The other Assassin’s Creed game…
Whilst assassins on the new-gen consoles get to enjoy a glorious Paris in the midst of revolution, those still holding on dearly to the previous generation machines are set to experience an all together different adventure. But, given the well publicized issues with Unity, are those who shun the way of the assassin in favor of turning Templar destined for a better time?
Assassin’s Creed: Rogue sets the player into the Irish shoes of Shay Patrick Cormac, who starts the game as a fresh faced member of the assassins brotherhood. However, as the name may suggest, it doesn’t take the hero long to turn his back on the brotherhood and join the series bad guys, the Templars. For the first time in the series, players are able to see the age-old conflict from the other side. It may not be as different as expected, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t enjoyable.
It turns out that being a Templar is surprisingly similar to being as assassin. However, there are a few differences. As a Templar, the player will be a target for other assassins, even as they go around assassinating assassins themselves. This means taking caution in crowds, watching haystacks with suspicion and keeping one eye on the skies. Rogue has taken the mechanics from the multiplayer AC game in that the player will have to listen out for the telltale whispering voices as an advanced warning of attack. Shay also has access to an air rifle for almost silent, long distance take downs, and a grenade launcher of sorts, which is woefully underused in the story missions.
Being a Templar also brings some new goodies to Shay’s ship in the form of Puckle guns that can wreak havoc on enemy ships, and the ability to leave a trail of oil which can be ignited. Aside from this, the naval aspect of Rogue is almost identical to Black Flag, albeit in a much colder climate, which brings with it the additional hazard of icebergs that are also an opportunity to cause extra damage to enemy ships if destroyed from a distance. The story that carries the game forward is relatively short, but the game area is massive and filled with all of the distractions that were found in Black Flag, ensuring that there is plenty for the player to do as they make their way through the game.
So yeah, despite some new ideas, the majority of Rogue has been copied from Black Flag, with the occasional game idea or setting from ACIII popping up. Reused animations in combat, or even in the way that Shay moves, may make Rogue feel more like an expansion than a full, new release. However, Black Flag was a brilliant game that seemed to go on forever, so players wanting more of the same will not be disappointed.
But perhaps the most interesting thing about Rogue is the way it plays up to the fans who have been following the series. The game is set just a couple of years after Black Flag, prior to Assassin’s Creed III, and contains many links to not only those games, in the form of characters such as Achilles, Adewale and Haytham Kenway, but also with the new-gen title Unity. For the AC fans, there is a lot to enjoy here.
Whilst Assassin’s Creed: Rogue may well seem to be the game that has the least effort put in by the developers, borrowing a lot from Black Flag and suffering from almost no publicity in the run up to the release, there is no doubt that Assassin’s Creed fans will find Rogue to be a better game than Unity. Rogue is more enjoyable to play, more interesting for those following the stories in the AC games, and much less buggy. The strange thing is that, for all of the push for the new-gen Unity, Ubisoft seem to be realizing all of this only now, with TV adverts appearing after the hype for Rogue has been built by the gaming press and the gamers themselves.
If you enjoyed Black Flag, then Rogue will not disappoint. If you are a fan of the Assassin’s Creed series and have been following the story, Rogue will not disappoint. If you like the idea of a massive open world absolutely packed with different things to do, Rogue will not disappoint. It is not completely fault free, but Assassin’s Creed: Rogue is one of the best Assassin’s Creed games to date, which is especially interesting as the player will spend the majority of the time not even being an assassin. Last gen gamers would do well to pick this game up, whilst those only playing on the new gen systems will have to wait for the likely release on Xbox One and PS4 at some point in the future.