Assassin’s Creed Rogue Interview: Ubisoft Talks Exploration, Life as a Templar, More

Assassin's Creed Rogue, the upcoming history-centric action adventure game from Ubisoft, is shaping up to be one of the holiday's most promising games, even if it's only coming to last-gen hardware.

GameRevolution got the chance to chat with the game's producers, ​Ivan Balabanov and Karl Luhe, about Rogue's new take on the series, its approach to world building, and what it'll be like to hunt down Assassins rather than serve as a loyal member of the Brotherhood. 

GameRevolution: For the first time in franchise history, Assassin’s Creed Rogue has you play as a Templar rather than an Assassin. What led to that decision? What sort of creative doors does that open both in terms of story and gameplay?

Ivan Balabanov: Experiencing the Templar fantasy of the Assassin's Creed universe has been requested and expected by the fans for a long time now — almost as early as Assassin’s Creed I. With Assassin’s Creed Rogue, we have the perfect opportunity to both complete the final chapter of the North American Trilogy, and to allow the players to fully experience what it is like to be on the other side. 

The fact that Shay, our Protagonist, experiences the transition from an Assassin to a Templar within the story arc of the game allows us to introduce a number of new aspects to Assassin’s Creed Rogue. Perhaps the most interesting — and challenging — element is encountering the Assassin opponents once Shay's transformation to a Templar is complete:  they are able to do everything which the player is used to doing in the previous installments of the game.  They can air assassinate you, they can attack you from hidden spots, they can even board your ship!

GR: We know Assassin’s Creed Rogue will have a naval element like Black Flag. To what degree will ship traversal play a role in the overall experience? Will it be as open as Black Flag or a bit more grounded like other entries in the series?

Karl Luhe: Assassin’s Creed Rogue has three extensive game worlds. The North Atlantic is a large naval playground with dozens of land locations to explore, including frozen shipwrecks, ice caves and Naval Forts. The experience here will be more naval gameplay than ground based gameplay with naval events such as POW ships, naval clashes and boarding.

The Appalachian River Valley is a hybrid world with seamless ground and naval transitions between the wide rivers and extensive ground locations to explore. Military Outposts, Native Hills, and hunting opportunities await amongst this rugged frontier.

Finally, New York is an extensive Assassin’s Creed city, offering various ground related gameplay opportunities such as Gang HQs, reach high points and Assassin interceptions. Overall, we expect the player experience to be around 50/50 between ground and naval, but this really depends on player choice as this can easily be adapted depending on what the player enjoys doing most.

GR: How are you handling the present-day element in Assassin’s Creed Rogue? Will it be more of a side element like in Black Flag or will it have a more integral and significant role in the overall narrative like earlier entries?

Balabanov: I can confirm that Assassin’s Creed Rogue will have a Present Day component.  However, I can't go into further details at the current moment.

GR: How has it been developing specifically for last-gen hardware? Is it frustrating to see what the folks making Unity are able to accomplish on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One while you’re limited to the technical capabilities of PS3 and Xbox 360?

Balabanov: Assassin's Creed Rogue will provide to our players a full and complete AAA experience.  Developing a game of such proportions and quality is a tremendous challenge.  Achieving the quality expected of an AAA game is an accomplishment going well beyond the hardware itself.

For more on Assassin's Creed Rogue, be sure to check out our in-depth preview.