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"But in the end, it doesn't matter how history remembers me. What matters is that I follow my own Creed."
―Shay Cormac, Assassin's Creed: Rogue Cinematic Trailer.

Assassin's Creed: Rogue is a 2014 open-world action adventure game that is developed by Ubisoft Sofia and published by Ubisoft. It is the seventh main installment in the Assassin's Creed series. The game follows the story of the Assassin-turned-Templar Shay Cormac, taking place during the Seven Years' War from 1752–1760, and is the closing chapter in the Kenway family's saga.

The game was released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on November 11, 2014 in the United States,[3] November 13, 2014 in Europe[4], November 14, 2014 in the United Kingdom, and March 10, 2015 for the PC.[5] A remastered version of the game was later released globally for the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 on March 20, 2018.[6]

On September 4, 2019, it was announced that Rogue, along with Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag would be released together on the Nintendo Switch as a compilation known as Assassin's Creed: The Rebel Collection. The compilation was released worldwide on December 6, 2019.

Gameplay

With the historical Seven Years' War having almost the same level of European naval activity as the Golden Age of Piracy, if not more due to the unmatched power of England's Royal Navy, Rogue appropriately incorporates the naval element previously established in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Freedom Cry. Through Shay, the player controls his ship, the modified sloop-of-war Morrigan. Being smaller than Edward Kenway's brig Jackdaw, it can easily navigate the tight bays of the Hudson River Valley and the iceberg-heavy regions in the North Atlantic and Arctic Oceans.[7]

The primary locations in the game are New York City, the Hudson River Valley, and the North Atlantic, specifically, the area around Newfoundland and Nova Scotia known as the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The North Atlantic is an icy water-based region, where icebergs can be used as cover during naval combat, as well as broken to reveal frozen cargo and Animus data fragments. With the help of an ice-breaker ram, navigation is supplemented and additional secret areas can be reached. Meanwhile, the River Valley is a hybrid of land-based and naval gameplay, with seamless river navigation integrated into a map reminiscent of the Frontier from Assassin's Creed III.[8] New York is also bigger than its first appearance in Assassin's Creed III, as it is 20 years before the Revolution and so the Great Fire of 1776 has not happened yet. All together, the three regions require more exploration than all of Black Flag.[9]

Environmental hazards have been incorporated in the form of poison gas barrels, which when burst open can drive victims berserk if within the expanding radius of fumes; Shay can avoid being affected by pulling a gas mask over his face.[7] Accompanying this, swimming in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic damages Shay's health, so underwater sections like those in Black Flag were removed entirely.[10][11]

Joining the Templars grants Shay considerably different weapons from earlier installments, both ship-based and personal. Being extremely well-financed, the Templars have access to actual and prototype weapons that would usually be restricted to the military. Aboard the Morrigan, two mounted Puckle guns replace the swivel gun. Early machine guns, they have a greater shot capacity than the 5-shot swivels, and a greater rate of fire, with the chamber reloading semi-automatically instead of through single-shot.[7] Oil barrels replace the exploding barrels in Black Flag.[8]

The sloop-of-war Morrigan

New to the player's arsenal is the air rifle, a ranged weapon that used compressed air to fire various projectiles and silently eliminate enemies. Like a blowpipe, it could fire sleep and poison darts, but it could also shoot firecrackers for distractions, while a grenade launcher attachment allowed it to fire such ammunition like gas bombs or shrapnel grenades.[7] Besides being chosen for its impressive capabilities, the air rifle's silence in delivering its payloads was meant to reflect the Templars' equally silent behind-the-scenes manipulations.[12]

However, having switched his allegiances in the secretive Assassin-Templar War, Shay is now a constant target to the very missions the player performed in past games. During naval battles, the Morrigan can be rammed by enemy ships, forcing Shay and his crew to protect the vessel from Assassin-affiliated attackers.[10] Land travel poses perhaps the greatest risk, with all hiding spots potentially concealing stalkers. Accordingly, some mechanics from past multiplayer segments have been incorporated, such as a compass indicating a target's position being a part of Eagle Vision, and whispers increasing in volume to indicate the presence of nearby hidden assailants.[8] In place of assassination contracts are Assassin Interception missions, in which Shay must intercept the contract on a carrier pigeon, and then subsequently find and defend the intended target from Assassins.

