Assassin's Creed: Rogue has the misfortune of being born the Tyrion Lannister of the franchise in that it was released as a last-generation console game on the same day as its current-generation console brother, Assassin's Creed: Unity. Many people, myself included, thought Rogue would end up being nothing more than a shameless cash-grab before everyone started trading in their Xbox 360s.
We were wrong.
Or, if we were right, that doesn't prevent Rogue from being a damn fine game.
|It's good to see Adewale live to a ripe old age.|
I haven't played Unity yet, so I can't compare the games but I can say it was a mistake not to release this as both a current generation and last generation game. Assassin's Creed: Rogue is good, extremely good, and I hope it'll be ported soon.
The game continues the Modern Age story of Abstergo Entertainment's beta-tester from Black Flag, allows you to play a Templar for the first (technically second) time, introduces numerous interesting characters, resolves the fates of returning ones from previous games, has an amazing lead, is excellently plotted, and has a staggering amount of stuff to do. Indeed, the latter part is one of the game's few flaws.
|Lots of side-quests to retake towns, supply crates, forts, and gang headquarters. These are great.|
Shay isn't motivated by personal revenge but the greater good, which isn't always that easy to identify. Many fans will disagree with his reasoning for leaving the Assassins and joining the Templars but I understood his logic. Shay doesn't believe Nothing is true, Everything is permitted. He believes there are lines people shouldn't cross and there are simple truths to the world. He wants to fight for the Little GuyTM and, ironically, ends up serving the ultimate representatives of the Man.
Is he right?
The fact you can make an argument either way is a sign of good writing.
|The Morrigan is a beautiful ship. My favorite in the series.|
Shay can use his immense wealth to build almshouses, soup-kitchens, grain mills, and so on in order to make life easier for the poor. The fact a Templar is doing this rather than an Assassin goes to show something is seriously wrong with the situation in the Americas. This is in addition to a return of hunting and treetop parkour from Assassin's Creed 3. In a very real way, this game comes across a "greatest hits" of the series.
The best new feature in the game is the addition of 'Stalkers.' These are, of course, the Assassins Shay is forced to hunt. Once he breaks ties with the Brotherhood, his former associates work tirelessly to try and kill him. They hide in haystacks, crowds, and on rooftops in hopes of ambushing Shay the same way you do your enemies. The Stalkers are far, far, tougher than guards and killed me many times. There's also a fun reversal of Assassination Contracts where you have missions to rescue your fellow Templars from Assassin ambushes.
|Hope is a character who needed a bigger role in the game.|
The main quest is also truncated in a way it shouldn't be. There's only Six Sequences and the game speeds you along to the conclusion. There could easily have been two more Sequences and a host of other Assassination targets before the game reaches its climax. Like Assassin's Creed 2, the game could use a Bonfire of the Vanities or Siege on Battle of Forli-style set of DLC set during the main campaign.
In conclusion, Rogue is a great game. If it's got any flaws, it's that there's both too much and too little of it. I love Shay and wouldn't mind seeing a sequel starring him. I'm torn between giving this game a nine and a ten given how annoying side-questing could be but if the other reviews can be unfair, so can I.
For the spoiler review of the game's storyline, go here.
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