Assassin's Creed Rogue Review for Xbox 360
Assassin’s Creed Rogue takes place during the Seven Years' War in the mid-18th century. It has three maps to explore, consisting of North Atlantic, New York and River Valley.
The main protagonist in this latest installment is Shay Patrick Cormac, an Irish Assassin turned Templar. After being sent on a mission by his Assassin Mentors that ended catastrophically, Shay questions the Creed’s methods and motives. Ultimately he joins the Templars in stopping the Assassins' plans. Along the way you will take a few periodic breaks outside of the Animus in Abstergo while you complete tasks to gain further information that completes Shay’s story.
Rogue also ties up loose ends by re-introducing the likes of Hatham Kenway and Achilles Davenport from Assassin's Creed III and Adewale from Black Flag.
The Naval Campaign
The handling of your ship (The Morrigan) is the same as in past games.
The usual arsenal of Round Shot, Heavy Shot, Mortars, and Puckle Guns are still available, as well as added weapons: an oil slick released from the rear of the ship which can be ignited and a ram at the front of the ship to destroy ice sheets in the Atlantic.
You can still do the usual side activities as well - harpooning sea creatures, looting convoys, and attacking forts. Control of Kenway’s fleet is continued on from Black Flag, and the Legendary Battles are still there to test your skill and stupidity if you didn’t upgrade The Morrigan. Ship battles of varying scale are still fun, and you can still board vessels, but now with the added twist that hunter ships can also board The Morrigan.
The Land Campaign
The main land-based missions are focused in New York, which is mostly farms and buildings no taller than two stories high. There are various ports and islands in the North Atlantic and River Valley maps.
A new side mission called ‘Assassination Interception’ has been introduced, where Shay has to identify the assassin’s target and then intercept numerous assassins nearby before the time limit expires. Shay has the usual Arsenal at his disposal, but it has been expanded to include:
- an air rifle
- a grenade launcher
- various projectiles (including sleep darts and berserker darts)
- poison gas (Shay has a mask to protect himself)
You still need to talk to your mentors in order to obtain your next mission.The only difference is they are assigned by a Templar rather than an Assassin. You can attack camps and loot warehouses just like before. There's a new feature called eagle vision that lets you listen for whispers that indicate the locations of hidden assassins.
I personally encountered a couple of major glitches where I destroyed a Hunter ship just as it boarded me, and the result was the hunter ship melding into The Morrigan, and a boarding battle ensuing anyway. There was also an incident where I sailed The Morrigan to the dock and let go of the wheel before docking, which resulted in The Morrigan being able to sail through the island and any other islands. Other than these minor errors, the graphics are as superb as they always are in the Creed franchise - especially the naval campaign.
The sound effects of naval/land battles are well-timed and appropriate. Conversation (albeit boring) is clear and precise, and the Shanties sung on The Morrigan whilst sailing are catchy enough to keep one occupied while traveling to the other side of the map. To be fair, a lot of the time I have to subtitle the game, as my wife doesn’t want to hear "Fire!" and "Captain’s in the drink!" whilst she’s watching Emmerdale.
Apart from the role-reversal, the new weapons, and some new side missions and collectibles, the gameplay is pretty much the same as always. Which is OK, but variety is the spice of life - and perhaps some advancement in landscape and character ability is needed in further installments. The majority of the game is still going everywhere collecting various items and completing miscellaneous side missions.
Rogue was enjoyable, but lacking that wow factor without bringing something new to the franchise. Graphics and sound were solid, and the gameplay had some new features to keep us entertained. But overall, it did not compel me to get on the Red Bulls and play for days on end. It also wasn't so bad that my wife needed to slap me to keep me interested.
Graphics: 7/10 – Would be a 9, but two huge graphical errors ruined it.
Sound: 9/10 – The sound is fine as usual, room for improvement.
Gameplay: 7/10 – Needs more than new weapons and side missions.
Overall: 7/10 – Basically an extension of Black Flag to tie up loose ends, but still enjoyable.