Assassin’s Creed Rogue (2014) Review

Posted: April 7, 2015 in Console Games, Reviews
Tags: , , , , , ,
Rating:
EU Release Date: Nov 13, 2014 (for Xbox 360)
Total play time: Approx. 60 hours (story mode)

Assassin's Creed Rogue Cover Art I’m a total newbie to the Assassin’s Creed franchise. Having only played the Black Flag demo before, I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this game, which is apparently the seventh in the AC series. The running, killing and hiding bit was obvious, but you get so much more than that.

You play as Shay Patrick Cormac, a young assassin working under the mentorship of Achilles Davenport, who I am sure will be familiar to fans of the series. After a literally earth-shattering experience, Shay defects, intent on stopping the plans of the assassins and willing to give his life in the course.

There is a huge free-roam element to this game, if not others in the series and a lot of hidden treasures to find, so although the story is quite linear, there is plenty to distract you from it, should you want to take the scenic route through the game. Warehouses to loot, gang headquarters and settlements to liberate, hunting, frontier clashes, citizens in distress… Even once you’ve finished the story, there will be other things to keep you playing, especially if you’re an achievement hoarder like me.

One of my favourite features of the game is the vast variety of ways to assassinate enemies. Not only are there nine different weapons to play with, but within each weapon are a variety of animations. Bare-fisted? Smash the enemy’s head against a wall. Hidden blades? Straight through the neck. Guy standing near a ledge? Give him a shove. It kept the constant combat interesting as well as giving you a range of sneaky and not so sneaky moves.

Morrígan

The Morrígan. Pretty kick-ass.

My second favourite feature is the Morrígan, Shay’s super-weaponised sloop-of-war. There’s nothing quite like a sea shanty, followed by mortar fire and boarding a huge-ass man-o-war to kickstart your day. And just like the land battles, there are myriad ways to sink the ships that get in your way.

The music in this game is good too. It’s not quite as great as the Black Flag soundtrack (hey, just because I haven’t played it, doesn’t mean I haven’t heard the music), but I get the feeling that the game wasn’t as good either.

Landscapes

Just one of the amazing places Shay can visit.

There were a few big let-downs in this game. First was the realisation that this is what Tomb Raider (2013) should have been, ruining my view on what had been one of my favourite franchises. Second was the sheer amount of really annoying glitches. Twice, Shay vanished entirely from cutscenes only to reappear thirty foot above ground and then fall to his death. Once, he fell up a tree, with the same result. He fell through a rock and became stuck and most annoyingly, managed to kill an assassination target too soon, leaving me with the goal of “kill this guy” but no guy to kill. There were also a few dodgy graphics (broken shadows, floating bushes etc.) and stray sounds (some guys didn’t scream until they had been dead a few seconds).

Overall, I’d say this is a pretty good game. Although touted as a sequel to 2013’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, a prequel to 2012’s Assassin’s Creed III and a prologue to 2014’s Assassin’s Creed Unity, I wouldn’t be afraid of recommending this to a complete AC newbie (like me). It explains enough without holding your hand too much (okay, there are constant tips popping up on screen). Once you’ve mastered the controls, it lets you do whatever you like, whether or not it’s the recommended method. And if you are already an AC fan, I’m sure it wouldn’t take much persuading to get you to give this this instalment a go.

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