Yo-ho-ho, stopper the rum – loot is straight ahead. Charge your guns, mortars and muskets, sharpen your sabres, we’ll have fun soon, guys! Though wait, where is our Jolly Roger? Why, do we have British whisky instead of rum, and instead of having fun, we just look on everything, full of pathos? Oh, I seem to understand, we are not pirates now. We are now the Knights Templar …

When you earn millions, it is very difficult to stop doing it. Having found a successful concept, Ubisoft went through the waves of fabulous profits and a conveyor which has gained such momentum that new games are announced even before the old ones get released. Who can tell me how many Assassin’s Creed games we’ve had so far? Five under the official license, two large independent add-ons, two smartphone games, and that’s not counting apps, one large spin-off, several games for portable consoles, and heaps, HEAPS of  DLCs, one of which, incidentally, also became an independent mini-add-on . And many more projects to come in the near future …

Anyway, Ubisoft employ more and more people who are making more and more new games on the same engine, and parallel to each other, which reduces the development time. While Ubisoft Montreal pored over Assassin’s Creed: Unity, another studio, Ubisoft Sofia, was creating another, big, final extension for the uber-successful fourth instalment in the franchise, focusing on the old generation consoles. Prior to this, Ubisoft Sofia already completed the third part this way. They made Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, which hasn’t long been exclusive to portable consoles, but still nothing substantial came of it for the series (although the idea of ​​disguises was good). Apparently they didn’t have enough room to create on portables, and developers think in too global terms to limit themselves.

Just their luck that Assassin’s Creed: Rogue is a game of their size. No one put pressure on the authors, nor limited them with the capabilities of portables. They made a full and great add-on for the fourth part, and were free to do whatever they wanted. “Anything” as long as it’s a part of the larger universe, of course. They’ve traditionally removed the number 4 from the title. This is a new local policy of tolerance –big games lose the numbers, so that smaller games and extensions can be on a par with the big, and they say, we have one big universe where there is separation of the projects.

But wherever you look it is clear that it is the same Assassin’s Creed IV, just without a jaunty pirate in the lead role. All newly returned to normal, and “Booze! Girls! Yo-ho-ho!”  has been replaced by the traditional “Courage! Revenge! Saving the world!” The main character is no ordinary assassin, but a real Knight Templar, exiled from his own organization and adopted by another. At this time, players will be able to see deeper into the backstage of Templar lodges, and see that the Templars – are actually very reasonable guys who also care for the future of the world, while the Assassins care for only momentary human freedom, and then come what may.

Apart from these story permutations we have the same game in front of us. Ship battles, travelling in relatively spacious maps of the region, visiting lots of towns and cities, including a recreated New York. Even the mission in the present time is happening in exactly the same location of the Abstergo Entertainment office. Few innovations, but they all deserve attention and consideration.

The main thing, in my opinion, is the absence of the useless multiplayer and co-op. It’s simply not needed in a game like this. And Ubisoft’s love of adding all sorts of social services and mobile application was only amusing in the beginning, but it turned Unity into pure nonsense (remember – it was impossible to open some treasure chests if the player hadn’t installed a companion application on their phone). We have nothing like that here; you don’t need an internet connection or social media, not even the presence of a phone. Sit down and play.

The second innovation is optimization. Yes, this innovation is a little unusual for Ubisoft, but it’s definitely nice. Assassin’s Creed: Rogue is a completely finished the game – on consoles, and on PC, everything works as it should work, and doesn’t require a hundred and two patches to be playable, as well as abusing the developers in the process.

The rest of the details are not as important as these. The authors have added more icebergs in the northern waters, added freezing water (they are not particularly suitable for swimming), a lot of forts and towers, which can be captured, created a «Gas Mask», the naming of which fully reflects its essence, have also added a brand new parkour movement, have enabled ships to leave a trail of fire behind them, and eliminated all unnecessary underwater levels. In addition, they have released assassins in the cities who are hunting for the main character and the game borrowed interface elements from the “late” multiplayer for ease of finding. Walking down the street and hearing whispers? Open special vision and look at the familiar detector showing the direction in which the killer is hiding. An assassin’s attack takes almost all of your health, so you have to always be alert.

It’s also restless at sea. Be prepared for the fact that your ship will also be boarded, and thistime you will have to fend for yourself. The enemy team will act aggressively and rapidly, and four good muskets of Edward are no longer with you. Instead, there are two standard muskets; there is a silent gun with darts, as well as a bustling grenade launcher, introducing the first ability to destroy some objects in the series.

By the way, for those who are afraid of contact with the series after Unity, I can report that all old elements are back – simple fighting and health regeneration are with us again, and control in combat, and in parkour, is again responsive. Of course, you have to say thanks to Assassin’s Creed IV for this, but after the horror that was Unity, Rogue is downright asking for gratitude.

However, there are shortcomings. Combat system is not finely tuned enough, and sometimes a lot of character models are not even actually hitting each other, and therefore the fighting looks ridiculous and absurd. Something generally strange is going on with the models. The corpses of the enemies can fly, run, jump and behave in unpredictable ways, and developers are once again using a “Fix later” mode.

But, unlike Unity, this game works, and, most importantly, is very fun to play. There are almost no bugs (shifty corpses are not critical), it’s interesting in terms of plot, and it really gives greater freedom for movement and expression. Even the world map has almost no identical islands here, and the maps themselves are chock-a-box full of interesting places and opportunities. If Unity hadn’t existed not exist, I would very much have liked for the series to start moving towards a World of Assassin’s Creed. A huge seamless map, real cities, perhaps even roleplay. Not an MMORPG, but a good and large-scale single-player game taking 100-200 hours of gameplay. But Unity drove the series back to narrow streets, where there is only parkour, graphics, but not even a change of day and night. If you miss the scale and capabilities that were in Assassin’s Creed IV, be sure to play Rogue. It will bring back the emotions which have been missing in the last Assassin’s Creed.



Large world, full of interesting places

Optimization and lack of big bugs

Continuation of all the good that was in AC4.



Dull plot and repetitive tasks in the present day

Modest amount of gameplay innovations

The theme of revenge, used ad nauseam in the main story in the past.

Kirill Ilukhin. Born in 1985 in a land with snowy summers and flooding winters. Games addict from the age of 13, actively voicing opinions about them since 17.