Assassin’s Creed Rogue released on last gen systems at the end of 2014 and provided a rather neat addition to the long running series fusing elements from past games into one new adventure – you can read our full review over here. The game introduced new character Shay Patrick Cormac whose lovable charms were heartfelt and embodied the perfect assassin character despite being laced with cheesy one liners and following an expected path early on in his campaign. Probably the most engaging part of the game was the transcendence of his character which rather than take the independent role as seen in Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag’s Edward Kenway poses a more menacing threat to those who founded the personality of his character. Without going into too much detail here to avoid spoilers, Patrick becomes one of the most significant and well played characters of the series to date but we’ll leave that up to you to discover.
The main things to look out for in this PC version is how well it performs and what to expect from the visual upgrade as essentially the game remains verbatim to its console predecessor. The most obvious element to take note of is how smooth the game plays, keeping a steady 60 frames per second compared to the locked 30 of its console counterpart. This makes the animations and general fluidity feel a lot more robust and most importantly easier on the eyes in many ways. Throughout our play with the PC game, the frame rate remained consistent, although for those with lower spec systems there’s quite a number of options to tinker with to find the right balance.
Aside from the increased frames, naturally playing at 1080p or above is most welcome, giving the game a far more crisp look which is to be expected from a PC game. You can see in our comparison video below how much improved the overall looks are. That said, this is a console port and it’s clear there’s a higher visual quality but not in the same league as a game made for PC from the ground up. This is especially noticeable when comparing the visuals to Assassin’s Creed Unity for example, and even last year’s Black Flag. So in this regard, Rogue fails to deliver an expected visual upgrade with better textures and more fluid animations. What you do get is simply increased clarity and some added effects such as smoke from the cannons during sea battles. That said, Rogue is still a fine looking game in a number of places where it’s easy to ignore the odd low resolution texture.
So, to wrap up this review, it’s clear Ubisoft have brought a rather cool game to more players by releasing on PC and perhaps this will pave the way for an Xbox One/PS4 release later in the year. The story is rather good, the characters likable and the gameplay fusing familiar elements of land and sea based activities. Plus there’s the natural covert and assault operations the series is known for remaining a steadfast component. Unlike Unity, there’s also the Abstergo sections in the real world to contend with which add another layer to the game’s story which make for a welcome break from the usual stomping grounds. There’s certainly a marked visual upgrade from the console version but the bottom line is this is a port which doesn’t play to the strengths of the platform. In some ways this means a more smoother gameplay experience out of the gate, but on the other hand for those expecting superior graphics befitting of 2015 will be sorely disappointed. The question remains then, is this a worthwhile choice? If you’ve played Black Flag and rinsed out Unity, then this is certainly worth checking out, although its similarity to past games might make it a bit too familiar. It’s a solid game and port, but not necessarily an essential purchase. Gamers who have had their Assassin’s Creed fill will do well to avoid if they’re not so in tune with gathering more story from the franchise.