A Kind-Of Exclusive Preview of ‘Assassin’s Creed IV,’ Plus 10 Things We Want
1963 Ferrari 250 GTO, $52 million
Let's dive right in: This 1963 Ferrari 250 GTO just sold at auction for $52,000,000. 52. Million. The car is considered the most prized of all Ferraris—only 39 were made; each one was personally signed off by former Vincent Chase subject Enzo Ferrari—and this particular model actually raced the 1963 Tour de France. It won, obviously, because it was up against a bunch of French assholes on bikes.
(Oh, there's a car race too. That would make more sense.)
If you're forced to indulge in the great mass pumpkin panic that arrives each fall, drink pumpkin beer, not Starbucks-spiced lattes. The Jolly Pumpkin is made with chestnuts and spices and is aged in oak barrels, giving the booze a caramel taste. And, perhaps most importantly, it'll get you drunk.
If you go abroad and use your cellphone a lot, you may come back with the most devestating bill in the history of bills. The charges add up, your carrier completely abandons you; just one time using your Internet while roaming could result in $100 tacked on.
KnowRoaming promises to prevent that headache. The app has agreements with hundreds of local carriers, and it detects when you've left your home country, automatically switching you to a local network rather than hitting you with roaming charges. This is pretty much ideal for the Twitter-obssessed traveler. And God forbid we forget to set our fantasy lineups while at Victoria Falls.
Understand Rap, $10
Understand Rap delves into the wide world of rap lyrics—the art of how Nas, Jay Z, and 'Pac told stories and brags over some of history's best beats. So think of RapGenius as Wikipedia, and this as the sturdy Encarta you'll pass down to you grandkids.
Old Swiss Army Knife, $Unknown
Unfortunately, I don't think you can buy this. But it more than merited placement here. What you see above is a German knife two decades older than anything the Swiss could even dream up in their neutrality-obssessed minds, a knife that features over 100 functions to satisfy all your killing urges. The kicker? There's a fucking .22 caliber pistol at the top. GUN-KNIFE. Long live GUN-KNIFE.
The System, $18.65
A new book that promises to be the definitive expose of corruption deep behind-the-scenes of big-time college football (think: seven-figure slush funds, hidden injuries, hostesses), The System can be paired with the also-new League of Denial: The NFL, Concussions and the Battle for Truth for literally the most depressing weekend of reading you'll have during football season.
Woodford Reserve, $99
For the first time since Prohibition, a large-scale Kentucky distiller has released a malt whiskey. Woodford Reserve's limited-time-only attempt at a malt allegedly tastes almost like a “fine cognac.” We may have to try it out for ourselves.
Look: This thing shoots out screws at 4,000 RPM. I think I know when it could have come in handy.
“Motherfuckers get up in you like a pinball, rip your ass up. Big joints, though… Big joints, man, just break your bones, you say, “fuck it.” I'm gonna go with this right here, man. How much do I owe you?” So great.
Either a genius idea or a disgusting one—THERE IS NO IN BETWEEN—Goldbely delivers across the country frozen foods from the best restaurants in the country. You, sitting in Omaha, Nebreska, can order the pastrimi on rye from Katz' Deli. Or the crawfish from Hitoches, LA. Or the deep-dish pizza from Lou Malnati's in Chicago. It's a little difficult, now, to judge if this is going to work out. But just going through the dizzying variety of options is worth a few minutes.
Assassin's Creed IV, $59.99
I was lucky enough to test out the new Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag this week for the PS1, and based on a short 20-minute impression, it's pretty mind-blowing stuff. You play as Edward, the grandfather of AC3 good guy Connor, and a pirate of the Carribean in the early 1700s. He's kind of a roguish asshole—a fun departure from the brooding heavy-handedness of Connor—who leads an interactive crew of scallywags across three main cities (Havana, Kingston, and Nassau) and 50 other unique locations. The cities Edward enters are immacuately detailed, if a little smaller-scale than New York and Boston. The islands take the forests of AC3 and expertly translate them to the nautical setting. Your crew yells at you while you sail.
The most obvious concern, I guess, that people have had with Black Flag is that it seems a little rushed. The world it inhabits is similar to AC3's. This isn't the same leap that you took from Jerusalem to Rome to Boston, and Black Flag was only a year in a making. In a way, though, the game is kind of needed. AC3 represented years of development. It was an incredibly ambitious game that suffered a bit for that ambition—the game was buggy at launch, and many criticized the repetitive fighting and problematic missions. Black Flag is an attempt to really capitalize on the amazing possibilities of that world. The naval battles that I fought—with British and Spanish ships that wouldn't get out of my shit—took the already most-fun aspect of AC3 and amped it to a whole different level. We've needed a big, badass pirate game for a while.
Plus: Shark harpooning. Look, I'm calling it now. Shark harpooning will be the best mini-game, by far, that you play this year. The producer I tested with literally had to wrest the controller from my hands because he wanted to show me Havana. Shark harpooning is awesome.