Assassin’s Creed Rogue is the… umptieth release in the Assassin’s Creed series. It has ships though, so it’s fun.
To start, I know it’s over a year old, but I played it recently and part of this review can be copy-pasted for the newer releases. Also, there’s no new Assassin’s Creed this year, so this is as good a one as any to pick up.
As you might expect, Assassin’s Creed Rogue is an Assassin’s creed game. You’ve got an array of weapons, chief among them your trusty wrist-mounted knives, which you use to stab people to death. It has the standard fantasy element: the Assassin’s are in an old age battle against the Templars, and it has the science fiction angle: you are a person somewhere in the near future reliving the memories of a historic assassin.
The twist: in this game you betray the assassins and become a Templar.
The plot revolves around Shay Patrick Cormac, an assassin who is sent on missions to hunt for powerful artifacts from the pre-cursors. It turns out these artifacts destroy the land around them and kill most of those unlucky enough to be close by. Cormac witnesses Lisbon being devoured by an earthquake, and tells his boss this. Unfortunately, the old assassin refuses to stop going after the artifacts. Cormac tries to stop him, gets shot, and is saved by the Templars. He decides to join them and stop his old boss.
Pirates 2, more pirates
Rogue, like Black Flag before it, isn’t really an Assassin’s Creed game. The elements are there, but it’s mostly a pirate game. You are pirate, with a neat pirate ship that you upgrade and sail the seas with. The whole Assassin/Templar bit is an interesting diversion, but in the end it’s really all about the pirating. The future plot is worse, it makes no sense, and just annoys the crap out of me. I wish writers would play Maniac Mansion 2: Day of the Tentacle to see how such a plot is done.
Another problem which seems to increase with time, is that all the Assassin’s Creed games are stuffed to overflowing with needless side quests. This is a hype of the past few years: let’s go open-world and add ‘work’ to your games. Because, really, collecting hundreds of shards, energy cubes, pieces of armour, keys, or whatever is not gaming, it’s performing chores. It’s gotten so bad that I think you spend over half the game running around collecting stuff. The Witcher 3 at least had the decency to add cut scenes, but Assassin’s Creed just has you collect stuff without explaining a thing.
Anyway, Pirates 2… ehm, Assassin’s Creed Rogue, is a fun game. You can blow the hell out of sailing ships with your cannons, then board those ships and capture them. Yar!