Assassin’s Creed: Rogue Review
Assassin’s Creed Rogue Review
Although Assassin’s Creed: Unity received all the headlines last year (for better and for worse) Assassin’s Creed: Rogue passed by with much less hype than usual for a game of its calibre. The game came out on what is now last generation consoles (Xbox 360 and PS3) and has more recently been released on PC (it should be noted that the game will likely be released on next-gen platforms in the future). This should not detract though from a great game that offers something new to the franchise and a story that, in my opinion, is better than many of its predecessors. The plot revolves around Shay Patrick Cormac, an Assassin of Irish descent living in the American colonies who switches sides to join the Templars.
The biggest highlight of the game is perhaps the story which is a more unique tale than other Assassin’s Creed titles. Shay’s journey from Assassin to Templar doesn’t feel jarring or strange, in fact it is handled excellently. Without delving into spoilers, the Assassin’s do something that Shay feels is unforgivable and his gradual evolution into a Templar feels believable and sympathetic. Shay is one of the franchises strongest protagonists to date, he has more personality than Connor from Assassin’s Creed 3 and a more practical outlook than Edward Kenway from Assassin’s Creed 4. His arc through the game is impressive given what is a relatively short campaign but one which remains entertaining throughout. The plot also adds much-needed background and context to characters in previous games such as Achilles and Adewale from Assassin’s Creed 3 and 4 respectively. The new side characters featured are also given more personality and depth, something that’s been missing from some of the previous games. The hook of the game is their relationship with Shay and how he in turn comes to reluctantly hunt them down. The story also gives us a fresh perspective on the Templars, who in the past, have appeared as straight forward villains, but in this story their plight is more reasonable and the writers definitely play on the grey areas of this conflict, rather than focusing on good and evil. Finally, there is a tie in to Assassin’s Creed Unity, which I won’t spoil here but is a neat way to tie the stories together.
In terms of gameplay, if you’ve played Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag, this will feel like familiar territory. Shay like Edward has a ship, and there are numerous collectibles to gather across the North Atlantic and the icy River Valley. The game doesn’t break new ground in this regard but there are some new weapons which work well such as Shay’s grenade launcher or the Morrigan’s trail of fire. Like Black Flag, there are forts to take down but also gang headquarters to infiltrate often guarded by Assassins who you will come across in cities like New York. When near an Assassin you hear whispers, and upon entering Eagle Sense a meter will appear, growing as you get nearer much like the multiplayer of previous titles. This is a nice addition and adds a new challenge, if you ignore them they can get the drop on you and take out much of your health and countering them can be difficult. The present day storyline is fairly unremarkable and follows the present day storyline of Black Flag a little too closely, although I did enjoy it more than Black Flag’s. Unless you’re a committed fan of Assassin’s Creed lore, you’ll pretty much fly through these sections without looking at the hacking and collectibles which yield audio files and videos on the Templar organisation.
Although the game is fun and the story enjoyable, there are problems with the game and unfortunately they are nothing new to fans of the franchise. Aside from the impressive visuals, the controls can feel clunky and sometimes you’ll find yourself jumping off a ledge without meaning to and reveal your presence to some guards. Though the gameplay is fun it is easy to see why this is likely the last Assassin’s Creed game on these consoles as the franchise is starting to show its age. The story feels a little short and the ending may irk some as it is rather abrupt. Also, the present day storyline doesn’t offer much and fails to move any plot forward. Nevertheless, this should not detract from what is one of the best Assassin’s Creed games I’ve played in years.
Assassin’s Creed: Rogue retains the fun gameplay from Black Flag and offers new toys to play with that are entertaining to use. Shay Cormac’s story is a highlight of the franchise adding much-needed perspective to the Assassin vs Templar war while offering a protagonist who is interesting, believable and empathetic. Though some long time problems persist Assassin’s Creed: Rogue is a thoroughly entertaining and enjoyable adventure. To conclude, Assassin’s Creed: Rogue is well worth your time.
Have you played the game yet? What did you think of it?