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Review

Assassin's Creed Rogue Review

  • First Released Nov 11, 2014
    released
  • Reviewed Nov 15, 2014
  • X360

Déjà vu.

The cynic in me wants to say to that Assassin's Creed Rogue is little more than a glorified add-on, one last-ditch effort to squeeze some cash from the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 generation--and in many ways, it is. But after sailing the high seas as an Assassin turned Templar, I think it's more apt to think of Rogue as a cheeky but uninspired farewell, a piece of fan service that ties up some loose ends, and gives those absorbed in the overarching Abstergo arc answers to some of its more complex questions.

Those answers are, unfortunately, buried in a serviceable, if predictable story. The hero--or anti-hero in this case--is Shay Patrick Cormac, a gruff, moody Assassin out for revenge after becoming disillusioned with the brotherhood. Yes, the Assassin's Creed series still hasn't discovered that there are character motivations outside of surly angry dude, with Shay spending most of his time shouting at and killing other surly angry dudes, before going off on his own to stare off into space, and contemplate why everyone is just so gosh darn mean to him.

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So no, the core character story isn't going to keep you glued to the screen, particularly as the voice acting with its dodgy Irish accents is less-than-convincing. But, while I've never cared for it much myself, the surrounding lore is going to be of huge interest to series fans. Rogue fills in many of the gaps between ACIII and Black Flag by diving into the Abstergo and Templar conspiracies, and making you think about their motivations. Perhaps Abstergo isn't the evil organization its been made out to be. Perhaps the Assassin's aren't always in the right. That Rogue doesn't paint a picture of black and white is one of its greatest strengths.

A lot of this is accomplished during the historical missions (which take place between 1752 and 1761), but there's also a return to the often derided modern day first-person sections of Black Flag. Thankfully, these sections are much shorter this time around, and--save for a painfully perky Abstergo employee--rather pleasant. There's a lot of information to uncover, from datapads with tongue-in-cheek references to other Assassin's Creed games, to computers with Assassin profiles that are unlocked via a nifty puzzle minigame. That's not to mention the Abstergo Entertainment offices themselves, which are littered with all manner of Easter eggs not just from Assassin's Creed, but from other Ubisoft games too.

As for the historical missions, well, a cliche it may be, but given that Rogue is mechanically identical to Black Flag, if you weren't into the boats and battles on the high seas, Rogue is certainly not going to change your mind on the matter. The only real difference here is the setting--places like the frozen North Atlantic, the Appalachian River Valley, and New York--and the size of your ship, which is smaller and sleeker and ideal for traversing the smaller waters of inland America.

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Sadly, those waters are far less glamorous than the lush beaches and crystal clear waters of the Caribbean, and they're far more sparsely populated too. Story-driven side quests are few and far between, replaced instead with items to collect, buildings to upgrade, and gang bases to liberate. The latter are the most entertaining. Hunting for the gang's leader using Eagle Vision and sneakily stalking him atop buildings, are some of the most tense and exciting moments in the game.

That there's a lack of interesting missions aside from base liberations and building upgrades is something of a wasted opportunity, particularly as one of the largest locations you can visit--the 1700s recreation of New York with its wooden houses and cobbled streets--is an impressive sight to behold. Only a few of the core story missions even take place in the city, and without much in the way of side quests, even a dramatic visage wasn't enough to make me want to explore it to its fullest.

More disappointing is that the story missions that do happen in New York, and indeed around each of Rogue's islands, just aren't that interesting. For a game with Assassin in the title, there aren't actually a whole lot of assassination missions to play through, and those that are there tend to involve your target running off (whether you've been detected or not) and you chasing them around the city while they drop smoke bombs, or fire shots at you from a distance. The slow, methodical, and far more interesting assassinations that you'd hope for are few and far between.

