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No one was surprised when Ubisoft announced a new Assassin's Creed game today for PS3 and Xbox 360. What is shocking, though, is that this last-gen game actually looks better than the new-gen Assassin's Creed Unity.
Assassin's Creed Unity may turn out to be a better game than Assassin's Creed Rogue. The greater capabilities of the PS4 and Xbox One, coupled with Ubisoft's desire to reset the series, make Unity a promising game. Still, Rogue has many advantages over its PS4/XB1 counterpart.
Shay Patrick CormacMain character Shay Patrick Cormac is a big factor in Assassin's Creed Rogue's appeal. He has arguably the most interesting story of any hero in the series to date.
Shay starts the game as a young Assassin. However, after a mission goes sour, he's betrayed by the Order. After surviving their attempt on his life, he decides to become a Templar. The game follows him as he hunts down the Assassins who wronged him.
This will be the first game in the series to show us the Templars' perspective of their secret war with the Assassins. We I'm excited at the chance to look inside their organization. Maybe we'll come away from the game with a better understanding of what makes them tick.
The gray morality of Assassin's Creed Rogue's story interests me, too. In the past, Assassins were always the good guys and Templars were the bad guys. Shay's particular situation makes us question those assumptions.
Naval CombatAssassin's Creed Unity is set in the land-locked city of Paris. However, Assassin's Creed Rogue puts you in control of the warship Morrigan and lets them battle enemies in the North Atlantic Ocean.
Rogue will improve on the popular naval combat from AC4 in several ways. New weapons like the auto-firing puckle gun and burning oil give players more strategic options. Players will also have to contend with a new threat: Assassin boarding parties that threaten to wipe out their crew. The ice sheets and icebergs of the northern Atlantic will make sailing trickier during these battles.
Naval combat wasn't feasible for Unity because of its setting and focus on city exploration. It makes sense not to have ships in that game. However, the fact that Rogue does bring back such a beloved feature is a huge advantage for that game.
Diverse EnvironmentsThanks to the naval exploration of Assassin's Creed Rogue, players can travel to far-flung locations. They'll sail through the North Atlantic Ocean, travel across the frontier, and run amuck on the streets of New York City.
Assassin's Creed Unity, however, is mainly set in Paris. Ubisoft's focus on a dense city environment with lots of indoor locations could pay off in a big way. Unity's environment may turn out to be a much more realistic, engaging environment.
However, Unity could also feel a little claustrophobic. It's going to be a challenge to make a single city seem as diverse and expansive as Rogue's mixture of wilderness and city, land and sea.
Connections to AC3 and AC4Assassin's Creed Rogue starts in 1751, which means it's right between the time periods of Assassin's Creed 3 and Assassin's Creed 4. Ubisoft said today that this new game completes the "North American saga" started by those other two chapters.
Previous reports about Rogue suggested the game had strong ties to AC3 and AC4. Shay supposedly served on the crew of Adewale, the star of AC4's DLC campaign Freedom Cry. He then mutinies against Adewale in Rogue. Haytham Kenway, a Templar who played an important role in AC3, will reportedly make an appearance in this new game as well.
These connections to previous games may make Rogue less accessible to an Assassin's Creed newbie. However, players who did experience AC3 and AC4 could find Rogue to be a satisfying bridge between those older chapters. Shay's journey has the potential to tie Connor and Edward's tales together into one epic trilogy.