Assassin’s Creed Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed Rogue will be making their way to Switch, in the form of two-game bundle The Rebel Collection, on 6th December.
Black Flag (which I formally declare to be the best Assassin’s Creed game because, mainly but not exclusively, pirates) initially released six years ago in 2013, which is far enough back in video game history that Ubisoft could probably make an Assassin’s Creed about it.
It tells the swashbuckling tale of privateer-turned-pirate Edward Kenway, who, during the 18th century’s Golden Age of Piracy, inadvertently becomes embroiled in Assassin’s Creed’s vast conspiracy following an energetic run through the jungle.
There’s the inevitable modern day stuff, transformed into a weirdly meta office-bound first-person walking sim (I’ve personally always found the series’ present day interjections a bit obnoxious, and Black Flag’s unusual variant came closest to winning me over, even if I’d still have much preferred pure pirate), but the real fun comes from the rip-roaring main adventure.
Here, Assassin’s Creed’s usual parkour platforming (which, while enjoyable, was starting to show its age by the time of Black Flag’s release) combines with appropriately piratical nautical exploration, with players able to heave-ho their way around the Caribbean, searching for treasure, singing shanties, solving mysteries, and indulging in ship-to-ship combat.
It’s a big game with plenty to see and do, and, I think, it’s one of Assassin’s Creed’s most charming too, with likeable characters, a genuine sense of adventure, and a breezily enjoyable tone. Eurogamer liked it enough back at release to give it a 9/10.
As for Rogue, which released in 2014, it fits snuggling between Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed 3 in terms of story, charting the mid-18th century adventures of Shay Patrick Cormac as he travels across North America, taking in the frozen North Atlantic and even New York.
From a gameplay perspective, Rogue’s mix of land-based exploration and seafaring is undoubtedly similar to that of its predecessor, but it does shake things up a bit by casting players as a Templar, usually the series’ antagonists, rather than an Assassin.
Eurogamer was pretty impressed with this one too, saying “Rogue is a surprisingly great extension of Black Flag, echoing many of that game’s best achievements.” We then slapped it with a well-worn 8/10 stamp for good measure.
When both games come to Switch in the form of Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection on 6th December, they’ll be playable in TV, handheld, and tabletop mode, and will feature HUD enhancements, touchscreen support, and motion control aiming. A glance at Nintendo’s eShop listing reveals a digital price tag of £39.99.