Joey Sack ‘17 / Emertainment Monthly Staff Writer
With many Assassin’s Creed fans focused on the release of Assassin’s Creed Unity on November 11th, it’s noticeable that there hasn’t been much information about Assassin’s Creed Rogue, which is set to be released the same day. All that’s been revealed so far is this: you take on the role of Shay Cormac, an Assassin who later joined the Templars and dedicated himself to hunting down his former allies, and that the game would tie into the other Assassin’s Creed games that take place in the Americas. But very little has been revealed about Shay’s own story; now, we have more answers in the form of this story trailer for Assassin’s Creed Rogue.
The trailer is narrated by an unnamed Assassin, who considered Shay to be a brother. It is revealed that Shay was a rather cocky Assassin who was tasked with tracking down and killing some Templars by Adéwalé, the protagonist of Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag – Freedom Cry and Edward Kenway’s former quartermaster. The trailer shows that mortar fire from a British ship resulted in the death of countless civilians in a town while Shay was on his mission. Shay feels betrayed by his Assassin allies, and vows to never let them kill innocent people again. We then get a look at Shay killing Assassins and speaking with such Templars as Haytham Kenway, a playable character and antagonist from Assassin’s Creed III. Shay, as well as one of his former brothers, mentions Achilles Davenport, the Mentor of the Colonial Assassins, first introduced in Assassin’s Creed III; Shay seems hell-bent on killing Davenport, stating that he will kill anyone who gets in his way if he must.
Although, since we all know the story of Assassin’s Creed III, it doesn’t seem likely that Shay succeeded; at the very least, he’s the reason that Achilles stopped being an Assassin, but that’s just speculation at this point. We also get to see Shay wandering through the frozen wastes of the Arctic Circle and going around in his ship firing at enemies. Based on the dialogue and narration throughout the trailer, this unnamed narrator will probably face off against Shay at some point in the story, perhaps as a final target for this Assassin Hunter. The trailer also brings into question the way the Assassins and Templars cause shifts in world history: by killing leaders and deceiving the masses, respectively. This indicates that Shay may explore the problems inherent in both Orders’ philosophies.
This game’s protagonist seems to get his motivation to betray his former brotherhood from a need to redeem himself, which is a storyline that we’ve seen a few times in the course of the Assassin’s Creed series, but never from this angle. When we first met Altaïr in the very first game, he was stripped of his rank for breaking the three tenets of the Assassin’s Creed in one day: stay your blade from the flesh of an innocent, be unseen, and never compromise the Brotherhood. Altaïr was offered the chance to redeem himself within the Brotherhood and he took it. Shay, however, doesn’t seem to completely blame himself; he blames himself partially, to be sure, but he also blames his superiors, and feels that he can’t find the redemption he seeks as an Assassin.
It’s interesting to see the views of the Assassins from the other side, though this also indicates one of the challenges that this game will have to overcome; for the majority of the Assassin’s Creed game, we’ve seen the Assassins as the good guys, and though we’ve seen some valid points in the Templar Order’s philosophies, we’ve mostly seen them as the bad guys. Now, with this game, your main protagonist is a Templar for the majority of the time, and the story and characters are going to have to convince you that the Assassins are in the wrong, and after six main games of fighting on the side of the Assassins, that’s a pretty tall order.
Assassin’s Creed Rogue will be released on November 11th, 2014, for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. The game will be available on PC sometime in 2015. Bring about the Assassin Order’s darkest days as the Assassin Hunter out for redemption.