Assassin’s Creed came out to the Xbox 360 and the Playstation 3 in the previous year, in 2014, while Unity came out to the next gen systems and to PC. Last week Assassin’s Creed: Rogue was released to PC and here you are, reading this review.
Everybody thought that Rogue was kind of a secondary Assassin’s Creed game last year, while Unity was the primary game to buy and play with. After playing through the single player storyline (I was pushing the game and it took about 10 hours to complete) of Rogue (on PC) and before that of course Assassin’s Creed: Unity (on the Xbox One) I have some opinions to share with you.
I would rather compare Rogue to Black Flag, then to Unity, because the whole game was based on Black Flag (the story takes place right after Black Flag [and right before Unity], your ship has a major role in the whole game and the visuals are mostly the same). I will base this review on comparing the two games: Rogue and Black Flag, while highlighting certain gameplay elements which were already present in Black Flag.
From the hot Caribbeans to the North
We had a 105 degrees fever back then from the Caribbeans, the game was great, it had many side activities, the story was good and it had a really touching ending. Captaining the Jackdaw was quite fun, exploring the beautiful Havana, Kingston and many small islands of the region, climbing palm trees, solving mayan puzzles and saving pirates were just some of the highlights of Black Flag. Is Rogue up to the challenge?, we shall see!
A little backstory
The assassin order is stronger and stronger from day to day (with the help of individuals, like Edward, Adéwalé and Achilles), while the templar order is fading in the the fastest pace ever recorded.
The assassins could not just safely estamblish themselves, but they now own all the major fortresses, an entire fleet with the most deadly weapons and all the most important resources. On these days a man, named Shay, a talented initiate enters the assassin order and turns a light on the assassins.
Our main character: Shay Patrick Cormac
Shay is an assassin in the beginning of the game, but one of his mission shows him what the face of the assassins truly about and what they are capable to do to others. In the story there is no other alternative for him, because he was multiple times betrayed by his assassin mates, while in all of those cases he wants to first speak with them before fighting. He is very different from the other characters we got from previous Assassin’s Creed games, he is kind of like Connor – he wants good for the people – and he wants to save innocents while building a better world for the people of the states. He is indeed an interesting fella, but I do believe that he is many times driven by hatred and anger in his actions, in his youth against the templars, later on against the assassins.
The Assassin’s are Bad? And the Templars are Good? Whaat?!
Not exactly. Both parties has some talented and bright people with good will. (For instance if we take Achilles and Adéwalé those are great men, but their allies are often hideous and immoral.) It’s an irony that they (Assassins – Templars) cannot even realize that ultimately they are hurting each-other by killing and hunting down good individuals and initiatives from the other order. The most realistic description would be to symbolize this:
Which one is better orange yellow, or red?
An order is just as good as the individuals themselves.
Our ship: the Morrigan
The Morrigan is a little different, than the Jackdaw, it’s a little smaller, and it has Greek fire instead of explosive barrels, machine guns instead of swivel guns and many new customization options (although the diving bell feature was removed), like: you can upgrade the cylinder size of the machine guns and many other small features which will ultimately make this ship a bit stronger than the Jackdaw was. By the way, you sill have the chance to go out and harpoon beasts. This time, in Rogue you don’t need to find special plans and blueprints to unlock the very last and strongest upgrades for your ship and I assume that the upgrades are more affordable, than they were in Black Flag.
North Atlantic ocean (icy), River Valley (green) and New York
One of the biggest differences between Assassin’s Creed: Rogue and Black Flag is that Rogue don’t have loading screens between destinations. While in Black Flag you had to wait if you wanted to enter with your ship to Kingston, Havana or Tortuga. Rogue has some loading screens, but only between New York, the River Valley and the North Atlantic, which makes the game feel more natural and more free-flowing.
The locations are well-crafted, there are many activities all over the places and you won’t be bored for a single minute while playing. There are some new activities: Whaling, pirating, naval convoys, inns, naval forts, legendary ship battles, the wanted system is back in Rogue, while underwater diving was completely cut out from the game (because nobody wants to swim in the icy water).
New York doesn’t really look like its Assassin’s Creed 3 counterpart, its basically a new city.
The River Valley is a green place, while the North Atlantic is icy and snowy, but you will find that you have tons of activities to complete on each one.
The North Atlantic ocean
All of these settlements and locations have many activities, including renovations, chests, inns, shanties, treasure maps, new and old side activities and more and more.
One of the biggest new feature is the assassin bases in the city, which can be captured by killing the HQ leader and cutting down the assassin flag, and as the result of that your income will grow and you will be able to renovate buildings in the area.
As you can see on the eagle vision, there are ‘stalkers’ awaiting you nearly everywhere in New York, who will attack you if you are close and if you are not paying enough attention they can easily end your journey.
Old faces, new Enemies
Adéwalé, our old pirate friend is back on the side of the assassins! The ship he is captaining is not the Jackdaw, but still pretty deadly.
The story of the game connects to other Assassin’s Creed games, like Assassin’s Creed III and Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, while the game literally prepares the stage for Assassin’s Creed: Unity.
New gameplay elements
On few places we can find some roots, these roots are climbable.
There are some new objects which can be climbed, some new parkour animations, but all and all it’s basically an a bit changed-up and expanded version of Black Flag.
The rifle can be used to shoot a berserk, firecrackers or sleep darts or you can use your grenades, which create the very same effect on a larger scale.
The double kill animations are back, but they are more rare.
New side missions are awaiting you, such as caravan attacks, (assassin) pigeon interceptions [where you must defend their target] and numerous others.
Does the ‘Animus’ really exist?
I will answer to this question in another article, but you will find the link here. The article will be written based on scientific facts and the connection between the latest public researches and studies. Indeed, it would be quite impressive to discover the memories of our ancestors.
Graphics and Performance
The engine of Assassin’s Creed: Black Flag was optimized in many ways and implemented in Rogue. You will experience anything from 10 to 20 FPS increase, which is quite nice and the game is also more stable, the animation glitches were nearly completely fixed, so I am satisfied with their work on the game.
One more important thing: the Multiplayer mode was Removed.
Assassin’s Creed: Rogue has tons of content in it with exciting missions, diverse side-missions and a storyline which will make you start thinking about the world and your life.
If you liked Black Flag, you will definitely like Rogue. Assassin’s Creed: Rogue has maybe even more content in it, than Black Flag had. You can buy the game from about 25 bucks, so it has a really great value and it’s also a must-play for Assassin’s Creed fans.
I will finish this review with a gallery of my screenshots taken while playing the game. :)