Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered review code supplied by the publisher.
Lacking the then next-gen shine and lofty profile of Assassin’s Creed Unity which launched alongside it back in November 2014, it’s fair to say that Assassin’s Creed Rogue fell by the wayside somewhat. Fast forward nearly three and a half years then and Ubisoft has given Assassin’s Creed Rogue a second bite at the Apple of Eden, decking out the game with improved visuals and stuffing in all of the DLC from the original release. The question is however, have these improvements made the Assassin’s Creed game that time forgot any more palatable in a time where the sublime Assassin’s Creed Origins has reinvented the series for the better? Well yes, yes it does.
Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered Review – Old Style ‘Creed Gets A New Coat Of Paint
If you weren’t around in 2014 for whatever reason, Assassin’s Creed Rogue actually tells an intriguing tale within the confines of Ubisoft’s storied, time-travelling franchise. As swaggering Irish Assassin Shay Patrick Cormac, a new recruit to the Order of Assassins, Cormac soon finds himself disillusioned at the zealotry of some members in the Order and begins to question just how ‘good’ the Order actually is. With the events chronicled in Assassin’s Creed Rogue taking place years after those depicted in the swashbuckling, pirate flavoured Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag, it should come as no surprise that this game also borrows heavily from the gameplay systems of its predecessor.
Unmistakably then, this is ‘old-school’ Assassin’s Creed. By that, I mean all of the shiny new, Witcher-esque open-world mechanics and Dark Souls style combat system that were introduced in last year’s superlative Assassin’s Creed Origins are nowhere to be found here. Instead, Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered feels and plays just like Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag which released back in 2013, and a year prior to the original release of Assassin’s Creed Rogue. As such, the obvious and extensive copy and paste from Black Flag is likely to frustrate those don’t want to look back to the series less refined and busywork stuffed days.
By following the old-style template that the series embraced from Assassin’s Creed II onward, Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered liberally crams the map with a ton of icons and so much stuff to collect that the game can often feel like a collect-a-thon more than the epic action adventure that it strives to be. The creakiness of that old template extends to both the combat and the series much vaunted parkour platforming too, as the fights that Cormac often gets himself into can mostly be easily resolved by a skill-free counter system which though cinematic, takes the challenge out of battles, while on the other side of the coin, the platforming mechanics are such that accidental leaps to your death can occur far too often.
It’s not all a step backwards however, as Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered also deeply emulates the ship-to-ship warfare management which arguably helped to make Black Flag as critically and commercially successful as it was. Simply put, the thrill of unleashing cannon fire on an enemy ship, ramming your vessel into theirs or just boarding an opposing boat and battling their crew among a hail of screams, gunfire and explosions is an enduring thrill to say the least.
When it comes to the visual improvements that Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered brings to the table, it’s not unreasonable to say that Ubisoft have done themselves proud here. With a much higher resolution, improved textures, denser crowds and better draw distances than even the original PC version at max detail settings, Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remaster does a stellar job in managing to not look its age.
Pointedly where PS4 Pro owners are concerned, and quite unlike 2016’s Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection, the bump up to native 4K resolution actually works to the benefit of Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered. The reason for this is that it seems is that quite unlike The Ezio Collection, the texture work in the game was originally crafted with super high resolutions in mind and so rather than exacerbating the age of the game, Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remaster looks bang up to date (though obviously still magnitudes less impressive than last year’s Assassin’s Creed Origins).
And certainly, Assassin’s Creed Origins is better in every way when compared to Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered, but yet despite that, and in spite of the passage of time, the generous dollops of polish, extra content and budget price point that have been lavished upon Assassin’s Creed Rogue Remastered all add up to make the red-headed stepchild of the series much more palatable than it ever was before.
If you’re a fan of Assassin’s Creed, you might want to check out our review of Assassin’s Creed Origins; a great game in its own right which has spearheaded a re-invigoration of the long-running jumpy and stabby series. Likewise, if you’ve never, ever played the original Assassin’s Creed Rogue when it released on PS3, you can read our in-depth review of it here.