If your current mental image of a typical pirate is an eyepatched, peg-legged, hook-handed swashbuckler, Vice has decided to set you straight. The popular online video destination has teamed up with the upcoming Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag video game for Rum, Guns, and Gallows, a three part web series exploring the true nature of the plundering seamen who ruled the Caribbean in the early 18th century.
Each episode focuses on the life of a particular pirate, but Rum, Guns, and Gallows captures its subjects with a pretty wide lens. Rather than lecturing viewers on the specific exploits of Charles Vane or Blackbeard, host Will Kiersky instead takes to the Caribbean himself to try out some of the activities common to pirates of the Golden Age. There be swimmin’ with sharks, there be bottles of rum, and there be shootin’. Aye, there be plenty o’ shootin’ in this here web series.
It’s a pretty cool watch, even if it often seems like Vice is choosing its subjects in large part based on the locations its journalists want to visit. This time, at least, there is a significant brand tie-in in tow, with Assassin’s Creed sponsoring the series as a way of hyping its own imminent pirate-themed stab-a-thon.
The Assassin’s Creed team are no strangers to the web; it used a web series to build up Assassin’s Creed II back in 2010, and the third installment used online creators like Smosh as a marketing tool. Rum, Guns, and Gallows is a pretty honest effort, so it’s worth checking out–even if you’re more of a ninja type.