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  • Alternate Character Interpretation: Bound to come up in a game where you play an Assassin who defects to the Templars.
    • Is Shay a dishonorable traitor for turning against the Assassins or did he have good reason to do so? Is this a case of Poor Communication Kills where the Colonial Assassins would have listened if he hadn't been so panicked? Did they judge Shay too harshly for circumstances they didn't understand? Was Shay motivated solely by the Lisbon Earthquake or was it simply the last in a long line of What the Hell, Hero? moments which culminated in his defection? Was Shay ever really a Templar or just allied with them against the Assassins? Hell, is it possible he's just suffering Stockholm Syndrome after the traumatic events of his defection followed by his adoption into Colonel Monro's care? Regardless by the ending, it doesn't matter anymore. Shay is fully dedicated to the Templar cause.
      • Also, is Shay truly one of the best protagonists in the series who manages to carry a memorable story in a franchise that has increasingly forgettable characters and plots, or a monstrous Ethnic Scrappy whose value stops with that accent?
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    • Do the Templars appreciate Shay for his real nature or do they see him as a means to an end? George Monro in particular finds Shay's camaraderie, loyalty and heroism surprising since Templars are usually not so committed to each other, so he is probably the most genuine of the Templars. Of the others, Christopher Gist candidly admits to Shay later that they would have killed him had he not joined them and eagerly tells him to not get worked up about betraying his friends.
    • Do the Assassins truly wish to do good and eliminate the Templars because the Templars want power and control, or have the Assassins just devolved in their goals to the point they go and kill Templars simply because they are Templars.
    • Is Achilles still the Big Good he was in Assassin's Creed 3 or is he a Pointy-Haired Boss meddling with forces he can't begin to understand? While Shay didn't explain it very well, Achilles' first instinct is to blame Shay for doing something wrong with the tech. He then ignores the fact that two cities have been destroyed and says it's the Assassins' duty to acquire all the Precursor tech to secure the future. Is it possible the above might have been said in the heat of the moment or does this reflect a profound arrogance in the Assassins? Given that he at the end acknowledges that Shay was right, probably the former — or at least, it's how he becomes the Big Good in III.
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    • Is Juhani Otso Berg a ruthless, calculating, and murderous Big Bad who is far more dangerous than Vidic ever was? Or is Juhani actually possessed of Hidden Depths which go beyond his Morality Pet relationship with his daughter? Juhani is the most focused on defeating the Assassins villain yet but seems more focused on convincing them they're wrong than killing them outright (though he'll do that too). Is his offer to join the Templars or die a Kick the Dog moment or the only way to save the player Who Knows Too Much? And the fact one of the sole reasons he is interested in this game is because it shows an Assassin join the Templars.
    • Is Colonel George Monro the Token Good Teammate Templar who is a Antivillain and Visionary Villain at worst or a cold-blooded Manipulative Bastard? Shay thinks of Colonel Monro as a bear friend and The Mentor. However, everything Shay sees of Colonel Monro is precisely calculated. Colonel Monro placed Shay with a loving family, tended his wounds, showed him the dark side of the Assassin's activities, then arranged for him to kill his brethren without ever letting him know he was a Templar. Colonel Monro may genuinely believe he's doing the right thing but he makes ruthless use of Shay despite the man's disturbed mental state. It's entirely possible Colonel Monro was trying to induce the 18th century equivalent of Stockholm Syndrome all along. Worse, it worked.
      • Of course, it's questionable just how ignorant Shay is of Monro's Templar affiliations. Monro's outfit, the outfit Shay receives that used to belong to the Finnegans' son, and the interiors of both Fort Arsenal and the renovated Morrigan are all plastered in Templar sigils. Doesn't it seem more likely that Shay knows Monro is a Templar all along, but doesn't say anything because, first, he feels indebted to the man, and second, alienating the Templars after already being marked for death by the Assassins would serve no useful purpose?
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    • The game itself. Is it an Audience Surrogate to the long running franchise that is Assassin's Creed? How Shay views the never ending war of Templars and Assassins just like gamers starting to get tired of the same gameplay of "play Assassin and kill Templar because he/she is a Templar"? How the fact that neither side has even tried to think of a way to work together.
