Assassin's Creed is back with their yearly instalment, but now they've released two games instead of one. Rogue has been released exclusively on last-gen consoles (and the PC), and while Unity enjoyed all the hype, this game might be a hidden gem; especially for those who fell in love with the franchise after the Altaïr/Ezio games. Allow me to write a small recap of how I felt about this game.
Assassin's Creed Rogue starts of in the American colonies once again. This time though, we aren't playing with a character named Connor or a Kenway. We start off as Shay Patrick Cormac, an assassin recruit who was the last one to join the order in the Colonies. I'm not going to spoil too much of the story, but as you might already know - things go bad and Shay abandons his brother Assassins and joins their rival clan: the Templars. From this point on, I felt that the franchise had taken an entire twist, where the Assassins were the bad people who felt the need to kill and humiliate everything in their way whilst the Templars are fighting to keep humanity alive.Gameplay and Single Player Experiences
Obviously Shay is the first person in ranks to do what's right, and doing so doesn't grant him that much positives like it did in the Ezio-games. Shay fights alone, without help from the outside and I feel like that was a missed opportunity. Thieves and Mercenaries would've come in handy to create distractions, and the Fire Dart of the new Dartgun doesn't quite match it. I don't remember using that ammo a whole lot since I always tried to go around the enemies one way or another. The berserk and sleep darts on the other hand come in quite handy then, seeing as one berserk enemy can kill multiple guards at once, but still didn't quite match the feeling I had when I sent out mercenaries to destroy stuff. The other equipment, with the exception of the grenade launcher are still the same; although I did quite liked the look of the katanas you were able to redeem in the uPlay app on the game.
One thing that did bother me at some points was the fact that you were fighting alongside the British troops (which were easily recognisable by their red uniforms), but completely forgot about it 10 seconds later and still tried to shoot you when you were climbing a building to get an Animus Fragment. It would've been better if they just ignored you somehow, since you just captured a fort for their advantage; but obviously that wasn't something on Ubisoft to-do list.
Another new feature in this game were the stalkers. Every time you went into an Assassin controller area, you could encounter one or two. Refreshing at first but really annoying later on if there's an objective to not get engaged into open combat and they just run up to you and stab you in the back. With those stalkers comes the ability to kill civilians. Some might be happy about it if they feel like one random person needs to get beaten up, but was quite frustrating if you finally lured a guard to a haystack to kill the farmer by accident. In my book, they should've disabled that specific feature all together since Shay seems to be a people person anyway; but once again this is a missed opportunity.
Don't get me wrong though, the gameplay is just as good as it was in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
but those small features that seem to be forgotten can make the game feel like you're just fighting pretty much every one except the NPC's on your vessel. Speaking about vessels, once again you have control over your own ship: the Morrigan. Just like the Jackdaw in the previous instalment, you had to upgrade it to make it battle-worthy but seeing as the supplies are scattered all over the place (seriously, there's a ton of supplies laying on the open seas), this wasn't as "grindy" as it ended up to be with Edward; which is good for the achievement hunters among us. You'll use your ship to travel around the big areas, and you'll need those upgrades in order to beat the legendary ships on the North Atlantic. On your ship, there are also 3 new features. The first one is a ram. Yes, I do know that was on Black Flag as well; but where this one is completely new is the ability to destroy ice shards. We also now have front cannons (which replace the chainshots) and the fuel barrels (which replaced the explosive barrels).
While testing out your new toy, be prepared to have a good look to your surroundings since the maps look absolutely stunning. While the previous game in this franchise have a pretty big area to explore already, Ubisoft has taken the liberty to double up the ante. The oceans and all the locations is surrounds are mind blowing and you'll never be bored of exploring yet another hide-out for cave paintings or the blueprints you need to upgrade the Morrigan. Every area feels so alive that I always was looking forward to explore even the tiniest island on the map. The North Atlantic and the River Valley (which are the two areas you can explore by ship) were the area's that I preferred to be on most of the time, so I was able to hunt some animals for the ammo - or health upgrades or just so I could knock some guys out in the local Tavern where I could get more information about supply camps I was able to loot (or naval convoys I was able to destroy).
The last memory of the game takes place at the icy continent of Antarctica and was so beautiful that I didn't mind playing that specific memory over and over again. Alongside the naval areas, we also see New York return from https://www.trueachievements.com/Assassins-Creed-3/achi....htm
which is an upgrade from what we saw in the aforementioned game. It's hard to tell how I feel about that specific location, but once again feels more alive then it was. No more buildings that look exactly the same, with the same dense colour; no: it felt like how Rome felt in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood
(with the exception of the historical monuments); colourful and bright. It always seems to be a real pleasure to roam around the streets which is something that I missed while playing with Connor.
As an added bonus for the people who played all previous instalments, we also see the return of some familiar faces. Again, I won't spoil too much of the story; but it's nice to see the dots connected between all games that took place in the American games. The only thing I really missed is the connection between the Kenways, but at least that's covered in the novels
Since the graphics and gameplay are pretty much untouched, let's go to the soundtrack. My first thoughts (and these are still valid even after completing the main story line) was that the game looked very bright and colourful; the soundtrack contradicts that. Every time you set foot on land, the same dark tune plays. This makes me wonder if this was intentional, to make a gamer hear the complete opposite of what it shows you. While I did scratch my head over this, it fits in perfectly with the atmosphere you are in.Achievements
The achievement list is mostly a copy/paste from previous entries. A few achievements for completing sequences, one for getting full synchronisation during the story; collecting all 200 Animus fragments, an achievement for completing a specific location. In short, pretty much everything from the previous instalment returns with a few exceptions. Now there's an achievement for completing Abstergo challenges and there's 4 achievements related to completing even more of those challenges. I think Ubisoft intended to add some replayability to the game, but I think it's on the edge of being repetitive. All in all, the achievements aren't too hard; which is an added bonus for all people that like gamerscore.Summary:
The story line is awesome and I would advise everyone to play at least through it once. It's rather short with only 6 sequences, but the exploring makes up for it. The gameplay remains untouched while some new features are brought into the game. For anybody looking forward to spend a decent amount of hours in sightseeing some historical locations as well as some fictional ones, I would highly recommend this game. Rogue tries and succeeds in bringing the gamers a great game and can easily take the spot of being one of the best entries in the franchise so far.
- Graphics: 4,5/5
- Soundtrack: 4/5
- Gameplay: 4,5/5
- Story: 5/5
- Extra content: 5/5
- Achievements: 4/5
> Total score of 27/30 with a score of 4,5 out of 5