Assassin’s Creed: Rogue, what can we expect?
You go on holiday for one bloody week, and the one series you keep writing about announces another bloody installment! Assassin’s Creed: Rogue has been officially announced and has a nice shiny trailer that shows a new character, with the heaviest Irish accent since Saboteur’s Sean Devlin, killing an Assassin and going on about being a rogue and a renegade. After I got over my urge to do awful Irish accents and instead choose to do my job (or hobby) I’ve had a bit of a think about this new character, the new direction and what we could expect to see in this game in terms of story.
Slowly walking man with gun, clearly a great deal of originality was put into this design.
The newest addition to Assassin’s Creed ever growing protagonist roster is Shay Patrick Cormack, who aside from the first place winner of most Irish name award is a Templar! Huzzah, getting away from those bone idle assassins. What’s clear from the trailer is that Cormack was once a member of the assassin’s but leaves to become a Templar (I hear their dental plan is phenomenal) and sets out to become an assassin hunter of sorts. This is a rather interesting direction to have, to have a turn coat from the ranks of the assassin’s using what he’s learnt to hunt them. I’ve longed for the series to move away from the assassin’s themselves because apart from the weird future guff and Desmond bloody Miles they are the most boring part of the series, with their nebulous concepts of freedom and liberty they are really hard to understand in terms of motivations.
The Templars on the other hand, they do stuff and they do a lot. The core part of almost every Assassin’s Creed mission was ‘Templars are doing stuff, stop them’ My hope for Rogue is that you get to put their plans into practice and see what happens when the Templars get their way. In every setting the games have shown, the Templars are basically in control of the government in one form or another, able to muster man power from the cities garrisons to achieve their goals, this puts the Assassin’s at a disadvantage as they are always the under dogs, having to enact a guerrilla-style war to make up for their numbers (And having characters who can slaughter entire platoons with his fists helps). Having you play as a Templar agent should give you access to massive resources initially, wealth, man power, fire power etc. Which if used improperly would start to be drained as you fail to address the Assassin threat. It would add whole new gameplay elements, having the player choosing where to assign resources to deal with growing threats.
Of course you could just blow everything on taking out the Assassin’s but what of other factions? We are getting to the point in the series where a new wild card is needed, a third party with whom the others must contend with, pirates, mercenaries, politicians. The world of Assassin’s Creed has been black and white for too long now and needs characters who don’t subscribe to beliefs of the Assassin’s and Templars. As the Templars are the more social and overt side of the conflict, they could openly negotiate with these other factions, making them allies or wiping them out entirely. Yes, I’m making this action series into a bit of a RPG or RTS but honestly if you’ve played one AC you’ve played them all (I recommend Black Flag) and with some new elements of game play (other than the Tower Defense sections of Revelations) the series could at least stave off rigor mortise for a couple more years.
Remember this? Who asked for this?
Being a single player only title, story will doubtless be key to this games success, I’ve heard some reports that this will be the ‘darkest’ installment in the franchise which does both excites me and worries me. Being dark for the sake of being dark is just dumb, it’s like when comics feature a rape or abuse story line (or any of Frank Miller’s work) just to get head lines. Unless they treat what ever subject matter they choose with respect this could be the sign of the series going through it’s dark and broody teenage years. From the time period chosen for this game, and the navel game-play, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see the slave trade rear it’s ugly head. As a Templar (Who have been ok with the use of slavery in the past) is Shay going to pro-slavery? are we going to get a character who we are uncomfortable to play as? I’ll be honest and say that kinda intrigues me, for a the longest time we’ve seen video game protagonist be pretty middle of the road slightly left wing guys, who are all very pleasant to each other (but not the people they kill) Which is why to have a character who might be not just a bastard but a bastard of his time period excites me. Of course the use of Slavery won’t be glamorized in any way, Ubisoft tends to be rather good when it comes to issues of race/religion etc (those disclaimers at the start of every game say as much) but it will be a part of life, just don’t go expecting to be throwing slaves off Shay’s ship to make room for more bastard.
As with my fears and worries about Unity and the character of Elise, all this is speculation on my part. I tend to worry that games writers may take the easy path in terms of how they portray certain elements, and what are now unacceptable concepts but in the times they are shown are just part of every day life. What I must say I’m looking forward to from these two games is how they may possible progress the Templar’s arch from simple villains who want world domination to something far more understandable and at times agreeable. Since AC:3 we’ve seen the lines of Assassin and Templar being blurred, and with these two titles, we could well see those lines fade entirely.
This marks an end to me writing about Assassin’s Creed for a while, need to find some new games. Dare say next will be my thoughts on the Last of Us’s story (which i’m rather liking)