The ability to kill civilians and domestic animals with melee weapons returns, with the desynchronization penalty applying to Shay only during his time as an Assassin. Upon leaving the Brotherhood, bounty hunters will be sent after Shay for killing civilians, similar to pirate hunters in Black Flag.[11] Sea shanties make a return, though Producer Karl van der Luhe confirmed that all the explicitly pirate-themed songs had replaced with Irish- and New York-themed ones, given Shay's heritage and upbringing.[13] Another continued feature was hunting, with new animals unique to the Arctic regions, such as narwhals and polar bears. With new animal resources comes new items and upgrades for crafting. White whales are also fully included and are not community events.

Characters seen previously in the Kenway saga make appearances, such as Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Haytham Kenway, William Johnson, and Achilles Davenport from Assassin's Creed III, as well as Adéwalé from Black Flag.[10] Brief appearances are made by Charles Dorian, his son, Arno, and Élise de la Serre from Assassin's Creed: Unity, while François Mackandal, Edward Kenway, and Ratonhnhaké:ton are mentioned in some modern day segments narrated by Juhani Otso Berg.

Synopsis

Plot

The modern day story begins in 2014 with the character "Numbskull" who works for Abstergo Entertainment. While investigating the memories of 21-year-old Shay Patrick Cormac,[7] an Irish-American Assassin working in the North Atlantic during the Seven Years' War, they inadvertently trip a hidden memory file that corrupts the Abstergo Industries servers. With the building being put into lockdown, the player is recruited by Melanie Lemay to continue exploring Cormac's memories in an effort to clear the system.

Cormac is a new recruit to the Colonial Brotherhood of Assassins, working under Achilles Davenport. Even though he is often praised for his potential, the young man's insubordination has him relegated to a secondary role in the Brotherhood. Believing that taking a more active role in the Brotherhood's affairs will shape him into a better Assassin, Achilles orders Cormac with his newly acquired ship, the Morrigan, to track down a Templar cell that has been deciphering a Precursor artifact revealing the locations of several Pieces of Eden. The said artifact, in the form of wooden box, had been stolen from the Caribbean Assassins following a massive earthquake in Haiti some years before. With the help of Benjamin Franklin, a Piece of Eden is located in Lisbon, and Cormac is tasked with retrieving it.

However, during the course of his task, Shay has gradually begun to question the Assassins' motives and disagrees with their refusal to engage in dialogue with the Templars. His doubts come to a head in Lisbon, where his attempt to retrieve the Piece of Eden from the underground Seismic Temple triggers an earthquake which destroys the city. Knowing that a similar event involving the same type of artifact occurred in Haiti and almost mad with guilt, Shay assumes that Achilles and the other Assassins knew the consequences of such an action from the beginning. Once back to the Davenport Homestead, he confronts his superiors about the events he had witnessed; however, his aggressive behavior and his uncontrollable anger lead to further misunderstandings. Taking the Assassin's reluctance as a refusal to believe him, Cormac steals a manuscript necessary to interpret the artifact and attempts to flee. Ultimately, the chase ends with a confrontation on the edge of a cliff at the homestead, where he decides to commit suicide rather than having the Assassins take back the Manuscript. Just as he jumps, Louis-Joseph Gaultier, Chevalier de la Vérendrye shoots him in the back, although Shay survives and mistakenly believes that it was his best friend, Liam O'Brien.

Cormac is rescued by a passing ship and taken to New York City, where he recovers and devotes his time to driving out the city's criminal gangs. His actions attract the attention of Colonel George Monro, the city's governor, who offers Cormac the chance to help rebuild the city. Shay accepts and then goes on assisting the British Army in their early campaigns against the French. Monro reveals himself to be a Templar, and while aware of Cormac's previous loyalties, he offers him a place within the Order's Colonial Rite. Cormac accepts in the aftermath of the Siege of Fort William Henry, where he sought to defend Monro and his remaining soldiers from an attack lead by Kesegowaase, one of Cormac's former tutors. Although Shay killed Kesegowaase, Monro perished under Liam's hand. Shortly afterwards, Shay is formally inducted to the Templar Order by the Grand Master Haytham Kenway.

Cormac tells Kenway that he believes that the Pieces of Eden sought by the Assassins are not weapons but structures to hold the world together, and pledges to stop his former allies before they cause another catastrophe. To Shay's temporary regret, one of his victims is Adéwalé, former quartermaster of Edward Kenway's Jackdaw. After killing Hope Jensen, head of New York's Assassin network, Shay finds out that the Assassins are headed to the Arctic, where another Precursor temple has been located.

