In Assassin’s Creed Rogue, you play as an Assassin turned Templar Shay Cormac in what is essentially Assassin’s Creed 4.5, and like me, that may be exactly what you are looking to play. In this time where the next generation of consoles (PS4/Xbox One) is not entirely running at full steam and the last generation (Xbox 360/PS3) has not completely died off, many companies are doing the same game on both platforms. Ubisoft went in a different direction by having Ubisoft Sofia make a last generation-specific title in Rogue. Built in the same engine as Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag on these consoles, Rogue has the same look and feel with some improvements.
I can completely understand if you are reading this with a quizzical look on your face, and normally I would agree with you. I tend to look at games that are marginal improvements over their predecessor with disdain, and maybe it’s because this is a last-gen title that I’ve given it more slack, but Black Flag was a terrific installment in the franchise and when I finished, I wanted more. Here are a few reasons why Rogue is worth your time:
- Naval Combat – The naval combat is fantastic and has improvements over Black Flag including the puckle gun (machine gun) and a ram that you can charge before plowing into your enemies. There are also more events that randomly occur like naval battles and rescuing POWs (like slave ships from Freedom Cry).
- Harpooning – Yes, the whole hunting sea creatures is still a little unsettling, especially when you’re watching (even pixelated) endangered species pulled bloody from the water, but they’ve made it not quite so one-note.
- Storyline – I’m not going to say the storyline is revolutionary or new, but it certainly turns the series around as you take a completely different look on life as you help the Templars and with them, the British Empire.
- More of Everything – Again, I know it sounds strange, but I really enjoyed just having more treasures to find, animals to hunt, collectables to …er, collect. It has been just so easy to keep going back to and just venturing out on the Morrigan, hunting French vessels and collecting booty.
The game is far from perfect, though. On the Xbox 360, Rogue is both showing the engine’s, as well as the console’s age. There are times it just isn’t pretty. Nothing I couldn’t overlook, but there were cutscenes that just didn’t meet the mark. Also, they added this horrible “stalker” mechanic where gang members hide until you walk by in order to jump out and stab you. You can jump into eagle vision to get a sense where they are by direction. A small visual or audio clue would have worked, but instead they devised a nerve-grinding, horrible alarm along with a pulsing frame around the screen, which only prompts me to hunt them down only for the simple fact to get that infernal noise to stop. It adds absolutely nothing to the game.
Overall, Assassin’s Creed Rogue gives the player more of everything people loved in Black Flag on the last generation consoles. If you are a fan of the franchise or have not made the jump yet to the Xbox One or the PlayStation 4, I recommend picking this up. The game play is thoroughly enjoyable and will keep you entertained for hours. Plus, did I mention how awesome the naval combat still is?
Assassin’s Creed Rogue Launch Trailer