We all love a good Assassin’s Creed game. Yes, we do. So, when Ubisoft decided to serve us double helpings of AC goodness with Unity and Rogue, we couldn’t help but fist-pump the air with glee. Let’s face it. There’s nothing better than parkouring all over the place, stealthily slicing your victims, and unravelling new secrets of the Brotherhood/Templar connection. That said, as last-gen only release, does Rogue manage to impress as much as Unity? Kind of.
Game: Assassin’s Creed: Rogue
Developer: Ubisoft Sofia
Rogue is a magnificent visual treat, with a special Templar twist that keeps thing more than interesting. The scene: The North Atlantic. Snow, sea and a sneaky Shay Cormac lurking in the tree tops. Tall, dark and rugged with a killer Irish accent to boot, even George Clooney would question his masculinity. Shay is certainly likeable as Rogue’s protagonist. Set during the era of Assassin’s Creed III and Black Flag, Rogue bridges the gap between the two games. After a devastating mission leaves him questioning the Brotherhood’s beliefs, Shay abandons them and decides to work for the Templars. Torn between his morals and his old assassin accomplices, Shay brings emotional dimension to his character, something that was previously lost in Connor and Edward Kenway.
“But what’s it like playing as Templar?!” you say. Well, surprisingly not THAT much different to an assassin, unfortunately. You’ll still do plenty of ship sailing (seriously, LOTS of it) discovering new coastal towns, tracking down targets, hunting the odd whale or two, gazing at majestic penguins and stealthily slaughtering guards. But do not fret. Rogue does offer a perspective to Templar life which is different enough to enjoy. Prepare to be hunted down by your assassin brothers and attempt to escape the very same blade that you once fought for. Rooftops and bushes are no longer a haven, and you must use the very same tactics against your former comrades.
One thing you will experience with Rogue is déjà vu. And lots of it. Locations such as New York and Davenport homestead are undoubtedly recycled and themes of certain missions are pretty much identical to those in Assassin’s Creed III and Black Flag. Like Black Flag, Rogue takes a few hours to really kick off. Treated in typical AC fashion, the game begins with your usual training and stalking missions. It’s only after the twist is revealed that the game really picks up, and that’s about four hours in. And boy is it worth it. You can see that Ubisoft have really taken the best elements of AC and wrapped it up into one final last-gen package of goodness. In fact, the story is arguably Rogue’s best feature.
Sometimes it’s nice to put the blade away and use something different, right? Glad you agree! Rogue certainly provides you with enough lethal goodies you’ll get to test out on unsuspecting victims. You can do it all from sending enemies to a sleep to making them go berserk on each other. If you want to, you can pimp out your ship and attempt to make it the most bad-ass vessel to sail the Seven Seas. You have upgrades such as burning oil slicks, mighty mortars, or ice defying ram upgrade. Much like previous AC games, Rogue is crammed with variety. You’ll be kept busy with plenty of side-missions, locations to explore and maintenance of the Morrigan (your ship). There’s easily around 15-20 hours of content here if you dabble in the story as well as some of the side stuff. Plus, you can stare at some quite majestic looking penguins. Seriously. True story.
There’s no doubt that Rogue is a visual treat. From the magnificent mountain tops of the Atlantic sea, to the firework-filled skies, this game will unleash your inner-explorer. Despite the odd frame-rate issue here and there, Rogue is a beautiful achievement in Ubisoft’s final instalment in the American trilogy, even if it’s lacking compared to it’s new-gen brother.
Assassin’s Creed: Rogue is basically AC III and Black Flag with a few tweaks. If you’ve already sailed enough ships to last you a lifetime, Rogue may not be for you. However, If you don’t mind revisiting the Americas one last time with a Templar twist, then go for Rogue is well worth a look. A nice final hurrah for the series on last-gen consoles.