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Assassin’s Creed Rogue Will Not Disappoint: Hands-On Impressions

My time at PAX Prime 2014 was full of exciting moments. I finally got to hear the homie Mega Ran perform live, saw cosplay that left me mesmerized and feeling weird, attended a couple of parties, and saw a lot of great games. It was a wonderful experience overall, but the highlight of the show for me was the time I spend with Assassin’s Creed: Rogue and Assassin’s Creed: Unity.

Before going into PAX, I knew that Assassin’s Creed: Unity would be a solid title. All the previously released footage looked great and who doesn’t love co-op? Assassin’s Creed: Rogue on the other hand is still trying to win the hearts and minds of the people. The decision to release two AC games this year and the lack of attention Ubisoft gave Rogue during E3 2014 had a lot of people questioning the quality of the game. Now that I had the opportunity to check out Rogue for myself, I can say that it will be a worthy addition to the Assassin’s Creed franchise.

Assassin’s Creed: Rogue is about former Assassin turned Templar, Shay Patrick Cormac who is on a quest to completely wipe out the Assassins. My hands-on time with Rogue took place mostly on the open sea with Shay and his crew on their ship, The Morrigan. The Morrigan is a ship capable of great destruction.  The Templars gave Shay enough money to craft the best ship money could buy, and he did just that.

Assassin's Creed Rogue Morrigan Features
The Morrigan is a ship capable of great destruction.

I spent a few minutes just going around taking in the environment, looking at and crashing into icebergs, and testing out the weapons on the Morrigan. I was able to overpower most ships on the sea with ease, but my skills were tested when I ran up on a group of Assassin ships.

Instead of trying to destroy my ship, the Assassins boarded the Morrigan and started taking out my crew left and right. After all the ships I boarded and demolished in Assassin’s Creed IV, it was interesting to see it happening to me.  My crew was outmatched so it was up to me to take out the Assassin Captain to end their assault.

Being an Assassin’s Creed veteran, I was confident in my ability to out duel anyone on the ship and put my blade through their chest. Thirty second later, it was me who was getting cut down. Reaching the Assassin Captain was going to be harder than I expected. I was not prepared to be on the losing side of the battle.

Getting shot at and stabbed from all directions was not fun so I needed to come up with a plan.  Jumping in the water and sneaking around was an option, but due to me being in the North Atlantic and not the lovely Caribbean waters of AC IV, swimming causes health damage because of the water’s cold temperature.  My best option was to climb to the top of the ship and wait for the Assassin Captain to come into my range for an air assassination. It worked out perfectly.

One of the Ubisoft representatives who watched me play told me that he dies all the time, and that internal tests are showing that Rogue could turn out to be the most difficult game in the franchise. It was hard to disagree with that after the beat down I received.

It can’t be understated that your main enemies are now Assassins and they are prepared for battle.  In general, they have all the abilities and skills that we have come to enjoy over the years. The Assassins in Rogue are proficient at hand to hand combat, have access to numerous weapons, will hide in bushes and hay stacks, and attempt to air or ground assassinate you nice and quietly if the opportunity presents itself. Whatever they need to do kill Shay, they will attempt it.

Luckily, Shay lives up to his reputation as an Assassin Hunter. He has a plethora of weapons to use and has eagle vision that is superior to previous lead characters even though he has no blood relation to them.

Shay has enhanced eagle vision capabilities that allow him to sense and hear when something is suspicious around him. Shay is also able to pinpoint a target and know how close they are via an on screen compass shown when using eagle vision. Shay is definitely up to task of being the man who will cause the end of the Assassins. I just hate knowing Adéwalé from AC IV is likely going to be one of his victims.

Assassin's Creed Rogue
Assassin’s Creed Rogue may very well be the most difficult game in the series.

Overall, Assassin’s Creed: Rogue left me feeling like this was not an Assassin’s Creed game to skip over. The challenge that I felt was missing in previous AC games was present in the 20 minutes I spent playing Rogue. I can’t wait to see what its like when it’s time to battle the best Assassins that the Creed has to offer. There are only two months until the November 11th release of Rogue, so be on the lookout for a lot information on the game in the next few months.

Assassin’s Creed Rogue is coming to the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360.