Review – Assassins Creed Rogue

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I’ve been called names before. Many names, but never before have I been called a name so frequently by a jerkface in a videogame. I’m looking at you Jerkface security chick from Abstergo. Anyway, I digress. Assassin’s Creed Rogue is 1 of 2 new games in the long running series. Rogue is available on last Gen systems Xbox 360 and PS3 while Unity is out on PS4 and Xbox One.

This time, instead of playing an Assassin, we get to see the other side of the coin and play as Shay Patrick Cormac. A young Assassin turned Templar who hell bent on hunting down the people he once called brothers. The setting of Rogue takes place after the events of Black Flag but previous to the events of Assassin’s Creed 3. During this time, players will take Shay to from New York, to Portugal and up to the great white north us Canadians like to call home. Along with the new locales, Shay’s adventure will cross paths with some very familiar characters from previous games which is amazing because it actually puts some backstory into context of some of these people. Personally, I would LOVE to see a certain someone from AC3 featured in his own game because I need to see who he was and how he became the character we know. Without giving away too much, I found the ending to be particularly satisfying. Also – stay tuned during the credits.

The gameplay itself is exactly the same as the previous games and mostly feels like a redressing of Black Flag which is by no means a bad thing. You will spend a lot amount of time on dry land exploring looking for Native totems as well as a few other secrets which I won’t go into, but like Black Flag, a vast majority of your time will be spent travelling the North Atlantic finding settlements, hunting grounds and supply caches. One notable mission type that I noticed Ubisoft had dialed back(not sure if that was by design or accident) on are the follow while staying hidden missions. I didn’t miss them in the least bit. Here’s hoping that trend continues. Another type of mission that’s actually new to the this title is the Assassin Interception missions. Naval battles are plentiful though early in the game some they felt extremely mismatched often resulting in some massive warships joining the foray sending me with my tail tucked firmly between my legs. The map is quite large and broken up into smaller sections. Not sure if it’s the same size as Black Flag but it sure felt like it was pretty damn close.

When major plot points are complete, the player takes on the role of a faceless nameless Abstergo employee who gets called names by the jerkface chick back in the Abstergo offices. If I’m right, these moments take place directly after the events of Black Flag and begin with the whole system in a locked down state with a majority of the staff having been ushered out of the building except for a select few. During these moments, as in other games, you’ll be tasked with switching on servers and unlocking systems by participating in a mini game with a sphere and some rings with light. During these moments, you will also learn of other details key to the story of Abstergo Industries/Entertainment.

Along with the standard Assassin gear we’ve all become accustomed to, Shay brings along some new weapons and accessories. The Air gun can shoot berserk/sleep darts and firecrackers, as well, he gets a new grenade launcher that can take out multiple enemies at once turning them berserk, putting them to sleep or just plain blow them to smithereens with the frag grenades. The new toys don’t just stop there though. While navigating the dangerous oceans of the North, Shay’s boat, the Morrigan is also equipped with an icebreaker to help break though the ice during your time spent there. Further to that The Morrigan is also equipped with a puckle gun – which is similar to the cannon that Edward Kenway used in Black Flag but this is more like a gatling gun and now instead of dropping barrels of explosives behind you when being chased, now we get to light the oceans on fire. Just like previous games, you can raid boats for supplies and use them to help upgrade things like you armor, the number of cannons the ship is equipped with as well as the power to up your various attacks.

All in all I would rank this in the top 3 for the Assassin’s Creed series. It took me about 20ish hours to complete the campaign during which I rarely stepped away from the main story. It was the first game in the series where I actually said “Holy Sh!t!!!” out loud multiple times during one game shaping scene in particular that happens rather early in the game and another that happens later. I was literally blown away by this moment.  Big props to whoever came up with that moment because wow. Another year another entry in what I deem to be one of my absolute favorite franchises of all time. Tomorrow can’t come soon enough so I can sink my teeth into Unity.

Feed Your Console gives Assassin’s Creed Rogue an 8.5 out of 10

Pros:
More naval exploration and battles
Great story – Finally we see from the Templar point of view
New weapons and gadgets

Cons:
With Unity looming, it’s hard to not look at the graphics with a critical eye.
Some Naval battles felt extremely mismatched with much more powerful boats joining in.

Review – Halo: Master Chief Collection Part 1(Campaigns)

Before you continue – know this. I have ONLY spent about an hours worth of time with the Multiplayer and therefore don’t feel it’s the right time to comment on it. The 15GB patch was supposed to be out earlier this week but was delayed and it wasn’t until yesterday that I had the opportunity to play with some member of the 343 team. AWESOME guys there.

My relationship with the Halo series has been going on longer than most people’s marriages. In the past 13yrs I’ve played everything in the franchise, I’ve read books and I was even there when the online gaming community was forever changed with the release of Halo 2 on Xbox Live! I still have a copy of every game(Except Anniversary edition) and every year when when spring cleaning comes around I think “this is the year I’m going to treat myself to a Halo gaming marathon” and here we are. I’ve done it thanks to Halo: Master Chief Collection.

Firing up the series – got me a little giddy. I was finally reliving the series from start to finish but with updated graphics and man have they ever outdone themselves. Halo Anniversary Edition, which I did NOT own was immediately apparent to me just all the work they had done. The sound was cleaner, lighting fresher and more dynamic. Want to see just how big a difference there is? There’s even a button that loads the original sound and video files which I found to be a little piece of genius. The Halo 3 and Halo 4 were noticeably cleaner looking but nowhere near the same jump as the previous 2. Needless to say from a graphical and sound point of view – they’ve done an amazing job though admittedly, I did notice some considerable framerate slowdown when fighting the flood making them pop in Halo 1. That may have been corrected in the latest patch but I haven’t gone back to it to check. The rest of the game is silky smoothe.

While playing through the MASSIVE collection , memories of college came flooding back to me. The wonder and excitement and remembering who I was playing certain levels with and where I was even during these moments was a piece of nostalgia bliss. HOWEVER, also with some of these memories came rushing back to me with some of the frustrations I had with the series. In the original title there’s no real direction ever given and I found myself wasting time and wandering around like a fool more than a few occasions just like I did 13yrs ago in the EXACT same places. I struggled with the flood, unable to find health packs (admittedly I had forgotten about them many times) JUST like I did so many years ago and the long slog through Halo 2’s ‘Gravemind’. When talking to the guys at 343 during our playthrough, I asked about that and they confirmed what I had already known and that was they wanted to keep the core gameplay exactly as it was released so many years ago.

Seeing the latest trend of rehashing/remastering games the last little while, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better value than Halo: Master Chief Collection. With over 100 MP maps 4 games that span well over 30+hrs of single player , Cooperative game play, Halo: Nightfall a VOD series, the various Halo videos that can be found throughout the games this is something that anyone will enjoy through the long months of winter ahead.

 

Feed Your Console gives Halo: Master Chief Collection a 9 out of 10

Pros:
Updated graphics and sound are amazing (check the button that switches)
120 MP maps will keep you glued to your couch
Replaying the series from start during the leadup to Halo Guardians is awesome. You may even see some new story tying directly into the VOD series and Guardians
Hour after hour this game will stay in your system for months to come

Cons:
Framerate issues during Halo 1 while fighting the flood
Navigating some levels in Halo 1 and 2 were frustrating today just as they were 13 and 10yrs ago.