And so it falls to the seafaring missions to pick up the slack. The thrill of sailing on the open sea hasn't lost any of its charm, even if the environments themselves are a little less alluring. Sailing over the Atlantic, seeing humpback whales belly flop their way across the water as your motley crew sings a hearty sea shanty still manage to stir up a thrill. Naval battles are par for the course, but there sadly aren't enough of them to warrant spending a whole lot of time upgrading your ship, or venturing out to pick up stranded crew members and supplies.

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Those that are there are fun, each battle being far more strategic than you might imagine. You're encouraged to take stock of the situation during the bigger battles, assessing the size and your enemies and figuring out who's best to pelt with long range mortars, and who's best to get up close with and unleash a barrage of cannon fire. But you can't help but feel that with the slim amount of missions on offer both out at sea and on dry land that you're getting a raw deal. There's not even any multiplayer to round things out.

Outside of a few additions like an air rifle and grenade launcher (which is used exactly one for mission), there's next to nothing in Rogue that moves the franchise forward. And even if you simply wanted more of Black Flag, that the missions are so sparse makes it difficult to want to drag yourself across the vast expanse of Rogue's oceans. Instead of a rich, fleshed-out game, Rogue is a short, mildly entertaining adventure that's thin on core content, but thick with information. It's intriguing information though, particularly if you're a series fan, just don't expect the best of adventures while you're taking it all in.

Back To Top
The Good
Lots of juicy Abstergo and Templar info to uncover
The Bad
Thin on core content
Dull missions
It's basically a glorified Black Flag DLC pack
Shay is a walking anti-hero cliche
6
Fair
About GameSpot's Reviews

About the Author

After being a little disappointed with Assassin's Creed Unity, Mark was hoping Rogue might renew his faith in the franchise. Oh, how wrong he was.
540 Comments  RefreshSorted By 
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Avatar image for happyhigh69
happyhigh69

I love the series of assassin creed. One game that is in my top ten list for on going series games

Avatar image for ukbond007
ukbond007

It's part of Xbox Live sale, downloaded (£9.99) 2 days ago brought without reading reviews as big AC: Black Flag fan and despite only played less 20% of story really enjoying it. It's nice to be in familiar waters & controls fine by me. Not bothered no multi-player and shame no new cabin battleship battles. Voice accents are questionable & laughing at French guy who sounds like that teapot in Disney's Beauty & The Beast.

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat
Gelugon_baat

I am watching someone else's playthrough of this game, and I pity that person who had to put up with poorly conceived parts of the game.

For one, the "real-world" segments of the gameplay are annoying. For example, the player has to do some silly mini-game of aligning shapes and beams to access a server. This just seems shoe-horned in. Furthermore, the animations for the characters in these segments are a lot more awkward than those in the Animus segments.

Also, bugs. Check this one out; there is a problem of sorts in trying to knock out a guard whose back is facing a ladder. What a glitchy piece of shit.

Avatar image for megantereon
megantereon

I agree, this review should be down voted. This is one of the best games of the series, certainly better than Unity. I consider it an improved version of Black Flag, and would be my preference of the two if I had to choose. Maybe there is not that much different than BF, but the story is better, the Assassin stalkers are a great addition, so is the ice and snow, the graphics are better than AC3 and ACBF, and the controls are smoother. Also, I experienced far less bugs and glitches than with Unity or Black Flag. The only downside are the huge maps and locations and collectables. If the reviewer was having that many bugs on his 360 he should get a new system. Perhaps he is just having trouble playing the game. It sounds like his issues are mostly skill related. I am playing this now on a PS3, while waiting for Syndicate and have had only one problem where the game froze up, and I had to restart a checkpoint. Perhaps they have patched it by now. I give it a 8.5 to 9.

Avatar image for Cryio
Cryio

@megantereon: Dunno about III and IV visuals on X360/PS3, but Rogue on PC is definitely inferior to IV and even to III on PC.

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sillycats

Why can't we down vote GS reviews like you let us down vote user's reviews? I would give this a down vote for inaccuracy.