  • Anti-Climax Boss: An in-universe one happens with Shay being ordered to kill a sickly old man with a month left to live. Who just happens to be George Washington's brother. Later, Shay murders another Templar who can barely lift a sword and doesn't attempt to fight back if confronted directly. These events contribute to Shay's disquiet with the Assassins since they consider them great victories.
    • A more straight-forward instance is Adewale, who perhaps should be a harder boss fight/ship battle, given that he's a former Player Character. That said, he was very old at the time, and he had Haytham and Shay teaming up against him, which is three Player Characters in one single space, a rarity for a Franchise.
    • Let's face it, most of the Assassins are easily killable if the player is quick enough on the draw with the pistols. Two shots is all it takes. Le Chasseur in particular can be gunned down immediately upon confronting him, which gives the full synchronisation bonus for taking no damage from him to boot.
  • Ass Pull:
    • The "Earthquake Machine" device shown in the game comes across as this to some. Previous games, starting right from Al Mualim in Assassin's Creed I established that the Pieces of Eden mainly controlled objects by means of illusions and mind control. Juno in Assassin's Creed III also revealed that none of the the sophisticated technology used by the First Civilization to prevent the Toba Catastrophe could physically control or alter the environment. Likewise, earlier writers Corey May and Darby McDevitt said that they would be dialling down the powers and potential of the Pieces of Eden. Rogue changes that with an earthquake causing device dropped without proper explanation on how it functions or how it fits in with what was earlier established. As noted in Artistic License – Geography in the main page, it's also absurd in terms of how earthquakes actually function, going beyond the earlier games attempt at maintaining plausibility.
    • Likewise, the nature of Shay defecting to the Templars feels rushed mostly because of the Contrived Coincidence of Moral Luck and Poor Communication Kills involved. With Shay speaking incoherently in Angrish to Achilles, misblaming him for knowingly causing these disasters which Achilles was clearly unaware of.
  • Author's Saving Throw:
    • A very unintentional example after the Unity launch. Rogue's well-received story and characters meant many fans got at least one good Assassin's Creed game in 2014 (although critics preferred Unity).
    • Rogue did many small but welcome adjustments to the collectibles system that was a huge pain in Black Flag. Uncharted collectibles are now much fewer in numbers, and picking them up is more entertaining because many require a nice bit of freerunning to get to instead of just lying around in the open. The rowboats that return Shay to his ship are more numerous, especially in areas with freezing water where swimming is ill-advised. Shanties move much slower and are thus less annoying to chase down. Luck-based Abstergo challenges were removed entirely.
  • Awesome Music: The main theme, which is very reminiscent of Ezio's Family.
  • Best Boss Ever: Hope Jensen's unique puzzle and Mobstacle Course, can be seen as the Final Charles Lee Mission at the end of III done right.
    • The Legendary Ship battles from Black Flag are back, and bigger than ever. Most of them give both you and the legendary ship your own support fleet, making the fights truly feel like a ship battle.
      • The Storm Fortress, the strongest of the Legendary Ships, combines El Impoluto’s speed with La Dama Negra’s Armor and mortars, as well as a pair of powerful Men o’ War to back her up when she starts to hurt. You get the strongest support fleet yet, and the whole thing takes place in a titanic rainstorm. Taking down the Storm Fortress is almost certainly Shay’s most impressive accomplishment.
  • Big-Lipped Alligator Moment: The headless horseman encountered under very specific circumstances in Sleepy Hollow is blatantly out-of-place with all the established lore in Assassin's Creed (not to mention anachronistic, since the Hessian mercenary attributed to be the Horseman died in the American Revolution), may be encountered by complete accident and is never alluded in the story. Then again, its entirely possible that he is a Easter Egg as artificially created for the simulation and Shay didn't truly encounter him in real life.
  • Broken Base:
    • The lack of a Wii U version hasn't been sitting well with people who own the system and bought the previous two games for said platform. The fact that it'd be easier for Ubisoft to port Rogue to the Wii U instead of Unity (as other developers have stated that up-porting from PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 to the Wii U is easier than down-porting from the PS4 and Xbox One) only makes this worse for Ubi, whose reputation amongst Nintendo faithful is already broken thanks to past incidents like the delays of Rayman Legends and the Wii U version of Watch_Dogs, and outright admitting that they are holding a Wii U game hostage until the system "sees higher sales."
