Assassin's Creed: Rogue
Assassin’s Creed fans rejoice! You get a double dose of stalking and stabbing this year with the upcoming release of Assassin’s Creed Rogue. So just what is Rogue going to be about and why will it be worth playing? We’ve had all this time to speculate about Unity and now the facts are flowing thick and fast for Rogue, with little time left to wonder because it comes out in November!
The game is mostly set in 18th century New York during the Seven Years’ War, slotting nicely in between the events of Assassin’s Creed III and IV. You will play as 21-year-old Shay Patrick Cormac, a young man who was taken in by the Assassin Brotherhood when his father passed away. He doesn’t really care about the goals of the Assassins and lives a carefree life. That is, until a plan goes awry and the Order turns on him. Then comes the real shocker: he decides to join the Templars so that he can destroy those who betrayed him. Apparently you’ll spend most of the game fighting on the side of the enemy in every AC game to date.
This isn’t the first time players have controlled a Templar, though. Playing as Haytham Kenway was the fantastic introduction to Assassin’s Creed III, leading to the ultimate reveal. I vividly remember throwing down my controller with a gasp, unable to believe that I had been playing as the “bad guy.” It really changed the entire dynamic of the power struggle in the game. It’s too easy to view things as Assassins = good and Templars = bad. Life is full of grey areas and as the AC universe continues to grow, it’s important to develop this depth.
One thing that pleases the sociopathic side of me is that abandoning the Assassins means being able to ignore their frustrating (at times) “creed.” According to game director Martin Capel, you can kill indiscriminately if you want to. Beggar getting in your face? Time to die. Crier annoying you? Nice knowing you. As long as you get results, it seems the Templars can’t care less how you get them.
Rogue will also have the naval exploration that made Black Flag such a hit, with some slight additions and alterations to suit the situation and location. The freezing waters of the North Atlantic will hurt you, for example, destroying any plans to simply run into the sea to escape enemies. Also, while you were the one boarding ships in Black Flag as an Assassin, this time they will be boarding your ship. They will also hide in a myriad of locations and do anything to kill you. So, uh, good luck with that.
The most startling part aside from Ubisoft having an extra game hidden up their collective sleeves is that this instalment in the series has been developed for PS3 and Xbox 360. It seems like a crazy move to put out a game specifically for last generation consoles but it does cater for those who either can’t afford or don’t care about the newer ones. Perhaps it’s the cynic in me talking but I sincerely hope that the game doesn’t just feel like a mish mash of concepts that never made the main series with obviously recycled assets, as I fear it will.
Right now, the jury is still out on whether releasing both games in the same year is a wise decision. The trailers are certainly compelling and Shay seems like an interesting character but are gamers willing to drop money on both at the same time? I might, if only to feel the joy of stabbing lots of civilians without desynchronising.