The original release of Assassin’s Creed: Rogue arrived on last gen consoles for PS4 and Xbox 360 back in late 2014, and then a little later for PC in 2015.  In our initial review, we scored AC Rogue a respectable 8.0, however, while the core basis of the game remains the same, as four years have now passed, what was good or bad about Rogue might not be as reflective in 2018.  That’s not to say that it’s still not a worthy instalment of the long-running series, but it’s perhaps not aged as well as it had hoped, especially if you’ve been playing the most recent and fantastic Assassin’s Creed: Origins.

First of all, if you have played AC Origins, or even Syndicate or Unity, you’ll have to approach going into Rogue like it’s a four year old game, especially as a spin-off to AC IV: Black Flag, in my opinion it was somewhat of a spin-off back then and it still is today.  So if you go into this remaster hoping for refined gameplay, you’ll be sadly disappointed, so your first job is to erase all of those expectations and wind the clock back.

One of the appeals of AC Rogue was its narrative perspective and it still is today.  Playing as the bad guy, the Templar’s is still very enjoyable.  In-fact, I wish Ubisoft granted us this opportunity again in the near future; it would certainly be welcomed by many.  In terms of story, a nutshell and not to give too much away, you play as Irishman, Shay Cormac.  A loyal member of the Assassins Brotherhood, he may not believe in all they preach, but he will get the job done.  However, after seeing things very differently, his beliefs are swayed and perhaps the Templar’s are not quite the bad guys that the Brotherhood makes them out to be?  Well, that it is all a matter of perspective, as their end goals may be similar, but their execution certainly is not and this is why Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, at least from a narrative viewpoint, is one of the more interesting titles in the series.

Visually is where this remaster really shines.  Before this remaster was announced, I had been playing the Xbox 360 version on the Xbox One.  What you see in your mind, is often different to what you see in reality and judging from the trailers for the remaster, I struggled to see much of a visual improvement over the original.  Especially as playing the 360 version on the Xbox One via the backwards compatibility feature, I was playing the game in full 1080p and I expected the remaster to be pretty much the same, just with a little gloss.  That in respect is true, however, it wasn’t until I had both gen versions loaded up, in pretty much the same area of the campaign and switching between HDMI ports, I was able to see that the visual improvement made in the remaster were more then I had given it credit for.

Naturally, the game is running at a crisp 1080p and 30fps, but as seen in my comparison screenshots taken by myself in this review, the visuals have much more clarity, more clean and the textures are easier on the eye.  Now let’s get this right, as glossed up as this remaster might be over its last gen counterpart, it’s far from the visual standards set with true current gen games and to think otherwise would be an unfair comparison.  If you compare AC Rogue Remastered to that of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag on PS4 and Xbox One, that would be a much fairer comparison in terms of visuals and to be honest, the same can be said about the gameplay comparisons, but that’s where the generation gap begins to not fare as well.

If you’ve played current gen Assassin’s Creed games, and missed the initial release of Rogue, then you’ll really have to forgive how clunky the gameplay now feels.  The combat is far less fluid, moving the character in the world feels rather clunky and you will often find yourself jumping off unattended buildings or obstacles and unintentionally running up random walls, especially when you’re in chase.  If you’re a returning fan, you’ll be well aware of these issues and it won’t take you long to re-adjust, but this may be off-putting for some new fans introduced with Assassin’s Creed: Origins.  But what I will say is that if you’re new to Assassin’s Creed: Rogue Remastered, I urge you to look passed the gameplay issues if you can.

One other aspect that remains the same is the voice acting of Shay Cormac played by Steven Piovesan.  In general, Shay is portrayed very well, but as I thought back in 2014, his Irish accent seems way too forced and I really feel that Shay’s character would have benefited from an Irish native to voice the lead.  I know I can’t expect the role of Shay to be re-cast in this remaster and I don’t, it’s just his voice slightly irritated me then and it still does now.  However, speaking of the audio side of things, I still must say that Assassin’s Creed: Rogue still arguably features my favourite version of the Assassin’s Creed theme, composed by Elitsa Alexandrova.

In conclusion, while playing through Assassin’s Creed: Rogue for a second time feels like a bit of a chore, however, I’m still having some fun replaying a prettier version of a game I appreciated in 2014.  As I said before, you can’t go into Rogue expecting anything like the experience you may have had in Origins, but if newcomers can look past some of the games dated flaws, there is a lot to still appreciate here.  However, as I thought in 2015, I still can’t help but feel that Assassin’s Creed: Rogue Remastered would have benefited far more releasing on PS4 and Xbox One in 2015 when it arrived on PC.  At least then it would have given fans a satisfying desert on the coattails of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag.



Author

Richard Lee Breslin
Richard Lee Breslin

Gamimg has been my life for 30+ years and will always be my passion. I have a BDes Hons Games Development and Digital Media, and I hope to one day turn my passion for gaming and writing into a living. My favourite gaming series are Resi Evil, Metal Gear Solid, Silent Hill, Assassin's Creed, Uncharted and The Last of Us. I collect gaming merchandise, comics and movies. I love football (namely Aston Villa) and WWE. I can also often be found wondering the outskirts of Raccoon City. Follow me on Twitter @Solidus5nake