Avatar image for gns
GNS

I've recently completed it with 59 or 60 percent. And I've got to say that I played it with a sense of deja-vu, and not because the gameplay and the generic island locations were in fact imported from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Freedom Cry expansion, but because most of the stuff that you do (plot wise) you've already done it in Black Flag. Even the semi-end is the same (Precursor site. The difference is, instead of going against the Templars to stop them, you are the Templar and you try to stop Assassins from using the site). The only saving grace point of this game was the sea shanties, but they got boring after a while.


5/10.


I'll try to play Unity now, but I guess it will be a re-skinned AC III.

Avatar image for jjleshko90
jjleshko90

Outside of a few additions like an air rifle and grenade launcher (which is used exactly one for mission)

Typo. Should be "for exactly one mission" or "once in a mission" or some other grammatically correct and unconfusing phrase.

Avatar image for punksterdaddy
punksterdaddy

I just finished it today and wow it is really poor in terms of story, since there barely is one. It's extremely buggy but I'm sure most people reading this will likely know.

I was a fan of Assassin's Creed but it has burned out a while ago and it is more frustrating than it is fun, seeing as you spend 90% of the game collecting pointless tat.

The game is at it's best when you are just sailing the seas blowing every other ship out of the water, just for the hell of it. Which has nothing to do with anything and even that gets dull ever so fast.

I give this a 5/10. Uninspired, repetitive and yet it is still better than AC Unity.

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streamline

Too bad if isn't tit for tat.

Avatar image for grimjr12
Grimjr12

It's an alright score. But coming from me Playin unity to this. It so needs more then a 6. Also Unity is the only thing I'm comparing it to. Because would you like to play something you know and like or get upset like everyone is with Unity?

Avatar image for wolfpup7
wolfpup7

Glad to hear this isn't a loss. The idea seemed solid, and it almost sounds like this turns out better than Unity.


I've only finished the first 5 games (meaning Liberty and 3 are next LOL) but I'll be interested to play this when I finally get to it in a few years.

Avatar image for Cryio
Cryio

@wolfpup7 AC3 is the 5th game ... do I miss something?


PS: Now that you probably finished both 3 and Liberation, what do you think of them ?

Avatar image for neutraldoggy
neutraldoggy

I think this score is fair. I wanted to love this game SO much. I did love Black Flag, after all. I just couldn't escape the feeling of having done it all before. All of the same missions and the same mechanics. The perspective of a Templar was an interesting spin, but just too little to save it for me. It really is too expensive for a buggy DLC. I might buy it again in six months, when it's a third of the price.

Avatar image for HunterTN
HunterTN

Until consumers stop buying these half baked products, companies will continue to roll them out. This has become more and more common, widely beta testing a $60 game. Frankly it's insulting. But people keep lining up to take the punishment. Like a lot of others I got my nose bloodied good on BF4 and finally just stopped playing and haven't been back in 6+ months. Money talks, both of the AC games are getting close to 20% off MSRP on Amazon already, clearly not a good sign. I am tired of buying a game on the release date and finding 3 patches waiting for me when I put the disc in.

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Payasoplas

Even the most hardcore fans will eventually lose interest in the franchise if they keep releasing games of the series like there's no tomorrow...

Avatar image for jagdedge124
jagdedge124

I think it's kind of an unfair review. Hours into this game it deserves a 7.5 to an 8 in the least. Sure it's a mixture of Black Flag with Assassins 3 like enviornments, but i think that's a good thing.

The stories a blast with about 8 hours in, The thing of it is that there are no horses. It gets kind of painstaking having to huff it thru all that territory, and horses not on an Assassins Creed game in this era is kind of silly. I just hope they put out some DLC Outfits in the near future.

A Viking or or Templar Outfit from the Middle Ages ain't cutting it, and the Colonial Captain outfit looks more like Napolean than a Colonial. Other than that, great stuff.

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megantereon

@jagdedge124 If you noticed your player runs faster in this game than in AC3 so a horse is not necessary.

