Assassin’s Creed Rogue and Unity have been out a week now. Unity has been hitting the headlines with some issues, whilst Rogue has been a little over-shadowed. I’m here however to share my thoughts on this years last-gen Assassin’s Creed. So forget what you know about Assassin’s Creed so far, because Rogue truly does make you Question The Creed.
Assassin’s Creed Rogue is a paradox, now bear with me on this one. It feels familiar but new. And it’s not just the story it’s all of it, not like Unity that is a complete change up. Rogue has taken the best bits from Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed III, mashed them together to give you a brilliant game. The naval aspects of Black Flag that were executed brilliantly last year return and are even better when your a Templar. The dynamic weather and beautiful scenery we experienced in Assassin’s Creed III are improved upon, as well as a whole host of other aspects.
Let’s look at Shay first though. Shay Patrick Cormac joined the Assassin’s at the age of 17 and departed, albeit on bad terms in 1755 at age 24. What becomes clear pretty quick is that Shay cares, that sounds pretty ironic doesn’t it? And it’s people he cares about. This is a theme that I felt ran deep throughout Assassin’s Creed Rogue. It’s ultimately what pushed Shay to become a Templar. In the beginning, I actually found Assassin Shay a little annoying. Don’t get me wrong I respected him as a character but he just came across a little brash. But that could be down to brilliant acting and that’s exactly how they wanted him portrayed at the beginning.
It’s when Shay becomes a Templar that he really flourishes, he’s an interesting person who for a brief time is just the Captain of his ship and is an ex-assassin who now associates with Templars. The way I see it is he saw the Templars as a way of achieving his own personal goals and so just kind of fell into being a Templar.
What Ubisoft have done is create a game that teases you with character from previous games to hook you and then with a very interesting story they keep you there. When I placed my pre-order for Rogue I told those who asked, “I’m just playing it to round off the Kenway Saga” and now since getting into the story I find the story both enjoyable and interesting which in my opinion is a winning combination. What they have also cleverly done is weave France into the story so to link Assassin’s Creed Unity and Assassin’s Creed Rogue.
There aren’t a lot of flaws with Assassin’s Creed Rogue, where it does struggle is the fact that it’s main competition is from the same studio. Yep, Assassin’s Creed Unity is it’s worst enemy. It may of only just been me but when I was playing there were a few times where I said to myself “I could be playing current-gen, beautiful Unity right now”. This feeling had the biggest effect when doing the modern day missions and side missions. I would do the modern day missions as quick as possible just to get back to the main story and not wonder off track like I would of in Black Flag. Side missions were a similar affair, I know there were armors that could be unlocked like every Assassin’s Creed title before it but I was happy just playing, and enjoying the story. There was no real need to do any side missions or explore that little bit more. I think this would of been the complete opposite had there not been Unity.
Graphically Assassin’s Creed Rogue is equivalent to Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag with some new animation to keep things interesting. When caught in the snow though the game looked very good. I was a sucker for the snow and the frontier in Assassin’s Creed III, so when that returned with the graphical improvement of Black Flag, I was very happy. There isn’t really much you can say about the graphics, we’ve seen it all before.
Because Shay is a Templar when your on the open seas and you get rammed by an enemy ship you can be “reverse-boarded”. Which basically sees you defending your ship, rather than attacking one. It’s not an out of this world addition to Assassin’s Creed but it does change thing up a bit. The map is also set up a little differently, you can still go from Ship to land seamlessly with no load time but there are now smaller maps for each. For example, the River Valley has it’s own map and so does the North Atlantic. Travelling between the two has a loading screen but it doesn’t really break up gameplay all that much
Shay has his duel hidden blades throughout the story and provide him with an upper hand when hunting down his former brothers and sisters. The new weapon that we get our hands on is the Air Rifle, a silent weapon that Shay steals when carrying out a mission. He can fire bezerk and sleeping darts and eventually gets an upgrade that allow to attach grenades of the same type for larger damage. Unlike Connor and his Tomakawk-Hidden Blade duel wield and Edwards double Sword combination, Shay duel wields a sword and dagger with devastating effect.
When it comes to replay-ability, I think it falls short unless you want to get 100% or attempt the side missions and collect everything. Playing the story once through is definitely enough in my opinion. I personally wouldn’t rush to attempt it again, however, everyone is different.
Assassin’s Creed Rogue is a brilliant game all in all. It faces stiff competition form Unity and being only available (at the moment) on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. It succeeds though, it manages to hold its own and earns it’s place as a fantastic Assassin’s Creed title. I would wholeheartedly recommend the game to everyone. It ties up Assassin’s Creed III and Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag nicely and constantly teases you with aspects of Assassin’s Creed Unity. And the game has an epic ending to boot!
IF you’ve played Assassin’s Creed Rogue tell us what you thought of it? Do you agree with the score I gave it? Share all your thoughts in the comments below!