Monday, December 16, 2019

"Assassin's Creed: The Rebel Collection" Switch Review

With the possible exception of Capcom, no publisher has been as gung-ho about getting its back catalogue onboard the Switch gravy train than Ubisoft. Following the likes of "South Park," "Child of Light," "Valiant Hearts: The Great War" and "Trials HD," the monolithic "Assassin's Creed" series is beginning to trickle onto the console.

The games included in "Assassin's Creed: The Rebel Collection" are rather obscure choices, and seem geared toward getting the franchise's feet wet on the Switch hardware. Rather than go with low-fi classics such as the original game, its follow-ups, the Ezio Collection, or the most recent blockbusters, "Origins" and "Odyssey," we get nearly-forgotten late last-gen entries.

The compilation includes "Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag" (2013) and "Assassin's Creed Rogue" (2014). As is usually the case with rereleases, both games are loaded with all previously-released DLC, and with games as microtransaction-happy as these, that means tons of extra levels, skins, weapons and items.

The games in the collection represent a turning point for the franchise, in which it branched off into naval combat in "Black Flag" and the saga through the perspective of the villainous Templars in "Rogue."

The games make an apt fit on the Switch because their guts don't do too much to stretch the hardware capabilities. Unlike the likes of "Wolfenstein" and "Diablo," these games are silk-smooth and polished on the device.

Returning to the middle games in the "Assassin's Creed" legend in 2019 is refreshing, and something of a spiritual reboot for the now grandiose games. Like the overarching storyline itself, the games are welcome jumps back in time to re-experience the sights, sounds, passions, struggles and triumph of eras bygone.

Publisher provided review code.

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