high seas in search of plunder and adventure.

The game is due for release on "every available platform", including PlayStation 4, later this year.

Source: ASSASSIN'S CREED IV BLACK FLAG |Announcement Global Q&A