Assassins Creed Rogue: One year on from the next generation release

I AM SADLY in the position of not owning a new or ‘next generation’ console. Whilst this most likely helps me with my studies it also means that I am not in the position to play new games that are exclusive to the new consoles. Likewise I am not tempted to buy new games that are released on both old and new platforms, as I know I will have a much better experience on them. So when it came to Christmas time and I was looking at new games, there was only one game that I really wanted to play on my Xbox 360 and that was Assassins Creed: Rogue.

I’m a massive Assassins Creed fan but before playing this game I felt somewhat at a loose end with the franchise. With  the last game I played in the franchise being Assassins Creed 3, and not having played 4 Black Flag, despite only having a two year gap I felt rather rusty and uncertain returning to it as the story had some level of conclusion. However after a couple of hours playing the game, getting used to it and getting invested in the story, it felt very familiar and was returning to something I knew.Assassin_s_Creed_Rogue_67822

One of the biggest strengths for Assassins Creed has always been the storyline, with its multi-layered narrative between the present and the set period whilst also addressing the first civilization legacy. Rogue goes onto new ground by telling the story of Shay Patrick Cormac, an Assassin turned Templar who switches sides after becoming disillusioned. With a new take on the Assassins vs Templar conflict, from the other point of view from all the other games, this was a refreshing and interesting take on it all. The period in which it was set also proved useful in linking the passage of time between 3, 4 Black Flag and Unity, which it did in clever, sometimes subtle ways.

In spite of this however, I felt that this period in time and location, North America in the mid 18th Century, had already been done to death (almost literally) in 3, and was merely the product of leftover and recycled ideas. Also I felt that length was a real issue. The time it takes for Shay to turn into a Templar is half of the story and during the time that you are, it does not feel like enough time. In lieu of story however, there are plenty of side missions and collectables. The side missions however are relatively straight forward and simple, and collectables like always can get tedious.

That being said the gameplay like all the Assassin Creed games continues to be excellent fun. There are great interactive sequences including free running through an earthquake and controlling a large man o’ war with Captain Cook. Also included is a whole ship you control and of course, the unique weapon: an air rifle with a grenade launcher, both with which you can really play the game in unique and interesting ways for a time before it gets a bit monotonous.

All in all however Rogue feels like a bit of a B release, with nothing that groundbreaking or interesting, and a painfully short story. With the main release of Unity happening on the next generation with new large crowd and parkour mechanics, an interesting new setting of Revolutionary France, a longer substantial storyline and enhanced graphics, Rogue has made me realise what I really want: a next generation console.