Ubisoft has finally confirmed that there will be another Assassin's Creed game for 2014. This year, the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 will play host to Assassin's Creed Rogue. The game places you in the shoes of Shay Patrick Cormac, a former assassin now hunting the Brotherhood for the Templars. It's primarily a revenge tale, as most Assassin's Creed games are, but it will be interesting to see things from the other side for once.
Like Liberation HD and Freedom Cry, Ubisoft always seems to be have more to say in the spin-offs, probably because those titles don't necessarily need to appeal to everyone under the sun. Rogue's focus on the Templars should illuminate one corner of the Assassin's Creed franchise, but what else can we expect from the game?
This is Black Flag 2
For all the players who hoped that Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag would lead to its own pirate-themed series, Assassin's Creed Rogue seems to be the answer. The seamless naval combat and exploration from Black Flag return in Rogue, with Shay having command of his own ship, the Morrigan. Ubisoft Sofia probably doesn't have the budget the Unity team has, so it's all about building Rogue cost-effectively. That means reusing naval combat, but in a different region: the cold Northeast of North America.
New York also makes its return from Assassin's Creed III, but it's probable that it's been redesigned. All the areas of New York liberated from the Templars as Connor in ACIII? You'll probably be the one putting them under Templar control for the first time in Rogue, bringing order to chaos.
A Single-Player Focus
There's no mention in the press release of any multiplayer mode for Assassin's Creed Rogue. One thing that does stick out is the list of Ubisoft studios involved: Ubisoft Sofia leads with help from Ubisoft Singapore, Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Quebec, Ubisoft Chengdu, Ubisoft Milan and Ubisoft Bucharest. Ubisoft Annecy is missing from the list and that studio was behind the multiplayer modes in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood, Assassin's Creed: Revelations, Assassin's Creed III, and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. Annecy is helping with Assassin's Creed Unity instead, probably pitching in on the game's drop-in/drop-out four-player coop.
This would make Rogue the first Assassin's Creed to not include a multiplayer component since Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood in 2010. I'm personally not worried about that, as multiplayer has never been my focus with the franchise.
Bringing Everything Together
Shay's quest in Rogue will take place during The Seven Years' War - The French and Indian War to many in the United States who still remember their history - from 1754 to 1763. That puts these adventures in middle of two existing AC games, slotting chronologically between Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin's Creed III.
Edward's story in Black Flag started in 1715 and ended in 1722. The final cutscene of Black Flag, showing Edward at an opera with his daughter Jennifer and his son Haytham, took place in 1733 (Edward himself died two years later). Haytham's part in the opening scenes of Assassin's Creed III started in 1754 and he became Grand Master of the Templar Order's Colonial Rite (their version of a local chapter) in that same year. His son Connor's story in Assassin's Creed III begins in 1760, and the game ends in 1781.
That makes Shay a contemporary of Haytham Kenway, meaning Haytham should be a big part of Rogue's overall story. We'll get to see the Templar rise to power in the Colonies, aided in large part by our actions. It also means we'll be going up against Connor's mentor Achilles Davenport, an active Colonial assassin at the time. We may possibly even run into Black Flag's Adewale at the end of his lifespan, or his son Babtunde.
Essentially, Rogue is the connective tissue that closes out the Kenway series of games, in terms of story and gameplay.
There's a remote possibility that Rogue could also be connected to Assassin's Creed Unity, which takes place during the French Revolution (1789 to 1799). Perhaps Shay is the father or grandfather of Elise, the Templar love interest of Unity star Arno Dorian?
There Are Missing Versions
There's no PC or Wii U versions of Assassin's Creed Rogue on the books. Unity is coming out for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC, while Rogue is coming for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The lack of a Wii U version for Rogue seems odd, especially after Black Flag was released on the platform. It's possible that Ubisoft Sofia just doesn't have the resources or know-how to deal with the platform; Liberation HD, the studio's last major project, also skipped the Wii U.
That said, Liberation HD did have a PC version. The lack of Rogue on PC is probably Ubisoft giving Unity a chance to exist alone on the platform. Which brings us to the next point.
What About an HD Remaster?
With HD remasters being all the rage, a number of fans believe that Assassin's Creed Rogue will be ported to PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC sooner rather than later. I'm in agreement, because I doubt we'll be getting a main AC game and spin-off every year. My guess is 2015 will be a new primary Assassin's Creed game and the Rogue HD remaster. That said, Black Flag looked pretty great on PS3 and Xbox 360, so I'm probably not going to skip out on Rogue. Being able to get a new Assassin's Creed experience and Black Flag 2 in the same year is awesome.
So there you have it, everything I expect from Assassin's Creed Rogue. GameInformer has the clout to get the early scoop, so you can pick up their magazine to find out more about Rogue and Unity right now. Assassin's Creed Unity is coming out for PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4 on October 28, 2014, while Assassin's Creed Rogue is coming out on Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3 on November 11, 2014.