Shay and Haytham race north and confront Achilles and Liam over their actions, even as Achilles admit his mistake about the Piece of Eden's power. In an attempt to diffuse a tense standoff and prevent bloodshed, Achilles pushes Liam away from Shay but towards the Piece of Eden, inadvertently causing its destruction and triggering another earthquake. While Haytham pursues Achilles outside, Shay and Liam fight throughout the temple until a high ice ledge breaks and they fall, with the impact mortally wounding Liam. With his last breath, Liam questions whether Shay's actions would get his desired results. Cormac leaves the ice cavern and returns to the shore in time to persuade Haytham to spare Achilles, as his testimony will stop the Assassins from trying to locate other Precursor sites. Haytham agrees, but nonetheless cripples Achilles as a precaution by shooting him in the knee.

With the Colonial Assassin Brotherhood all but destroyed, Cormac is tasked with locating the box used to find the Pieces of Eden, as Achilles had passed it to other Assassins prior to his Arctic voyage. Cormac's twenty year search eventually leads him to the Palace of Versailles, where he discovers the box under the care of a French Assassin named Charles Dorian. Cormac kills Dorian and takes possession of the box, taunting the dying man with the promise that although the American Revolution ended Templar influence in the New World, the advent of a new revolution may yet hold promise.

In the present day, Numbskull reconciles Cormac's memories. Under the direction of Master Templar Juhani Otso Berg, they upload them to the Assassin network, revealing how close Achilles Davenport came to destroying the world. The result is almost instantaneous, with the Assassins thrown into visible disarray before abruptly severing communication. As reward for their actions, Numbskull is presented with a choice to join the Templar Order, or die, with the game fading to black before a decision is made.

Cast

Development

The first details on Rogue came in March 2014, when news leaked that Ubisoft planned to release two games that Fall, one of which was code-named "Assassin's Creed: Comet" and was to be released exclusively for PS3 and Xbox 360.[14] Another leak at month's end revealed Comet's protagonist was a Templar named Shay, and that the majority of the story was set in New York City and the North Atlantic around 1758. The report also stated that since Comet bridged the gap between Black Flag and Assassin's Creed III, gameplay would be an appropriate hybrid and characters from previous series entries would make appearances, with Haytham Kenway and Adéwalé rumored to return.[15]

Following a final leak in August 2014, this time of the cinematic trailer,[16] Ubisoft confirmed the existence of the game and officially announced the upcoming title, Assassin's Creed: Rogue, which was developed by Ubisoft Sofia in collaboration with the studios in Bucharest, Chengdu, Singapore, Montreal, Quebec, and Milan.[3]

In an interview with Game Informer, Rogue's Narrative Designer Richard Farrese[7] said that the idea of a game with a Templar protagonist had been discussed among the brand team for some while, but the right opportunity had never presented itself, elaborating:

We have so many good characters and come of them we just want to use again. One of the reasons we actually picked this time period [the Seven Years' War] is that the characters that were created, they're so rich that we felt that there were more stories to tell.[9]

It was only after the release of Assassin's Creed III and Black Flag that Brand Content Manager Jean Guesdon felt the development team had the resources to complete the saga in the New World by using the past research and game mechanics. Guesdon also wanted a chance to portray a more layered Templar who actually believed in and fought for a cause after so many games from the Assassin perspective depicting them as "basic, monolithic villains", especially after reactions to Haytham in Assassin's Creed III and Assassin's Creed: Forsaken. Due to the advertised connection between Unity and Rogue, Unity's development team allowed the Rogue team to create a mission in a parsed-down model of the Parisian streets and the Palace of Versailles. In spite of the plot tie-in, Guesdon was confident Rogue could still operate by itself as a standalone for newcomers to the series.[9]

