Sunday, 12 August 2018

Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered ★★★★☆

Back in 2014, when everyone's eyes were on the new shiny PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, Ubisoft were a bit too eager to show off their new AnvilNext 2.0 Game Engine and were throwing all their best publicity and marketing strategies at Assassin's Creed Unity; regardless that it should have been delayed because it was an unfortunate mess. Meanwhile, Assassin's Creed Rogue was being released for last gen consoles (and PC) with very little publicity behind it.

Still running on the same Engine as the highly praised Assassins Creed: Black Flag, which saw a simultaneous release across generations, the previous year. Rogue doesn't really try anything new and it may be a bit too close to Black Flag, but it was a far more polished of a game than its next gen Sibling, Unity. Rogue was the game that should have launched that year, giving Assassin's Creed Unity the extra year of development time, it so desperately needed. Regardless of Ubisoft's genius strategies, Rogue’s here now, with a second chance for all those that missed it the first time around.

This Remaster is essentially the PC release, but with some extra spit and Polish. The things you come to expect of a Remaster are all here. Bugs have been squashed, some of the dodgy textures updated. Higher resolution, some nice new lighting and a higher, more stable, performance in frame rate. The PC version of Rouge already looked nice, to begin with, so the fact they managed to get a superior version running on consoles is quite impressive. The game looks it's most impressive while sailing the seas, but once you dock on land, character models and Geometry are a little more underwhelming, when compared with some of the newer instalments in the series. There is that four year gap in time, mind.

Rogue follows the story of Shay Cormac, a nonconformist who abandons his Assassin’s Brotherhood, whom he blames for the deaths of thousands of innocents, to join the Templars to seek his vengeance. -War has no good sides, people. They’re both assholes- The story is fairly competent and tries some new things, but at the same time, I don’t think anyone has really played an Assassin’s Creed for the story since Nolan North left… so I wouldn’t worry too much about it.

If this had come out in 2014, in a pre Origin world, the controls and combat would have likely been a non issue, or at least more forgiven. Favourably, we have been spoiled by superior game design and going backwards always makes it all the more obvious. Controls feel horribly last gen, with dodgy collision and accidentally jumping at right angles... often to your death. Combat becomes a chain of Batman counters, to end enemy encounters as quickly as possible, rather than the heavier and more strategic combat of Origins. Going back in time is sometimes the best way to show how good we have it, now. Hindsight's a bitch.

If you enjoyed the sailing and the being a pirate aspect of Black Flag, then Rogue is worth consideration and should tie over your pirate needs until we get Ubisoft’s new pirate game, Skull and Bones. 

Bry Wyatt

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