      • Ubisoft then said that after Watch_Dogs, they wouldn't be making any more "Violent" games for the Wii U, including Unity and Rogue, due to poor sales (To be fair, this was before Mario Kart 8 let the Wii U sell like hotcakes). Fan reaction has been heavily negative.
    • The fact that Ubisoft is releasing two console Assassin's Creed games in one year (as opposed to past situations where it was one game on console and then a handheld spin-off released in the same year) has left some people wondering if the company is beginning to seriously "milk" the franchise for all it's worth, and running the risk of turning Assassin's Creed into a Franchise Zombie. Curiously, it wound up happening- but for Unity, not Rogue, which would up becoming one of the best received games by the fans so far.
    • Some fans complained that the setting is exactly the same as Assassin's Creed III where you could sail across the Atlantic Coast. Some fans hoped for a pure pirate game after Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag or a ship game in another setting, rather than remain mired in the 18th Century. After the game came out, many of these fans were angry that the game brought back supporting players from III but outright averted showing Connor or suggesting what happened to him after III, with Rogue's final mission being set midway through III. The general scorn about Ubisoft's abandoning one of their most prominent characters is summed up in the observation that Rogue provides backstory on everything in III from Achilles to the Aquila (Connor's Ship) except the main character.
  • Critical Dissonance: With a Metacritic score of 74, most critics see Rogue as merely an expansion for Black Flag with only minor changes and existing only to placate fans who have yet to upgrade to 8th Gen Consoles. Some fans of the franchise, however, have overwhelmingly praised the story and characters and find Rogue to be far better than its bug-riddled current gen counterpart Unity. A few even think that Rogue is among Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag as one of the best installments in the franchise.
  • Demonic Spiders: The bounty hunters that show up when you kill too many civilians. They're basically the Jägers from III taken Up to Eleven.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Hope has already proven one of the most liked female Assassins yet. Many are upset she's not a playable option.
  • Ethnic Scrappy: Between his atrocious Irish accent and tastelessly exaggerated Irish name (Shay Patrick Cormac!), some fans think the protagonist is one step away from being a leprechaun. Nevertheless, an equally large section of the fanbase view him as one of the best playable characters in the entire series, despite the accent and name.
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: Wow, it's a twenty year old George Washington! Doesn't he look strange with red hair? It almost makes you forget that he's about to launch an attack on Connor's village and cause Ziio's horrible fiery death.
  • Goddamn Bats: Bounty hunters are downgraded to this status from the Demonic Spiders they were in Black Flag. The maximum notoriety level you can gain is now three instead of four, and the worst they can throw at you is a level 25 brig and a level 11 schooner, which you'll usually curbstomp before they get a single decent shot off. Notoriety also now decays quickly over time, making bounty hunters at sea even less of a hassle. However, the ones that hunt Shay on land are top-tier Demonic Spiders, although thankfully notoriety there decays just the same.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: While historical, the first clue something isn't right with the Pieces of Eden is a massive earthquake in Haiti.
  • He Really Can Act: For Steven Pivosean, Shay's actor. This is pretty much his first big gig, yet he steals the show with his spectacular skills. However, his ability to successfully accomplish an Irish accent is highly debatable.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • A Mission-Pack Sequel that receives praise for its dark and enriching story despite heavily recycling gameplay assets from its predecessor? Sounds really familiar.
    • A prequel where the protagonist is trained by the good guys of the setting, switches sides and kills them all except for his mentor who exiles himself. Years later, an orphan who grew up nearby finds said mentor, and is trained to reverse the damage the previous protagonist brought with him. But this time, the prequel was received better than the original.
  • It's Short, So It Sucks!: While the game has a massive amount of side-content, the actual campaign is only six sequences long. Some gamers think they could have doubled the story missions without being padded, although many are happy with what they got.
  • It's the Same, Now It Sucks!: Some people feel that the game is too similar to Black Flag — complete with some of the "Assassin detection" mechanics (sound cues and a compass in Eagle vision) being lifted directly from the prior games' competitive multiplayer — to be a full game. And also the fact that it expands subplots and backstory from the Prolonged Prologue of III and returns to the same setting with some add-ons.
  • Memetic Mutation: "I make my own luck!" (Shay says this any time someone mentions luck around them, so it quickly caught on.)
