Assassin’s Creed Franchise, Part 4 – Rogue

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Continuing my epic playthrough of all of the Assassin’s Creed games in my Steam backlog in order, and archiving the tweets I wrote about them. Last time it was Black Flag, next is the one that made everyone step back and say, “You know, maybe we don’t actually need a new Assassin’s Creed game every year.”

Assassin’s Creed Rogue, June 2

Shay Cormac, our completely level-headed character for this game, who will not at any point make any rash decisions whatsoever.

Next in the epic playthrough of all the Assassin’s Creed games in my Steam backlog, to chronicle the rise and fall and maybe hopefully rise again? of a once-great franchise, is, I think, Rogue.

And in case anyone is wondering, yes this is a stress coping mechanism, I couldn’t care less about games right now. It’s either this or sit in front of the television [news] shoving food into my mouth for hours on end. [The end of May and the beginning of June was, let’s just say, a peak time of stress time in the U.S., in the roller coaster of stress ride that is 2020.]

Assassin’s Creed Rogue is so far exactly what you’d expect from that time period where they shoveled factory-produced Assassin’s Creed games out the door every year.

Total number of Assassin’s Creed franchise videos awaiting upload: 84. No descriptions or thumbnails created. Pretty daunting. Streamers have it so easy.

Hoping to finish Assassin’s Creed Rogue tonight. Since I’m not finished the story, I can’t complete a full review. But here is a partial review in-progress: The story __cks. [Note: I did not mean “rocks.” :]

Nevermind. Second-to-last mission is impossible until you upgrade your ship which means hours of boring grinding for resources.

Finished Assassin’s Creed Rogue last night after all. Unity is next. They sort of set up the Unity plot at the end, which I think is the first time that’s happened in the series. (Which incidentally made zero sense for the Rogue plot.)

Sneaking past Arno and Elise at the end of Rogue. This was a nice touch, in retrospect. You play Arno in the next game, and get to play this exact moment from the child's perspective. Though there was no reason for this mission to be in Rogue other than as a prologue for Unity.

Gameplay-wise I think Rogue is superior to Black Flag because of the wider variety of options available. Black Flag sort of traps you into doing ship combat over and over and over again. It’s more optional in Rogue. Otherwise Rogue is basically the exact same game as Black Flag. The story is thrown together and makes little sense and isn’t very good voice acting but it’s mercifully short. [*And* the sea shanties are also worse.]

In playing through all these Assassin’s Creed games, I can’t help but feel like I’m re-living the downfall of the entire gaming industry. Each game is more and more of a clone of the previous game, thrown out the door with a shiny paint job. Soon I will reach the point where the engine is updated for the “next generation” [of consoles] and see what happens then.

I did enjoy seeing Haytham Kenway again in Rogue. He was by far the best character in Assassin’s Creed III. (I think of him as the Roger Moore of Assassin’s Creed.) His part was very small, though.

Otherwise I have little good to say about this game, except what I mentioned above about the expanded variety of gameplay styles. It was a game that coasted by on the “Assassin’s Creed” franchise label.

The voice actor for Shay’s first mate Christopher Gist, who I called “Van Helsing,” consistently made me laugh throughout the game though. He (Richard Dumont) sounded like he thought he was starring in a Saturday morning cartoon.

First mate "Van Helsing" and Shay, identified as a rogue Templar by his pony tail.

The story *could* have been great-an Assassin turned Templar, an alternate perspective on the lore-but they mainly just phoned it in with character motivations that seemed entirely contrived. (“I disagree with my superiors! I have no choice but to change sides and kill them all!”) For example, I didn’t particularly enjoy having to kill off Adéwalé for what seemed like no reason whatsoever. (Freedom Cry is, I think, the only “standard” standalone game I don’t own, so I missed his story, but I liked his character from Black Flag.)

Memorable additions to the franchise: Um. I’m sure there was something. I guess we learned why Achilles had a limp? And was this the one where we uploaded Juno to The Cloud?

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