Assassins Creed Rogue: Remastered is a remake of the often forgotten and unloved sibling to the rest of the franchise. When I told my friend I was playing Rogue he thought I was making up the plot for a fictional game. Rogue follows the story of Shay Cormac, a member of the Assassin brotherhood in the years before 1753, which is when we meet him. Rogue is set slap bang in the middle of AC Black Flag and AC 3. Shay is a rough and tumble Irishman who together with his friend Liam joined the brotherhood in part out of desperation as they were street kids. Shay clearly doesn’t fit the mold of the other Assassins, where the others in the brotherhood are calm and follow orders when told, Shay is rambunctious and does what he thinks is right.
Ultimately it is this desire to do what is right that created the “rogue” part of this game. Shay leaves the brotherhood after having a fall out with Achilles, the mentor in North America who taught Connor from Assassins Creed 3. Connor even gets a mention as it is brought up that he is the favourite of Achilles and will inherit the house once Achilles passes. (Which he ends up doing) Shay ultimately ends up joining the Templars. I know what you are thinking, but Ross, aren’t they the bad guys? Yes they are! But that touches on the key idea of this game, that the Assassins and Templars want the same outcome but are going about it in different ways. This is the basic plot of the game and from there you head off on a bunch of missions.
Unfortunately, this is where the game starts to face issues. In classic Assassins Creed fashion the missions are all follow or pick up missions with a distinct bland nothingness to them. Most of the missions also involve a point where you just follow someone and listen to them talk, and they tell you all about the plot so that you know what is going on. Before reviewing this game I reviewed the Assassins Creed Origins DLC’s, which are filled with dynamic missions that are actually interesting and are not based on listening to some annoying guy blab on about some rubbish while you walk about and do nothing.
This game also has a fair amount of collectibles. It was released at the same time as Assassins Creed Black Flag and uses the same engine, so a lot of the game is travelling around from place to place, searching islands and then getting back into your boat and sailing to the next place. Unfortunately most of the collectibles are just running to something, then going to the place it tells you to go thirty metres away or chasing something down and grabbing it. What you chase down are mostly shanties, just like you did in Black Flag, which allows your ship crew to sing things to you while you sail about.
Speaking about chasing things down, that brings me to the controls. Sailing is just the same as Black Flag, which means it is excellent. You sail about and fight other ships and it is a ton of fun and really enjoyable. The downside being that there is nothing to do when sailing other than fight people, when there are no ships around it becomes dull and uninteresting as all of the island coastlines look the same – meaning you never feel like you are really travelling.
Where the land controls come into play, things get horrible. Running around in this game is god awful because it is the same as it was in the old games. You often end up scaling a wall for no reason, hanging on to something and not going up even though I could personally climb the wall with more ease than someone who is supposedly a trained assassin. The only reason you will fail a chase mission is because the controls fail, which is irritating because this is a remake! They had years to think over this terrible control system and make it better and more fluid.
That last point really touches on my main criticism of this game. It is a remaster. They should have looked at the initial problems that were raised and changed it. Don’t get me wrong, they did improve some things, the god awful loading times are way quicker now, the world looks beautiful, especially the jungle areas and the water during storms. But other than these marginal and visual improvements the core of the game is unchanged. The controls are still terrible, there is not much to do when sailing around, and the combat is the same boring hang-around-until-you-get-attacked-then-counter system of the old games. These could have been updated and improved, made easier to handle, and made more dynamic and interesting. But ultimately the final product is disappointing and is still the average game I played years ago.
This game was reviewed on PS4. Also available on PC and Xbox One.