Assassin’s Creed Rogue seemed like a sensible purchase when it was released. I’ve enjoyed every AC game, and two in one year was just the tops for me. But then I slipped it into the disc drive. I booted it. I stared blankly at the identical main menu. I played blindly through the first few sequences, complaining all the way.
And then I put it down. I didn’t touch it again. Not until about a week ago.
You see, my gripe with Rogue is simple. It’s a collection of little things that just annoy me. Picking it up and playing it, anyone who’s played its predecessor will notice how much of a carbon copy it is. And I suppose that makes sense. Winning formula, and all. Especially when Ubisoft were working on a next-gen AC, Unity. Which I’d also bought, and played first – a mistake in and of itself. But I’ll forever be confused as to why Ubi thought there was a need for a previous gen game, and if they saw a definitive need for it, why they put no effort in. Rogue is just a reskin of Black Flag. There’s no other way to put it. And while Shay can be charming, and entertaining at times, he still hasn’t the soul of a Kenway. He feels lazy. Pointless.
Take away playing as a Templar, and you’re still left with a game that feels half arsed. And that’s why I put it down before getting close to finishing it. The only conclusion I could draw up from the game’s existence in the first place was that Ubisoft had given up on making games, and were just trying to make money. I still can’t see any reason for such a lazy excuse for a fresh title. A title whose predecessor was so prodigal, became quickly stale. And I suppose, that’s where the franchise started going wrong for me.
They’d focused all their efforts on Unity, and just wanted a few more pennies on top of it. But when did making games become all about the money? Was it with the invention of DLC, which seemed like a good idea at first? A great idea, even? But nowadays it’s just a way to strip down the content of a game and charge extra for the full title as it was intended to be. Was it with the invention of the automatic update? The thing which, for online gaming, works? But when so many games these days are released half finished and bugged to death, requiring gigabytes in updates – sometimes just to be playable, I can’t help but feel the soul of the industry is gone.
But why did I pick this terrible excuse for an (old) new game up again? Well, that’s even more simple. Have you seen the titles on the market at this time of year? Out of the few I want to play, and the few of those that I haven’t played already, I needed something to do. But looking backwards feels somewhat more positive than looking forward as a gamer. Looking to old gems to replay, and new old games that you didn’t touch when they were released but give a try for 50p on Amazon. Doing this, I’ve found more enjoyment than playing £50-£100 new releases. I hate to say it, but if the market carries on as it’s going, well, I might have to take up knitting.
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