Assassin’s Creed Rogue review for PS3, Xbox 360

Platform: PS3
Also On: Xbox 360
Publisher: Ubisoft
Developer: Ubisoft
Medium: Blu-ray
Players: 1
Online: No

I didn’t care much for Assassin’s Creed: Unity, so imagine my surprise when I found I had a hard time putting down the controller to write this Assassin’s Creed Rogue review. Seriously, it’s great! Of course it’s built upon a very solid foundation laid out by last year’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, which I also loved. But Rogue does an excellent job of tying both AC III and IV together, and even dovetails nicely into Unity, which pays off if you’ve at least put an hour or two into the new-gen Assassin’s Creed release from last week.

And when I say Rogue builds off of the base of AC IV, I really mean that. This is, regardless of what the subtitle says, Black Flag 2. You have a ship. You have naval battles. You have multiple small island locations to explore. You hunt whales, sharks, and other wildlife. You craft gear to improve health and hold more ammo. You even take over ships for your personal fleet, and then send those ships on missions via an optional mini-game. If you played Black Flag and enjoyed it, chances are you’ll like Rogue a great deal.

Assassins_Creed_Rogue_TemplarVSAssassinCaptain_1407252871But Assassin’s Creed Rogue isn’t entirely derivative. There is some new content worth exploring, new locations, and I found the overall plotline and characters introduced to be pretty enjoyable. There’s a heavy focus on New York, and other locations within North America, providing a number of visual differences to the Caribbean-heavy locales of Black Flag. New York is actually pretty huge, you’ll have a number of sections to explore, synchronization points to dive off of, and while exploring you’ll be hunted by enemy Assassins that can drop down from buildings or pop out of haystacks to surprise you.

There’s a new mechanic introduced that brings back a regenerating bank account, where you’ll take over gang hideouts, generally by cutting down a flag and hunting down a gang leader. You can also renovate a number of shops, take over settlements for supplies and money, and of course you have hundreds of collectible items to hunt down. Shanties are a thing again, along with a new item that gives you the instant benefit of increasing income from various sources.

Assassins_Creed_Rogue_Screenshot_NY_1407252865I also really enjoyed the pacing of Assassin’s Creed Rogue, especially compared to the bloated, drawn out affairs found in previous console entries. Rogue only features six sequences, seven if you count a series of missions that piece together missing time. Compare that to Unity or Black Flag, which feature a bit more than double that number. Rogue won’t take as long to complete, but you’ll also feel far less burnout once done with the story side. And that compacted experience feels more focused from a plot perspective, and also helps with mission variety, considering there’s less chance for repeat objectives. Of course, not having multiple, annoying, tailing or eavesdropping missions is also a big plus.

All in all, I really enjoyed Assassin’s Creed Rogue, and think it’s well-worth checking out despite being the old-hardware release for the series this year. It’s a far better experience than Unity overall, provided you enjoyed Black Flag like I did. It did a suitable job of washing away the bad taste left from Unity, and I would certainly suggest it as a series palette cleanser if you’re in need of one. It’s hard to give it extremely high marks, as it does cover a lot of familiar ground and re-uses a number of assets, but outside of that I have virtually no complaints.

Grade: A-

Assassin’s Creed Rogue- PlayStation 3 (Video Game)

Manufacturer:  UBI Soft
ESRB Rating: 

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