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Game review - Assassins Creed: Rogue

Game review - Assassins Creed: RogueThis gaming season is graced with not one, but two Assassins Creed games. The first, Assassins Creed Unity is the big blockbuster flagship release, and then there's Assassins Creed: Rogue. Strategically made on older generation consoles as a failsafe, to take off some of the edge in case Unity tanks. Question is, is it a cheap Assassins Creed installment, or is it a solid entry into the series.

Story and World
This time around you don't play an Assassin, in a lone battle against the collective might of the Templars. Instead you play an ex-Assassin, Shae Cormac, who slowly loses his faith in the brotherhood of the Assassins, and moves over to the "dark side", in this case, the Templars. In a storyline that is very enjoyable as it ties into the events that happen between Black Flag and touching into Assassins Creed III's origins and into Assassins Creed Unity as well.

Everything about Rogue screams safe. Borrowing heavily from Assassins Creed IV: Black Flag. Which is not a bad thing at all, especially when you consider the fact that Black Flag is one of the best games in the series to date. So getting into Rogue feels like you're getting a lot more of Black Flag, except from a different role. What also contributes is the superb storyline is the fact that Shae Cormac is a fantastic character.

For those long standing Assassins Creed games, up until now you've been painting history red with digital Templar blood all along. Rogue actually lets you experience that fight from the Templars side, which is not bad per se. They have noble intentions, and seek order. Which you see through Shae's inner conflict as he sees both sides of the ancient tussle of the assassins and templar. Making Rogue an important entry into the Assassins Creed canon.

Assassin's Creed games are the perfect vehicles for learning history. Rogue takes you away from the beautiful emerald waters of the Caribbean and into the frozen seas of the Arctic. Set in the backdrop of the historical Seven Years War during the 1950's. Like Black Flag, you roam the frozen seas, surviving, navigating, scavenging and occasionally meeting familiar faces like Haytham Kenway, Achilles Davenport and many other familiar faces from the Assassins Creed universe.

Timeline wise, Rogue is set before Assassins Creed Unity. Though there's very little that leads into the new game set in the French Revolution. Rogue is the perfect game to play, while Ubisoft is hard at work patching the broken Unity. Not to mention there's a lot of the sci-fi thrown into this, as you locate the artifacts called the Pieces of Eden. In parallel to Shae's timeline is the modern day story, as you explore the Templar controlled Abstergo Industries in a bit of corporate espionage.

Rogue brings all the elements from Black Flag and a few from the other games in the series to make a very good game. The naval battles are undoubtedly the hallmark of the game again. A feature that's perfected as you guide your ship, The Morrigan, across the icy north-atlantic, which holds larger dangers than just other bigger ships, like Icebergs. As a whole, any Assassins Creed game is one part fantastic, unique and awe, the rest is nine parts of repetitive repetition. Though with Rogue, Ubisoft seems to have put some pep into the side missions.

The naval battles may sound boring in theory. You're navigating an old, slow, wooden boat across vast expanses of water, and in those days boats were slow. However, once you learn the ropes, literally, you will be spending all your time on the waves. Like Black Flag, there are times you will want nothing more than to just sail the seas, listening to songs sung by your crewmen. Other times you will find yourself wanting to sail to discover Viking sword fragments or take on one of the forts. This time around, you aren't a pirate, but on the other side, and you will have to protect your ship against pirates and other enemy vessels.

Don't fancy much of that. There's a big chunk of the game set on land. Specifically in the Hudson River Valley area and New York. Which is exciting, as you seize territory from Assassin controlled gangs, in a very Gangs of New York style. You will also take part in hunting down Assassins. You have played as Assassins for several games and in Rogue, they are a fearsome foe, with that famed hidden blade and advanced methods of concealment.

The action has been streamlined further, with a more rhythm based combat. Where you parry, attack, roll, parry and then counterattack. Which is good in most part, but after playing Shadow of Mordor, this pales in comparison. With the tables turned, the Assassins are formidable enemies, and by far one of the best parts of the game. Taking down those you have been fighting as for the longest time, puts a superb spin on things.

Assassins Creed: Rogue is a brilliant letter of farewell from Ubisoft to the last generation of consoles. A swan-song. Pushing your PS3 or Xbox 360, to it's very limits, Rogue's graphics very nearly touch those of the current generation. The arctic seas are beautiful, with amazing character animations we have grown to love so much across Assassins Creed games.

Wonderful sound design. Playing through Rogue will make you fall in love with your last generation console all over again. One last spin, for old times sake, before they bow out, and let the current generation take centre stage.

While Assassins Creed Unity is trying to stay afloat in a sea of glitches, Assassins Creed: Rogue emerges triumphant. Not a soulless money spinner, but a proud game, with a main character filled with personality, and a really good story to tell. Highly Recommended, especially if you own a last generation console.

Rating - 4/5

Price: Rs. 2499 for PS3 and Xbox 360

Features- Naval combat For the PS3 and Xbox360


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