Assassin’s Creed: Rogue is at times breathtaking, awe-inspiring fun that functions in bringing new life to the Assassin’s Creed series story similar to the way Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag brought new life to some of the gameplay. At the very worst, Assassin’s Creed: Rogue functions as a clone of previous entries in the Ubisoft catalog. There are certainly monotonous moments in this adventure, however, the overall package lends itself as a bit of a new beginning towards possibly more exciting entries in the Assassin’s Creed storyline in the future.
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In Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, you play as Assassin turned Templar Shay Cormac, who is a bit more brutal in his killing than other featured assassins. Having grown up as a brawler, Shay attacks enemies and cuts them down to size using mixed attacks between hands and swords or hidden blades as well as pistols. Unlike previous entries, Shay doesn’t only attack with his blade as you attempt to gain leverage on enemies and he even seems to enjoy the kills a bit more. Altogether, Shay is a pretty satisfying character to play in most circumstances.
Your character maintains the abilities of other assassin’s in addition to some new tricks. You are a swashbuckling, pocket-thieving, ship-captaining, rock-climbing, mountain-traversing, sword-wielding assassin trained in all ways to accomplish the goals of the brotherhood in your period in time. Added as tools this time around includes the ability to shoot with a dart gun (sleep, berserk, or fireworks emitted for distraction) and a grenade launcher prototype (sleep, berserk, or shrapnel explosives) built by none other than Benjamin Franklin. There is also a dart rope to make hunting animals for pelts rather easy. You continue in the tradition of the other “New World” Creed characters in commanding a ship; The Morrigan is your ship you steal from another pirate. The ship has a ton of features on it:
You continue in the tradition of the other “New World” Creed characters in commanding a ship; The Morrigan is your ship you steal from another pirate. The ship has a ton of features on it: puckle gun, heavy shot, mortar shot, explosive shot, barricade cannons, front cannons, and an ice ram to hurtle into opposing ships and sheets of ice.
Complete a small amount of exploration in each world in order to complete missions put in front of you and to arm your ship well enough to finish an important final section of the game, but, outside of those circumstances, many of the side activities are there to allow you to explore more of the world’s offered to you. There is a great deal of variety there, as well. No two settlements look the same as far as I saw and little, if anything, of the three environments resembles the other. Like most Assassin’s Creed games, there are always a ton of side objectives to partake in.
Truthfully, those side objectives began to bore me. Despite minimizing the number of necessary tasks in the game, Assassin’s Creed creators still have not diversified beyond the usual suspects of side objectives. Go find this viewpoint, attack this fort, steal these supplies, stock up supplies to renovate this building, and kill this leader are all the usual suspects you will find here. There are a couple delineations from the norm: the appearance of assassin interception missions where you defend a target from assassination, collecting sea shanties to add to the different songs your crew shall sing as you sail around, and the Naval Fleet missions which look to support Britain in their battle against France and Spain in colonial matters. The sea shanties are a definite welcome in return from Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. The Naval Fleet missions are a bit easy, but it provides a nice background strategy game happening as you sail around and encounter enemy ships.
There were some occasionally frustrating areas of the game where I would jump for an item and Shay would jump the opposite direction, however, there are not a ton of movement glitches involved in the game. Finding the right angle to launch yourself is still occasionally an issue, but it was not anything I found to ruin the experience.
Assassin’s Creed: Rogue has the same gameplay issue every game in the series has since the full revamp of Assassin’s Creed II, which is there is just so much stuff to collect, explore, and see it all remains a bit overwhelming and usually unnecessary. However, thankfully, the game allows you the option to ignore the vast majority of this with fast travel and the limited number of necessary side objectives to progress in the game.
Next: How The AC: Rogue Story Blends With The Franchise Final Score