Assassin’s Creed Rogue – first impressions | a worthy templar

Because Assassin’s Creed Rogue is a last generation title and because it has launched right beside his “big brother,” Assassin’s Creed Unity, you might dismiss it as just another cash-grab; a quick buck made off Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag’s excellent naval combat. If these are your current thoughts, I’m here to tell you couldn’t be more wrong. I have yet to finish the entire campaign, but after spending about seven hours navigating the treacherous waters of the North Atlantic and other regions, I can tell you Assassin’s Creed Rogue is a worthy addition to the overall franchise, one which I hope will spawn several other spin-offs like it in the future – i.e. I hope we’ll get to play as more templars.

As you might expect ever since watching the first gameplay video, Assassin’s Creed Rogue is very similar to its predecessor, Black Flag. I would say about 80% of its gameplay mechanics have been ripped straight out of Edward Kenway’s adventures, although this is by no means a bad thing. What differentiates Rogue from other entries in publisher Ubisoft’s most popular franchise is the fact players take on the role of a templar (Templar’s Creed, anyone?). Even in the beginning, protagonist Shay Patrick Cormac doesn’t completely agree with the assassin order, although his hatred for the templars is bigger than that. About two hours in, something dramatic happens, though I obviously won’t spoil it. As a result, Shay ditches the assassins and slowly starts working with the other side. It’s not something like “Okay, I’m done with them; let’s see what the other party has to offer,” though. No; it’s much more complex.

As I mentioned above, the gameplay in Assassin’s Creed Rogue is resembles that of Black Flag. There are new toys to play with, and your ship – called the Morrigan – is outfitted with a few new additions like the ability of leaving a trail of fire behind it. Hunting makes a return, so killing animals will allow Shay to upgrade his gear, giving him more room for bullets or increasing his health. Combat has remained exactly the same, but because you’re now also fighting assassins, some things have changed. Remember all those times when you used to assassinate a poorly aware grunt from a haystack or bush? Well, the same thing can happen to you know, although said assassins won’t instantly kill you. Stalking the stalkers is the latest trend, and Shay absolutely loves it. Overall, it’s a nice change of pace; I’ll get more into it in the upcoming review.

The modern-day sections also make a return, and – once again ever since the ending of Assassin’s Creed III – they couldn’t be more boring. As it’s the case with Shay’s story, Assassin’s Creed Rogue’s modern-day stuff also acts as a sequel to Black Flag’s. Once again, players take on the role of a nameless guy whom isn’t aware of the global war spanning thousands of years war between assassins and templars. While Black Flag had a few mini-games, Rogue decides to annoy you with only one, which is – thankfully – really easy to complete. Going back to Shay, Rogue also allows you to improve New York – i.e. build structures to increase your income – just like Assassin’s Creed II’s villa or Assassin’s Creed III’s homestead. Which – by the way – looks superb in Rogue.

There are tons of things to do and collect in Assassin’s Creed Rogue. From looting chests to gathering Animus pieces, taking over forts or assassin outposts, upgrading your ship and Shay, discovering every location the game has to offer etc. By the way, in contrast with other Assassin’s Creed games, Rogue feature three, huge maps to explore, all of which put together are definitely bigger than Black Flag. There’s the snow-filled North Atlantic, the River Valley which closely resembles Assassin’s Creed III’s wilderness during summer, and – finally – there’s New York. All in all, Assassin’s Creed Rogue seems to be a worthy addition to the overall saga. I’ll be sure to get back to you with a full review once I’m done with the main campaign and once I’ve explored as much as possible.