Not only did the producers want to approach Rogue from the opposite side of the Assassin-Templar War ideology, but also for players to become invested in Shay's story. When asked about Shay's about-face, Producer Karl van der Luhe responded, "It's not a case of I'm going to the dark side. It's a case of I'm more aligned with their approach." Even though Shay would confront and sometimes have to kill former allies, explained Producer Ivan Balabanov, killing them would not come easily and would have an emotional cost, with the ultimate goal of having the players question everything they thought they knew about how both factions were represented. Related to this, the producers added, while the addition or omission of certain characters from Black Flag and Assassin's Creed III was primarily based on the timeline, of greater importance to properly tell Rogue's story was whether they would be worthy opponents to test Shay's convictions on joining the Templars, and so garner emotional reactions from both Shay and players.[17]

Farrese was not alone in writing Rogue, having help from scriptwriters Susan Patrick, who assisted with the main story, and James Nadiger, who covered the modern day segments, the collectibles and the war letters. The most challenging part of writing Rogue, said Patrick, was its niche production date. The events of Black Flag and Assassin's Creed III had to be considered, but the tie-in with Unity also had to be kept in mind. Another challenge was giving the game a pro-Templar view, highlighting the Templars' positive attributes like order, while presenting valid criticisms of the Assassins' methods.[18]

For Nadiger, writing Otso Berg allowed him and players to see how Templars viewed their own Order's figureheads, adding that it was interesting how much of a historian Berg was considering his prominence in the field as a member of Sigma Team, a characterization that continued into the Assassin's Creed: Reflections comic miniseries. In his view, creating the easter eggs in the war letters and elsewhere was important, as they helped ease the progression from and connections between Black Flag and Rogue, but also set up in-universe "future" events in Assassin's Creed III, Assassin's Creed III: Liberation, and Unity. Giving an example, he mentioned how the student-teacher connection between Achilles and Ah Tabai came about through talks with Assassin's Creed III's production team.[18]

Although New York features heavily in Rogue, it was critical to Rogue's Art Director Eddie Bennun that the concept art not use the same color palette as Assassin's Creed III. The art team followed Raphael Lacoste's example, looking into landscape pieces by Albert Bierstadt and Aldro Hibbard in order to get a feel for the brighter atmosphere of the times. The intent was to depict New York not just as the bustling city from Assassin's Creed III, but as "the true New World's business and industrial center". Likewise, concept art for the River Valley mainly used bright "organic shapes and composition" to reflect the Valley's gentle, rolling topography that is dotted with small trading posts, forts, and Indigenous settlements.[19]

Shay's wardrobe also underwent artistic changes reflecting his changed ideology, from the visually flowing Assassin robes to the regimented, angular Templar coat.[19] The Morrigan's weaponry was not immune either, being just as affected by Shay's Templar leaning, with the Ubisoft Sofia developers revealing that the bluntness and power of the icebreaker ram, the burning oil barrels, and by extension all other armaments acquired after changing sides, had been planned from the onset as part of the greater Templar mindset written across all aspects of the game.[20][21]

Remastered

On January 11, 2018, Ubisoft officially announced the upcoming release of Assassin's Creed: Rogue Remastered. Set for March 20, 2018, Rogue Remastered retouched Rogue's graphics for Xbox One and PS4. With Rogue originally released for Xbox 360 and PS3 and Unity for the then-next generation consoles, many players had to choose whether to play one or the other; by upgrading the game for the current systems, people who missed Rogue could play the missing sequence in the Kenway saga. The re-release included all of Rogue's previous downloadable content, from the bonus missions The Armor of Sir Gunn's Quest and The Siege of Fort de Sable to the weapons packs. Exclusive to this edition were legacy outfits for Shay based on the Medjay and Hidden One Bayek of Siwa from Assassin's Creed: Origins,[6] Jacob Frye from Assassin's Creed: Syndicate, and Aguilar de Nerha from the movie Assassin's Creed.

Editions

AC rogue collector's edition.jpg
  • A retail copy of Assassin's Creed: Rogue.
  • A collector's box.
  • A copy of the official soundtrack.
  • A softcover copy of the official artbook.
  • Three lithographs.
  • Two exclusive single player missions: The Siege of Fort de Sable and The Armor of Sir Gunn's Quest.

Art book edition.jpg

This set is exclusively released for PC in some regions of Asia.

  • A retail copy of Assassin's Creed: Rogue for the PC.
  • A collector's box.
  • A hardcover copy of the official artbook.
  • A hardcase for the artbook.

  • A retail copy of Assassin's Creed: Rogue.
  • The Ultimate Hunter Pack.
  • An exclusive single player mission: The Siege of Fort de Sable.

