The original Assassin’s Creed Rogue was an action-adventure game originally developed by Ubisoft Sofia and published by Ubisoft. It was the seventh major installment in the Assassin’s Creed series and acted as a sequel to 2013’s Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. Now, continuing the trend that many gaming classics are taking, it’s been “remastered” to bring the visuals more in line to run on the newest major 4K consoles, currently PS4 Pro and XBox One X. This is our review of Assassin’s Creed Rogue for the PS4.
The original Assassin’s Creed Rogue game was created by a vast, diverse team of people from Ubisoft offices around the world including Singapore, Quebec, Bucharest, Milan, Chengdu, Shanghai and Montreal. For this remastered version a big part of the core team from the original game was reassembled. A lot of time was spent improving the visuals to achieve native 4K rendering on both PS4 Pro and XBox One X as well as running at 1080p on PS4 and Xbox One.
Additional graphic enhancements include added higher resolution textures, improved shadows, and lighting, in addition to several other graphical enhancements. This edition also contains bonus missions, customizations packs and additional bonus content. Since I never had the chance to play the original game I cannot say if the team changed anything else, what I will say though is the game looks gorgeous, perhaps not as nice as the newest Assassin’s Creed: Origins, but eye pleasing and some scenes are jaw dropping.
Overall the game played well on the PS4 Pro. There was no framerate stuttering and the controls were responsive and include “safeguards”, e.g. “safe jumping”, that make climbing and running around enjoyable. For anyone who hasn’t played the original or has never even played an Assassin’s Creed game before I can say this game is a joy to play.
The in-game story is set in the time between the years 1735-1742 and revolves around Shay Patrick Cormac, a young man who undergoes a very traumatic experience while on a mission for the Assassin’s Brotherhood. This event causes him to reconsider his allegiance to the Brotherhood and ultimately taking a different path by embracing the advent of “order” that the Templars seem to offer. The opening splash screen was interesting as it lets us know that the game is “inspired by historical events and characters” as well as being developed by a “multicultural team of various religious faiths and beliefs”. With that kind of disclaimer one has wonder what they are getting themselves into.
As soon as you start the game you’re thrown straight into the action where you need to rescue hostages. There isn’t a tutorial in the beginning, per se, but later there are some cool training exercises that you need to pass. But to start, in the upper right corner of your screen is an overlay of your control pad that fades in and out to let you know what buttons and commands are available. The overlay reacts to what control key you’re holding down, e.g. on the PS4 controller R2, as well who you’re targeting and how far they are (e.g. ranged vs. melee). You also have an on-screen display of your current mission/ objective as well as an area map. The previous Assassin’s Creed title, Black Flag, introduced the concept of ships in-game. This Rogue follow-up continues in the same tradition. Not too long after your first mission you’ll be the captain of your own ship and partaking in sea battles, i.e. firing cannons, exploring for artifacts, etc. as the story dictates.
Be warned, there is a lot of story to be uncovered in the form of documents, “inspirations”, tidbits, etc. with most of it being voice acted. If you love Assassin’s Creed games, in part, because of the lore than you’ll feel completely fulfilled here. The game also holds many surprises. Without revealing any spoilers there was one point at the start of the game where I thought I had switched over to something completely different by accident. With a little patience it was revealed to me what was occurring and then I realized how novel an idea it was and how I was caught off-guard.
Additional “extras” included in this remastered edition include:
- Two bonus missions from the original edition:
- The Armor of Sir Gunn Quest where you’ll explore North America to find the remains of Sir Gunn and solve his great mystery.
- The Siege of Fort de Sable including a bonus fort-raiding mission at sea, in the North Atlantic territory of the New World.
- Customization packs allowing you to personalize your character:
- The Master Templar Pack including three outfits, weapons and items to customize your ship.
- The Explorer Pack including weapons and items to customize your ship.
- Bayek’s legacy outfit.
- Additional bonus content available via the Ubisoft Club Rewards Program:
- Legacy Assassin outfits including Altaïr, Ezio, Connor, Edward, Arno, Jacob, and Aguilar.
- The Jackdaw Pack including items to customize your ship.
With the in-game system’s tracking of “achievements” this is a game that will drive completionists insane. You’ll always fight the urge to go back to an area and finish finding treasure chests, hidden treasure and “viewpoints”. The game also synchronizes with Ubisoft’s Ubi Rewards Club where you can earn cosmetic rewards and such just by playing and advancing through the story / game.
Other gameplay features include crafting where you collect animal skins, yes from animal kills. Don’t think poorly of me but there was some fun in sprinting and chasing down deer just to assassinate them for their skin. It sounds easier than it is, the deer are quick, hence the sense of accomplishment. You also collect fragments, usually attainable by climbing, swinging, hanging, and dropping from trees. You can also upgrade your ship which adds another game component.
At the end of the day, the question becomes whether someone should buy or re-buy this “remastered” version. If you never played the original game or are new to the series, then purchasing this for your PS4 or Xbox One seems like a no brainer and comes off as a “buy”. If you played the original game on a PS3 or XBox 360 then you need to decide if the modest price, of only $29.99 USD, is worth it if you want to play through it again plus the two bonus missions. If you love eye candy, then the updated visuals, plus the Ubisoft Club Rewards tie-in for additional costumes, etc. also seems to make it an easy decision… “buy”! Let’s hope other games, that need it, in the Assassin’s Creed series get similar treatment.
FINAL REVIEW SCORE: 9/10
- 4K rendered graphics
- Responsive controls
- Great story
- Great price
- Ubisoft Club Rewards integration
- Still a convoluted overall “present day” narrative
Note: Our copy was reviewed on PS4 with a code provided by PR.
COMPARE TO: Assassin’s Creed, Thief