Assassin’s Creed Rogue was a bit of a surprise for me. I expected it to be a bit of a half assed cash grab designed to get people to buy two Assassin’s Creed games in one year, but instead what it felt like was a competent follow-up to Black Flag. Sure, there’s some moments that are a little bit too close to Black Flag but the concept of Rogue, playing as the bad guys, is something too intriguing to pass up. I was surprised it took Ubisoft so long to bring the game to newer consoles. Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered is from a time before the bells and whistles of Origins came along, but still a game worth trying.
Unlike Unity and every other game before it, Rogue follows an assassin named Shay Cormac, and takes place between the years of 1752 and 1761 during the Seven Years’ War. This places it roughly a few years after Black Flag but also overlapping with Assassin’s Creed III – which seems appropriate as it aims to wrap up the events of those games and characters along with leading into the beginning of Unity, which it does rather well. Shay is an assassin who is slowly beginning to question whether what he’s doing is right, and eventually defects to the Templar cause. So, he’s gone rogue, essentially. Sorry.What I really like about Rogue is how it manages to tell a story from the villains’ side, but in a way that almost rationalises their behaviours. Rogue presents almost an entirely alternative perspective that we’ve never really had in Assassin’s Creed before. Shay and his conclave never explicitly admit that what they think they’re doing is wrong and they never behave like the maniacal, moustache twirling villains you’ve seen in previous games of the franchise. It’s strange to say this, but I totally understand where the Templars are coming from now. Kind of.
I’d be remiss to admit that Rogue is a bit of a retread of locales from Black Flag, though this isn’t a bad thing. You’ll revisit New York from Assassin’s Creed III, but in a less run-down state than it appeared in that game. The Atlantic Sea returns but has largely frozen over and is now littered with icebergs, changing the way you navigate the seas. There are some new locations here and there – like the River Valley and Albany – but everything else is recycled from previous games. It’s not that bad, since these areas have had enough work done to them to feel new, but there is an element of reuse here.