QUESTION THE CREED
Stay your blade from the flesh of the innocent, hide in plain plain sight, never compromise the brotherhood, nothing is true everything is permitted. These are the tenets every assassin must follow, but after a misunderstanding Shay Patrick Cormac believes he was tricked into killing thousands of innocents and inevitably betrays his fellow assassins and joins the Templar order. This is the main premise of Assassin’s Creed Rogue. Shay must track down and kill those whom he still holds dear and stop his former mentor from what he believes will bring about the end of the world. Despite this unique premise can it hold its against its current-gen counterpart?
The game plays like its predecessor, Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag, with a few tweaks. The game’s world is not as big it is in Black Flag and thanks to the segmented map the game feels geographically smaller. Naval combat is pretty much the same but the swivel gun is now a pickle gun. Which fires at a faster rate but won’t automatically target a ships weak spot. Instead of fire barrels you get this oil slick device that sets tailing ships ablaze but is hard to control. Other ships can board your vessel, the Morrigan, and if you successfully capture a vessel there is a new salvage ship option which will give you different amounts of Pounds (currency) based on that ship’s level.
Moving away from naval combat, free running in trees has been improved; instead of having to manually control free runing it is done automatically. Combat is not as fluid as it was in Black Flag. Shay sometimes has difficulty executing precise movements like countering and dodging and sometimes didn’t attack the enemy I wanted him to.
Similar to how the Borgia control Rome in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood, the assassins control New England and in order to reduce their presence and open up the ability to renovate various buildings you have to go various headquarters and kill the leader, tear down their flag and sabotage their resources. The assassin Gangs are not the mere cannon fodder type guards you are used to. The assassin gang leaders are agile, cunning and have senses that can spot you from a mile away.
Since Rogue lacks any form of competitive multiplayer it might put a damper on some user’s playthroughs since the campaign is relatively short. However you can get some sort of fix hunting the assassin type guards laced throughout New York, since they act like the assassin’s they hide in practically every thing and if you’re not careful will sneak up on you and reduce your health to practically nothing.
The North Atlantic setting has its ups and downs as well. I had fun hunting the new wildlife not present in Black Flag,such as the polar bear and the majestic narwhal, but grinding resources to upgrade the Morrigan is a hefty chore do to fewer ships to battle. The diving side missions have been completely removed because the warm Caribbean waters have been replaced by the freezing cold climate of the Northern Atlantic and your health will deteriorate if you decide to take a dip Whaling is also harder because since you’re in the Northern Atlantic there are chunks of ice in the water which if you don’t brace for it your vessel will take damage and the whale will get away.
The game looks like Black Flag in terms of definition except during in game cutscenes. The character models don’t look as clean and the anti-aliasing could use a little work. The Northern Atlantic aesthetic is a welcome change and is absolutely stunning. I was astonished by how much time I spent by just looking at the Aurora Borealis.
The musical score to this game is astounding and is probably the best in the series, save Unity. I highly recommend the use of a headset while playing. Because the added sound effects, like walking through the snow and local wildlife, make you belive you’re actually in New England. But Shay’s Irish accent is a bit in distracting in the beginning.
The game is relatively short which, if you are playing just play just for story, you’ll finish in about 8-10 hours. But with the wealth of collectibles and forts and gang hq’s it will take you about 4 to 5 days of 10 hour sessions. So there’s a lot to keep you occupied. I do not recommend this to people who have not played Assassin’s Creed III or Black Flag. Because it doesn’t do a very good job at explaining itself and you would be confused to who some of the cast are and as to how significant Shay’s actions are. It even links into the other Assassin’s Creed game released this fall Assassin’s Creed Unity near the end.
The Verdict : 8.5 out of 10.0
The game shines strongest in its short campaign and in its score. With familiar faces from Assassin’s Creed III, Black Flag and Unity this is a story that shouldn’t be missed. But still feels too much like Black Flag. With added features like the salvage ship option and oil slick, the naval combat feels fresh but not by much. But is not as compelling to collect everything in the game.
And as Always let the Father of Understanding Guide us.
For more information about what the score means, check out our official review scale.
Kaleob Archambeau is an Associate Writer for MONG and is also a Master Assassin.