The Assassin’s Creed franchise has been a staple of triple-A gaming for well over a decade now. While many games in the series are regularly arriving on new platforms, this particular collection is solely a collaboration with Nintendo. You can now enjoy Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection exclusively for the Nintendo Switch.
Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection Details
Platform: Nintendo Switch
Reviewed on: Nintendo Switch
Developer: Ubisoft Chengdu / Ubisoft Philippines
Modes: Single player
ESRB Rating: M (Mature)
Two games in one
Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection is comprised of two previous games in the franchise. Both games were first available on the previous generation of video game hardware. The first is Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag which initially came to the PS3/Xbox 360 generation before later becoming a PS4/Xbox One launch title.
The other is Assassin’s Creed Rogue. What’s perhaps more notable is that Rogue only came to the PS3/Xbox 360 consoles, despite launching after the next generation of consoles became available. Instead, Rogue was meant to cater specifically to gamers who had yet to move on to new hardware.
So why specifically are these two games together in one tidy collection? For starters, they do follow each other directly in terms of their original release date. But what’s more, they both also focus on the series’ foray into swashbuckling action and sailing the seas in oceanic combat—hence the “rebel” in the Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection name.
While both titles ultimately made the rounds on other consoles, this is the first time each will appear on a Nintendo platform. This is in spite of the preceding Assassin’s Creed III being available for Nintendo’s previous console, the Nintendo Wii U. As such it begins to bridge the gap on a huge franchise that has otherwise been mostly absent from Nintendo systems in recent years.
Double the sailing adventure
The first game in order of release in Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection is Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag. This is the story of Welsh pirate Edward Kenway and his involvement in the Assassin/Templar conflict. Kenway also happens to be the father/grandfather of the principle characters of the previous mainline game in the series.
Black Flag offers extensive open-world play as players can enjoy the pirate life of sailing, combat, and plunder. It has some of the best naval combat of any Assassin’s Creed game to date, as well as enjoyable exploration and hunting aspects. It’s clearly the best of the two games that the Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection features.
Assassin’s Creed Rogue on the other hand actually takes place prior to its predecessor. In fact, it is meant partially to bridge the narrative gap between Black Flag and the previous mainline entry Assassin’s Creed III, (which takes place during the American Revolution). In fact, numerous characters from Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag also make appearances in Rogue.
This title introduces the story of Shay Patrick Cormac, a vengeful former Assassin who now hunts his old cohort on behalf of the Templars. The gameplay is very similar to Black Flag, with a continuing focus on naval combat and exploration. The similarity goes so far as to almost be a hindrance however, as it doesn’t do much to innovate or improve.
A bit behind the times
If there is a problem with the Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection, it’s that it really shines a focus on the disparity in third-party content for the Switch. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to have more franchises like this on the console. Yet it’s still a bit disparaging to think about.
The Assassin’s Creed franchise has really shown some steep improvement in recent years. Current games like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey are critical successes and look amazing on more powerful consoles. Yet the Switch must still resign itself to games that run on last generation’s hardware.
This is most obvious with Rogue. When you think about it, this is a game specifically held back from improvement and innovation to appease an audience of gamers not ready to upgrade consoles. It’s not that it couldn’t be better, it’s that the game is a product of certain intentional limitations. Now in 2019, it really shows.
Ultimately what I’m trying to say is, if these are the games you want to play, on the console where you want to play them, great. It’s lovely to have the franchise on Switch. If you’re out there looking for the best experience however, it’s difficult to justify spending your time and money here when the franchise has long since left the quality of Rogue far behind.
A comprehensive package
Of course Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection does take this into account. It’s actually a very modestly-priced bundle for the amount of content available. Both games come complete with all additional DLC and bonus content. The launch price is lower than the average big release as well.
As such, there’s plenty of action and hours upon hours of exploration to be had here. And of course, as with any Nintendo Switch release, it’s always a huge plus to be able to take your game on the go. Given that these are somewhat older games, the Switch runs them flawlessly in both docked and handheld modes.
The Switch version also takes advantage of the touch screen capability of the console. Other enhanced features include motion control aiming and HD rumble. Finally, the HUD display features optimization specifically for the Nintendo Switch hardware.
Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection is a cohesive, albeit aging bundle that brings the franchise to Switch
It’s great to see more big third-party franchises on Nintendo Switch. Still, the age of the games in Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection is difficult to ignore. With Assassin’s Creed Odyssey showing just what the series is capable of, this bundle is by contrast a stark reminder of what the Switch isn’t.
Still, both titles offer a lot of fun, in particular with naval combat. If your simply looking to round out your experience with the series, these games play wonderfully on Switch. The price is certainly right for the amount of content available.
+ Two games with full add-on content
+ Runs great on Switch
+ Optimized features for the Switch hardware
– These older titles show their age, but seem to be the best the Switch is going to get for now
OVERALL ASSESSMENT OF ASSASSIN’S CREED: THE REBEL COLLECTION
Lasting Appeal/Replayability: 4/5