September 16, 2019 at 5:33 PM #768
Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered
Rating: 4.0 – Great
The best AC game since Brotherhood? Special Remastered in 4k "Now thats Booty" edition.
Assassins Creed: Rogue has come a long way since its initial under the radar release in 2014. Ubisoft was wise enough to not just toss out the successful Black Flag formula after one game. While they would focus on Unity, Rogue would be developed by the Ubisoft B-team to keep fans of Black Flag happy. Rogue surprised gamers with a stellar look at the Templars fighting against the Assassins and fine-tuned the AC4 system to become the best implemented version of the classic AC formula. Unity in contrast became a legendary debacle and Ubisoft had to go back to the drawing board when it came time for Syndicate. However many AC fans scoffed at Rogue for staying on 7th gen systems and ignored it. On the other hand some AC fans who loved Rogue (especially in light of Unity’s failures) were asking why wasn’t Rogue the next big installment in the franchise instead of the snake bit Unity. In the end, due to Rogues rise in popularity and many calling the most underrated entry in the franchise, Ubisoft finally brought Rogue to modern consoles with a remastered installment which we shall take a look at today. Since I covered the gameplay mechanics in my other Rogue review, I will focus more on the story this time. If you would like to read my breakdown on the gameplay please look up my other review on Rogue, thank you.
Before we jump in, I would like to give some background on my previous experience with the franchise and Rogue in particular, especially considering the fact that this is the second review I will have written on Rogue for this site. The first AC game entranced me in 2007, I loved how the story used history to tell a story about a secret war for centuries between the Assassins and the Templars. AC2 was even better, and Brotherhood added some real fun multiplayer to the mix. Then there was Revelations, the first truly poor entry in the franchise. The Ezio character arc had gotten really stale and coupled with a weak setting, a dreadful tower defense mechanic and the Desmond story (you know the main character tying this series together) completely falling apart and derailing, Revelations was just a bad way to cap off the Ezio trilogy. Revelations was also the first case where the yearly release formula was doing some harm to the series. Revelations was the last AC I ever bought at full price, as it left such a bad taste in my mouth. Even with AC3 being set in the American Revolution, one of my favorite periods to study and learn about, I waited. I picked it up at a cheaper price and liked it even though the first half was really tough to get through with its boring slow pace. After AC3, I suddenly walked away from the series. I didn’t hate AC3, but I had my fill of the series. Then the new consoles arrived but with my financial situation being weak due to college, I elected to sit out the 8th gen for several years. I saw how well AC4 was liked, how little AC: Liberation did to help the Vita, and how terrible Unity did in 2014. Finally after about two years, I finished Liberation, then AC4, and Rogue. By the time I finished Rogue, Syndicate was already out. In 2016, I finally scrapped together enough money to get a PS4 slim. Unity was as painful to get through as I had heard, and Syndicate was a decent entry at best. Out of all the games in the series, there were only two I would ever reconsider playing again, AC1 and Rogue. Ac1 would be just to see how much fun I could have on a now obsolete game, and Rogue for its well crafted story. Rogue actually got me interested in the story again, which had dissipated after Revelations. I wanted to see how the Templars saw the world and how their philosophy shaped their actions. I had to give credit to Ubisoft, they actually made me want to see what happened next. So when Rogue Remastered was announced I was interested in seeing how it held up after getting through Unity and Syndicate ( I still have not played Origins for the record).
The Rise of a Hero, the fall of two legendary Assassins:
The story of Shay Cormac is still very good and showed that the Templars could be depicted as sympathetic in their resolve. Shay Cormac is treated like a red-headed step-child by the Assassins, for no real legitimate reason except for his attitude. He is constantly insulted and abused by the order under Achilles Davenport. Achilles learns of the location of a piece of Eden, and Shay must retrieve it. Upon doing so, the piece causes immense destruction and only Shay can truly bear witness to it. None of the Assassins believe him and want to use the piece. In desperation, Shay takes the piece and runs away only to be shot in the back by his brethren. Shay wakes up in New York only to be confronted by Haytham Kenway, the top Templar in the colonies. Together they must stop Achilles, and his order, including former hero Adewale, from unwittingly destroying the planet. The story is a tale of displacement with Shay ridiculed by his fellow Assassins with his only measure of friendship coming from his childhood friend Liam. The story also highlights the downfall and self-destruction of Achilles whom in this game goes from the leader of the American order to a broken, defeated recluse who lives a sad pathetic existence in AC3. For a story that not that long, Rogue succeeds in telling an overall interesting compelling story that many other AC games completely failed to do.
Now That’s Booty- Shay Cormac
I glossed over some flaws in my original review, so ill break them down more in depth here. First, the game looks stunning…depending on your set-up, especially if you got a 4K TV and a PS4 Pro. If you just got a 1080 TV and a regular or slim PS4, there isn’t much graphical improvement considering the fact that the original release had 1080 support in the first place. There are some graphical improvements which credit to the Sheepinator whom pointed out to me as and I quote "Improved textures, lighting, more NPCs, reflections, shadows, and farther LOD"(what is LOD anyway, I think of Legion of Doom myself). "It’s not just a resolution increase"-Sheepinator …. Thank you Sheepinator for this graphical report update. Next is probably the biggest elephant in the game which is Shay’s voice. His Irish accent is so over the top and hokey, it sounds like a dude from a Mississippi drama club reading for a part in Waking Ned Divine. It’s just passable enough to not detract from the story and the serious scenes from the game but when Shay is more upbeat, its really corny. The DLC is thankfully included in the game but its still useless. Clearly this was just some cut content to sell as DLC, as it adds nothing to the story at all. Thankfully Rogue also did away with the ability to buy maps to show you locations of certain collectable items, which Ubisoft has done for many of its other games including AC. You get the complete package with Rogue Remastered even though its still on the short side at least story wise.
The game still plays perfectly well even though the traditional AC combat engine has long since been retired.
The game looks beautiful if you got a high-end console setup, and has a lot of graphical upgrades like farther LOD (whatever that means).
The story may be the best of the series.
You can complete the game 100% fairly easily and their are rewards for doing so besides trophies.
All the DLC is included, and there is no microtransactions.
Its only 9 GBs so its wont kill your data limits if you have any.
Even though the story is on the short side, there are a ton of side activities to keep you playing.
The platforming is still iffy, especially climbing trees and buildings.
Shay’s voice is still really distracting.
There is no new content, except for one new costume.
Its not much of a graphical upgrade if you just have a 1080 TV.
All the DLC is here but it still adds nothing to the game.
There is no physical version of the game to my knowledge at least in the US. (this isn’t a problem for me, but it will be for some)
Its locked at 30 FPS (again not a deal-breaker for me, but for some of you, this maybe a bitter pill to swallow)
Again, this is a port. Its not even updated, you’ll still see Far Cry 3 fliers in the Abstergo offices for example.
Conclusion: Is AC Rogue the best AC game? No, but I would tempted to say its in my top 3 AC games. Is it worth playing if you like AC? Yes, easily. Its it worth 30 bucks for just a graphically updated port? No, unless you never played Rogue. 30 is a bit steep for this game but for 20 or under when a sale hits, I definitely say buy it if you are a big AC fan. For a B-team game released just to appease Black Flag fans, Rogue ended up being much better than expected. While it is not for everybody especially those who played Rogue after playing Origins or Syndicate, Rogue is the best distilled version of classic AC on the market. Suit up and go stop those Assassins. May the father of understanding guide you.
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