Shay Patrick Cormac is back, but I won’t be surprised if you’ve never met him before. Assassin’s Creed Rogue, initially released in 2014 only for PS3 and Xbox 360, missed many players who focused their attention on Assassin’s Creed: Unity, released on the same day. Now it’s time to refresh this adventure. I invite you to review the best installment of the Assassin’s Creed series that no one has played.
This is not my first meeting with this part of the series. Years ago, I was writing a Rogue and Unity hybrid review. And then I liked the game very much. We had to wait almost 4 years for Ubisoft to refresh this title and I am honestly amazed it happened so late. From the very first moment with this title on PS3, I knew that the next-generation console version is obvious. Well we had to wait a bit but I think it was worth it anyway.
I have never concealed that I consider Black Flag to be the best installment in the assassin series. Although Origins released last year is very good, the adventures of Edward Kenway stole my heart. For me, cruising the Caribbean is something incredibly soothing and satisfying. That is why I have the same warmth in Rogue. In short – Rogue can be called Black Flag 1.5. The game is based on the same engine as Assassin’s Creed IV and provides virtually the same experience, but with some differences.
The biggest differences are actually the story told here. The main character of the game is Shay Patrick Cormac, an Assassin who goes to the side of the Templars. We start our adventure as an adult, trained member of the order, so unlike other installments of the series, we do not follow Shay’s adventures from the cradle. Instead, we see his transition to the other side, which prompted him to make such a decision and what was his motivation for it. The action of the game takes place between the events of Assassin’s Creed IV and III, thanks to which we will meet many famous characters such as Achilles or Adéwalé.
The world itself is a big difference between Rogue and Black Flag. The Caribbean was one big map, on which we could freely swim, explore islands or cities. In Rogue, the world is divided into 3 separate locations. The first is New York, known from AC III. In addition, we will be able to swim in the US river valleys and in the northern waters of today’s Canada. Such a procedure made each location smaller than the Caribbean, but it has a completely different appearance and attractions. The most diverse is moving around the North Sea, where we have to watch out for ice floes and icebergs.
Most of the things we can do here are straight out of the Black Flag. Sailing a ship, sea combat, boarding are the main dishes served by Ubisoft. Most of our ship, the Morrigan, works exactly like the Jackdaw. We have all kinds of bullets, front cannons and mortars. We can attack from behind by spilling burning oil on the water surface. With the use of these tools, we will sail on the waters, attack other ships, gaining the crew or cargo. We will sell part of the cargo, but the vast majority will be used to improve our boat.
We will also be able to go down from the ship to a small boat to hunt huge sea animals. From killer whales and sharks to humpback whales and white whales. We will also hunt animals on land. The collected materials will allow us to improve our equipment. There is quite a lot to collect, because there are also a lot of things to unlock. So if you like running around with ingredients, you will have a lot of attractions here.
Shay is a walking terminator. It is equipped with a truly impressive set of killing gadgets and tools. The standard equipment includes an air rifle that will allow us to shoot sleepy or infuriating arrows. You can also shoot firecrackers, which will attract the attention of opponents, and when fired into a powder barrel, it will explode. Later, a grenade launcher will also join our arsenal. With it, we can put whole groups of enemies to sleep or enrage.
Such equipment will be useful to us, because it should be remembered that we are a Templar here, hunted by the Assassins. You have to be vigilant. As soon as we hear whispers in the game, it is worth turning on the eagle vision to find the assassin waiting for us.
Something worth emphasizing is that we have quite a few missions here that aim to eliminate someone. Other installments of the series often suffered from the fact that many missions deviated too much from the target hunting model. There are quite a lot of such missions in Rogue, most of which we will hunt for our former colleagues.
Of course, let’s not forget about the contemporary thread. This one, as always, plays the role of a rather unnecessary clogging of the holes. We will move back to the Abstergo offices, exactly the same as in AC IV. From time to time, the game will force us to leave the Animus and deal with unlocking the servers in a simple puzzle mini-game. It is a tiring cut-scene, which fortunately does not last long, but nevertheless breaks the rhythm.
As befits a remaster, the game has improved graphics. Do not expect Origins quality here, after all, the game runs on a very old engine, but still there is something to look at. The game looks pretty much the same as Black Flag on the next-gen. The difference is that PlayStation 4 Pro and Xbox One X owners can play in 4K. Overall it’s nice considering that we are dealing with a four-year production from the last generation.
If, like me, you’ve played AC Rogue before, I don’t really see any reason to buy the game again. I myself have platinum in this title on the previous generation, where acquiring it gave me great joy. Now, unfortunately, playing it again didn’t make me feel like doing it. Of course, this is a feeling that will accompany the stagers. If you haven’t had the opportunity to play Rogue before, I highly recommend it. This is a very good installment of the series, and if you also liked Black Flag, it is a must-have title.
We thank Ubisoft Polska for submitting the game for review.