  • Narm:
    • Shay's repeating ad nauseam "I make my own luck" becomes about as endearing as "Where is Charles Lee?", especially since it's a reflex tick of his, at any invocation of luck, though in the death conversation with Liam, Shay practically complains "How many times do I have to tell you?" before repeating the phrase once more. What makes it even more Narmy is that Shay doesn't actually make his own luck in the game, being a victim of fate and the protection of well wishers like George Munro.
    • Reactions to the quality of Shay's accent have been this. Combined with the tastelessly too Irish name of Shay Patrick Cormac, many people have been left annoyed by the character.
    • The Templars' speeches about bringing Order from both Gist and Munro feel less like visionary men and more like televangelists talking about the Lord and his works... though that might also bring a rather different interpretation to the story and Shay's evolution.
    • Juhani Otso Berg is built up in the game as an Evil Genius and a tactical Templar and the finale of his "plan" is to email and prank the Assassins with Shay's memories. More importantly he forces the player to join the Templars via gunpoint proving that he learned nothing from Shay's story.
  • Nightmare Fuel: Remember those defensive rows of light from Black Flag? They're back, and this time it's unavoidable to see what happens when a pour soul falls *cough* is shoved *cough* into one...
    • Also, the Templars KNOW about Juno... and they're still focused on gathering Pieces of Eden for their plans. It's one thing to play god over your own species, but it's another to doom humanity to potential slavery because you just want to show the world what freedom truly means.
  • Paranoia Fuel: The Whispers that you hear that means there is a Stalker nearby. At certain times of the game you will swear you hear them, only to activate Eagle Vision and see there is none around.
    • Shay's very existence is this for the series. An Assassin, now a Templar, who hunts Assassins. He's still around and still killing Assassins after Connor defeated the Templars in Colonial America (and by extension, after Aveline defeated the Templars in the French Colonies), and was also the one who inadvertently started Arno off down his path to becoming an Assassin. Meaning if any future games overlap with his lifetime, there's a chance he could be hunting the player character down.
  • Player Punch: Essentially The Game.
    • Do you like platform puzzles, tomb exploration, visiting exotic locales? Enjoy your visit to Lisbon and go down that rabbit hole in the center of the floor and mess around with objects you have very little knowledge about. After all, Altair, Ezio and Connor did it, nothing bad happened to... oh. It causes earthquakes, and you're personally responsible for the deaths of countless thousands of people.
    • Oh and in the end, you kill the guy who turns out to be the father of the hero of Unity; you know, that adorable little boy you play at the start in the opening. Even worse if you played Unity first and preferred to wear the optional Shay outfit. You will realize you have been wearing the outfit of the man who murdered your father..
  • Polished Port: While still 30 FPS, the remake on PS4 and Xbox One not only looks much better, it comes with new outfits as well. Effects such as the smoke from gunshots and cannons are improved, and the game runs on similar settings as the original PC version. The PS4 Pro and Xbox One X manage to play the game in full 4K without a drop in FPS, and some effects are better than they were in the original PC version!
  • The Scrappy: Violet da Costa has this reputation. Mostly because her Perky Female Minion aspect is really overplayed.
  • Scrappy Mechanic: Storms, and the fact that you can't release the Morrigan's wheel when there's as much as a stiff breeze blowing. This mechanic was lifted unchanged from Black Flag, but storms were much less common there, so they barely influenced the gameplay. In Rogue, many regions have storms picking up about twice a minute, and usually in exactly the moment you want to let go of the wheel for one reason or another.
  • So Okay, It's Average: A Downplayed Trope example. Reception from critics has been, overall, positive but with a 74% average score, it's not exactly blowing people away either. This ties into the above Critical Dissonance.
  • That One Achievement: The game has multiple achievements that wouldn't be bad per se, if they wouldn't require so damn many repetitions. The Camper achievement for instance forces you to loot 20 supply camps, which isn't difficult but very tedious to pull off. Another achievement of this sort, Supplier, unlocks once you've looted 10 large supply campsnote  while the Veteran cheatnote  is active. Arguably the worst one is "What's yours is mine", awarded for looting 20 ship convoys (you can OCD the entire game to 100% Completion without encountering more than one or two convoys). Further examples include things like countering 20 smoke bomb attacks or 15 hostile air assassinations, all of which will require some amount of grinding to get for pretty much no reason. Five of each would've sufficed.
