Videogame review: Assassin's Creed: Rogue - lost and found

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 21 March, 2015, 10:57pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 April, 2015, 10:57am

Assassin's Creed: Rogue

In November, Ubisoft released Assassin's Creed: Rogue - dumped it, to be more specific, on the previous-generation consoles PS3 and Xbox 360. Surrounded by an endless number of heavily advertised Christmas-timed games, Rogue was lost in the maelstrom and never found a worthy audience.

That's a shame because it's an impressive game: a sequel in all but name to the groundbreaking pirate adventure Black Flag, and far superior to the developer's recent next-gen embarrassment, Assassin's Creed: Unity. But here comes the PC edition, a chance for desktop gamers to explore its massive world without any expectations.

The gameplay is note-for-note from 2013's incredibly successful Black Flag - which isn't a bad thing at all. The problem with Unity was that it tried hard to revolutionise, but ended up removing everything thrilling. That's not an issue here, with Rogue sticking firmly to an if-it-ain't-broke mentality.

The exhilarating high-seas battles, pillage-and-plunder missions, and massive open world (this time reset to the beautiful icy depths of North America) are intact, but gameplay is speeded up slightly so that players don't have to wait weeks to attain that desired rifle or grenade launcher.

This adds a sense of immediacy to the story that's more than welcome, but blind allegiance always comes with its own set of limitations. For those who've already sat through the Black Flag's dozens of hours, there's only so much running on rooftops and killing you can do before it becomes incredibly repetitive. No sooner are you back into the fray than you inevitably want to leave again.

And that's where the gimmicks come in: the PC edition doesn't add anything of real value to the game, save the standard tweak package of a graphical update here and a few DLCs there. But the real big deal is eye-tracking technology: dish out for the SteelSeries Sentry device, a stick-like box that goes under your monitor, and never again will you have to use something as uncouth as fingers to move your character.

It's all in the eye - a world that moves according to where you look, creating what the developer calls an "infinite screen".

The possibilities are extensive, but only time will tell whether this will actually catch on or it'll become the kind of "game changer" once heralded by the now-mostly forgotten Wii remote.