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CrusaderProphet

@jagdedge124 exactly this game is better than AC III and AC IV, and takes advantages of the good things about those two games. I am not saying that this should get a better rating in comparison to those two games because it is better than them, instead as a standalone game it deserves an 8/10 at least. If the Deja Vu features were never introduced in AC III and AC IV, I bet this game would be not just a mediocre game in eyes of critics, instead it will be a great game with rating between 7.5 - 8.5 out of 10 (not an excellent one though).

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hazuki

Ubisoft could use some new IP really. Most developers change things up every generation. But ubisoft, we've been having the same tom clancy games for awhile. Using the far cry name since 03'. Michael Ironside isn't in Splinter Cell anymore, and they still want to suck the life out of it. Assassins Creed really ended with 3, albiet badly. Far cry works, because each game is extremely different. *Granted, 4 feels similar to 3. But hey! 3 made lots of money too*. Sure, call of duty is milked every year. But you always have new characters, new settings and locals. Its a new story. Whereas Assassins creed is the same overarching story, but feels milked to death after 3.


Sure, Metal Gear has been going on since the late 80s. But there isn't a new game every other year either.

Avatar image for onixevil
onixevil

Too sad for beloved franchise.

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onixevil

The last resort for Ubisoft seems lift to Far Cry 4.

Avatar image for KostasFavatas
KostasFavatas

Well...how can a game with " Lots of juicy Abstergo and Templar info to uncover" be "dull" and "cliche"?? Well either the reviewer has bipolar syndrome or Rogue was the sacrificial lamb...also it is a "glorified Black Flag DLC pack" because they couldn't add anything new since it is a Pre-Gen game...the new stuff will be on the Next-Gen...it's kinda simple.....

And i believe the 6 was because the reviewer was expecting more...i would give it a 8

Still better than AC1 and Brotherhood and 3........

Avatar image for ferna1234
ferna1234

if dumb blind people keeps buying, they'll keep making em. quite simple

Avatar image for kryotech
kryotech

So it's looking like the cow they milked so much finally gave out on them: two releases in one year was just too much for the poor cow.


Creed Fatigue can only be cured in the following manner:

1): We need something new, cause playing the same AC over and over just ain't gonna cut it

2): New can also be done by a more interesting setting. We've done enough of the Western settings. How about something different? Russia, China, India, Japan?

3): For the love of god, stop releasing annually if it means that the game will have more polish, or more of the above.

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BigCat2K20

@kryotech I agree with you on 2 & 3. I'd like for AC series go to China, Japan (every person on planet Earth wants that to happen) or Egypt (I wonder how that setting's going to work). Assassin's Creed series is following the Call Of Duty route, in terms of releasing annually & gamers just don't like that at all.

Avatar image for KostasFavatas
KostasFavatas

@kryotech Revelation was in Turkey and if im not mistaken Brotherhood was in Italy (just like AC 1 and 2) and Cyprus...if you think these where "Western Settings" you are mistaken...in AC 1 and 2 (and possibly Brotherhood and Revelations) America was not even found...so....why western? All im saying is don't judge a game based on the past with present criteria.....

Avatar image for kryotech
kryotech

@KostasFavatas @kryotech I guess I should be more specific: the last few settings have been rather lack luster. French revolution just doesn't click for me, and the two games before that were meh in terms of setting. I'm just saying that they are kind of getting stuck in repeating the same formula over and over.

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lostn

After seeing screenshots of Unity and even last year's Black Flag on PS4, I have to say that this game's graphics look like crap.

Avatar image for KostasFavatas
KostasFavatas

@lostn Bro..this game is not for PS4 it's for the Previous Gen Exclusively (PS3,XBOX360) ...of course the visuals are worse...if they where the same no1 whould buy any PS4 / XONE



Avatar image for lostn
lostn

@KostasFavatas @lostn I wasn't looking for an explanation. I already know that. I just think it's strange to release a game looking worse than the one a year earlier. That one released on 8th gen consoles also. Why wouldn't this one?