  • That One Boss:
    • The final legendary ship, "The Storm Fortress." Start with an absurdly maneuverable colossus of a ship that can rain napalm down on you with laser guided precision from across the map and costs almost all of your health if caught in a broad side blast. Then, when it's health is nearing zero, two more Men-O-Wars, the Argonaut and the Sceptre, will show up to help it with no warning AT ALL.
    • Getting 100% synchronization on the fight with Kesegowaase is tough. He runs around the battlements of a fort, which are also crawling with his minions. Also on the battlements are a set of Puckle guns, which you're supposed to shoot him with. The Puckle guns are, of course, as difficult to aim against a specific person on land as they are at sea and Kesegowaase moves fast. Furthermore, if he catches up to you when you're on the battlements, he'll engage you in melee combat and your chance to kill him with the guns will be lost. Oh, and there's a time limit. Have fun.
    • The level where you have to kill Hope is this in spades. It's annoying enough that you have to keep in motion or else you lose health, but there are stalkers everywhere and Hope has a one-hit-kill move, but desyncronization resets you back to the mansion!
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Plot: Some gamers felt that the story would have been better if instead of an Assassin-turned-Templar we played a full Templar, and likewise had gameplay that felt closer to what Templars could concievably do, rather than a reskin of traditional Assassin gameplay. Others also point out that the game's contrived portrayal of the Templars as "Good" via Moral Luck is not a true exploration of the Templar's Well-Intentioned Extremist worldview which was explored in all the previous games and in Unity, and which Black Flag writer Darby McDevitt noted also contradicted with Shay's story:
    One thing that confused me about Rogue actually was the line "We don't have the right to decide people's fate." Since Templars DO believe that. So Shay is actually arguing the Assassin POV here. He should have started his own Order.
  • What an Idiot!:
    • Shay has just escaped from the Lisbon Earthquake, which he caused by interacting with Precursor technology, and angrily confronts Achilles, thinking he ordered Shay to kill thousands of innocent people, like what happened to Haiti.
      • You'd Expect: For Achilles to explain the misunderstanding and that he didn't know that the temples would trigger earthquakes.
      • Instead: Achilles just brushes off the fact that thousands of people are dead and has Shay forcibly removed from his house, which results in Shay sneaking back in to steal the Manuscript, faking his death, and defecting to the Templars.
    • Hell, while we're at it.
      • You'd Expect: Shay continues to lobby Assassins, hoping to change their mind about the dangers posed by the first civ sites. Also, it's possible in an earlier sequence to overhear Achilles & Adewale discussing another earthquake that occurred, neither fully aware how it happened & only discussing the Templars, damages & relief work Adewale done. Maybe even Achilles could have been convinced with some time & effort.
      • Instead: Shay decides to steal the manuscript (not burn it on the spot or anything. Just grab it like he's someone's errand boy) because fuck you we need drama. Apparently Shay doesn't think any of the people he grew up with would listen.
    • Speaking of Shay.
      • You'd Expect: Shay, having spent possibly months of time traveling between sequences & missions (Earthquake happened early November 1755 to when they met again in 1756), would compile his thoughts & think of a calm & composed way to warn Achilles & try to convince him. After all, this is serious stuff & being hostile would make even the best message unnecessarily harder to swallow.
      • Instead: Shay decides to explode & accuse Achilles immediately, needing his friends to break them apart. Apparently he kept his anger bottled up from the Earthquake & didn't think about persuasion. Either that or Shay decided that accusations would be more convincing. Achilles ends up ordering Shay to be removed from the room & Shay doesn't decide a retry (on Achilles or anyone else) after calming down. Given how Achilles eventually concludes that Shay was correct in the endgame even after Shay's betrayal, Shay might have even successfully convinced Achilles & avoided killing everyone if his approach involved less finger pointing & fury.
  • Win Back the Crowd: This game somewhat softened the blow of Unity's disastrous launch and polarizing storyline (which was considered both cliche and extremely disrespectful to the French Revolution). Rogue's story was very well-received, and many people liked playing as a Templar, which was one of the most fan-requested features after Haytham Kenway was featured in Assassin's Creed III.
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