Gallery

Appearances

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References

  1. Entertainment Software Rating Board. Assassin's Creed Rogue [sic]. Entertainment Software Association. Retrieved on November 8, 2014.
  2. Entertainment Software Rating Board. Assassin's Creed Rogue Remastered [sic]. Entertainment Software Association. Retrieved on April 18, 2018.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Lewis, Anne (5 August 2014). Assassin's Creed Rogue [sic] Announced. UbiBlog. Archived from the original on November 7, 2014. Retrieved on April 18, 2018.
  4. Steinman, Gary (28 August 2014). Assassin's Creed Unity [sic] Available on Nov 11 (NA), Nov 13 (EMEA). UbiBlog. Archived from the original on January 24, 2019. Retrieved on April 18, 2018.
  5. Lewis, Anne (10 March 2015). Assassin's Creed Rogue [sic] is out now on PC. UbiBlog. Archived from the original on March 16, 2015. Retrieved on April 18, 2018.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Ubisoft (18 January 2018). Ubisoft Unveils Assassin's Creed Rogue [sic] Remastered; Hitting Shelves March 20th. Gamasutra. Archived from the original on January 18, 2018. Retrieved on March 15, 2021.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 Cork, Jeff (6 August 2014). Get To Know Shay From Assassin's Creed Rogue [sic]. Game Informer. Archived from the original on August 7, 2014. Retrieved on August 6, 2014.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 Nunneley, Stephany (5 August 2014). Assassin's Creed Rogue [sic] puts you behind the ship's wheel again this fall. VG247. Archived from the original on August 13, 2014. Retrieved on April 18, 2018.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Hanson, Ben (20 August 2014). Understanding the story and gameplay of Assassin's Creed Rogue [sic]. GameInformer. Archived from the original on August 22, 2014. Retrieved on April 18, 2018.
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 Phillips, Tom (6 August 2014). Assassin's Creed: Rogue is single-player only. Eurogamer. Archived from the original on August 8, 2014. Retrieved on April 18, 2018.
  11. 11.0 11.1 McInnes, Shaun (13 August, 2014). Four Reasons I'm Suddenly Interested in Assassin's Creed Rogue [sic]. GameSpot. Archived from the original on August 16, 2014. Retrieved on April 18, 2018.
  12. Steinman, Gary (28 October, 2014). Assassin's Creed Rogue [sic] - Turning Templar. UbiBlog. Archived from the original on October 31, 2014. Retrieved on April 18, 2018.
  13. Lewis, Anne (13 August 2014). Assassin's Creed Rogue [sic] - Arctic Naval Gameplay. UbiBlog. Archived from the original on September 3, 2017. Retrieved on April 18, 2018.
  14. Schreier, Jason (19 March 2014). Leaked Images Reveal One Of This Fall's Two Assassin's Creed Games. Kotaku. Archived from the original on March 19, 2014. Retrieved on April 18, 2018.
  15. Schreier, Jason (27 March 2014). Sources: Assassin's Creed Comet [sic] Will Let You Play As A Templar. Kotaku. Archived from the original on April 19, 2014. Retrieved on April 18, 2018.
  16. McWhertor, Michael (5 August 2014). Assassin's Creed Rogue [sic] confirmed by Ubisoft - here's the first trailer. Polygon. Archived from the original on August 6, 2014. Retrieved on April 18, 2018.
  17. Lewis, Anne (13 October, 2014). Assassin's Creed Rogue [sic] - Faces of Shay. UbiBlog. Archived from the original on October 17, 2014. Retrieved on April 18, 2018.
  18. 18.0 18.1 Ubisoft white swirl only.png Inside the Studio: Writing Assassin's Creed Rogue [sic] on Ubisoft's official website (backup link)
  19. 19.0 19.1 Cork, Jeff (29 August 2014). Exploring The Concept Art In Assassin's Creed Rogue [sic]. Game Informer. Archived from the original on August 31, 2014. Retrieved on April 18, 2018.
  20. Ubisoft white swirl only.png Assassin's Creed Rogue [sic] Remastered - A New Take on a Templar Adventure on Ubisoft's official website (backup link)
  21. Smith, Phil (20 March 2018). Assassin's Creed Rogue [sic] Remastered - Ubisoft Sofia's Templar Tale Returns. UbiBlog. Archived from the original on March 23, 2018. Retrieved on April 18, 2018.

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