Avatar image for lostn
lostn

How many more years before Ubisoft drives AC into the ground completely and the game goes the way of Guitar Hero? How many more years can we take of 2 AC games a year? When will they run out of interesting historic time periods to set the game in, and we finally play as Desmond's dad who lounges around with a beer in his hand all day?

Avatar image for kryotech
kryotech

@lostn Assassin's Creed: Drunk. The exciting new AC game where you play as the drunk assassin! Level up by getting a hard hangover and surviving!

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eternaldragoonx

I'm SHOCKED!!!.......

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thesnackbar81

Assassins creed is a rotting corpse.

Avatar image for ringringabel
ringringabel

currently loving unity, the combat tweaks and assassination missions remind me of the good ol' days back w/ AC 1 instead of all this sailing mumbo jumbo. AC should be more like Hitman, although Black Flag was fun for what it was

Avatar image for mohps3
mohps3

Each world has changed the idea of football has become not to enjoy , bringing the player cares about money more than his skill ,Games programmers as well as pay attention to money and left the creativity and this is the reason for poor Games Today .


Avatar image for FLEEBS
FLEEBS

@mohps3 Yes. You make absolute sense. Everything is clear to me now. Please enlighten us further with your wisdom.

Avatar image for thekazumalord
thekazumalord

so this game is more or less a $52 DLC pack? .. so AC Unity is a buggy mess, and this one is shorter and features barely any content?,..this is what happens while you try to put out more then one game at the same time.

Avatar image for depman1972
depman1972

Loving this game, and no i'm no fanboy, just being honest, its a great excellent game.

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druzyb

@depman1972 I'm enjoying this game too. What can I say - I'm easily pleased.

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BigCat2K20

@depman1972 AC: Rogue isn't a bad game like most people are saying. Plus, it isn't suffering the same game breaking issues like AC: Unity.

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benelori

@depman1972

Whenever people have to stick it in there that they are not something, they usually are :D

Avatar image for mohps3
mohps3
Ubisoft will lose fans because of cooperation with Nvidia and focus on graphics without enjoying
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Warlord_Irochi

Seems like AC needs some rest.

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naasum

i sincerely hope that every overrated&overhyped game series will end up like this.

Avatar image for Warlord_Irochi
Warlord_Irochi

@naasum I sincerely hope that someday "gamers" will get back to enjoy the games they like instead of celebrating the failure of those they don't.

Avatar image for deactivated-58a613a89f5e9

I'm playing AC Unity at the moment and it is NOT a 7/10 game. It's a 5/10 game, MAYBE a 6 at a stretch. Bad time for AC fans really. Apart from Black Flag (which was AWESOME) there hasn't been a truly memorable one since the original AC2. Shows what happens when the suits take over with big budgets and annual release schedules.

Has there EVER been a AAA series of games that varied so wildly as the AC series in quality from release to release ? Maybe a 2 year release schedule and some sort of attention to getting a functional, FINISHED game out the door is called for here ?

Avatar image for eran_le
eran_le

@t1000_v2 Is AC Unity bad because of the bugs? Because from the videos it looks quite stunning actually. Not sure whether to buy it...

Assassin's Creed Rogue More Info

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  • First Released Nov 11, 2014
    released
    • PC
    • PlayStation 3
    • + 3 more
    • PlayStation 4
    • Xbox 360
    • Xbox One
    Assassin's Creed Rogue for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 lets you play as a Templar during the Seven Years' War, bridging the gap between Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin's Creed III.
    7.3
    Average Rating281 Rating(s)
    Please Sign In to rate Assassin's Creed Rogue
    Developed by:
    Ubisoft, Ubisoft Sofia
    Published by:
    Ubisoft, IntraGames, Bandai Namco Games
    Genre(s):
    Adventure, Action
    Theme(s):
    Historic
    Content is generally suitable for ages 17 and up. May contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language.
    Mature
    Blood, Strong Language, Violence