It’s already proven a difficult task to keep excitement for previous-gen, stopgap games up when their next-gen counterparts are getting the bulk of the marketing. But Ubisoft has shown their determination to squeeze every drop out of Assassin’s Creed, and Assassin’s Creed Rogue is already hard to dismiss as a typical runner-up to the next-gen Unity. In fact, the story alone seems to make Rogue a compelling experience for any fan of the series eager to see the North American branch of the fiction completed.
Much of that potential is thanks to the strengths of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag; a game that came as such a pleasant surprise to even less devoted players, that a second helping of its naval exploration and combat could be welcomed – more than the like of Revelations, for instance. After navigating the frozen waters of the North Atlantic for ourselves (read our hands-on preview) we can confirm that the hook of piloting one’s very own vessel is still as addictive.
But that’s not the only twist that the developers are counting on, and it’s not even the main pitch. When Rogue was first announced as a chance for players to step into Templar boots for a change, and find out what it’s like to fight on the other side of the conflict, the appeal was obvious enough. But the latest video from Ubisoft shows that Rogue will also be filling in some gaps in the series, while opening up doors for the future as well.
But regardless of how justified protagonist Shay Cormac may be in his decision to abandon the Assassins and join the Templar ranks, the ramifications for the player are becoming clearer. We speculated just how much the setting and presence of Haytham Kenway could hint at the story set to be told, and why it may be a double-edged sword for the player.
As fans know, the total absence of American Assassins in AC3 was a major plot point, but until now, has gone largely unexplained (since there were certainly active in Black Flag, set decades before). Shay’s ‘betrayal’ may have made that possible, bringing him face-to-face with some established characters.
Ubisoft recently revealed that Black Flag‘s Adewale will be one of them, but whether players will be forced to end the life of one of the best-received supporting characters in the series isn’t yet clear.
In addition, the video reveals that the time period chosen for Rogue (just years before the outbreak of the French Revolution) may also link the game explicitly with Unity. Ubisoft’s claim that the French Revolution will be used as a thematic parallel to the story – not the real backbone of its narrative – might rule out a direct character or plot link between the two games, but at this point, anything’s possible.
Do you hope to see Shay make an appearance in Unity (or another character from Rogue), or do you hope the connections are limited to the North American side of the story, and giving Unity a fresh start? Will you be playing both this November to see the link for yourselves?
Assassin’s Creed Rogue will be released for PS3 and Xbox 360 on November 11, 2014.
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