Title: Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection
Genre: Third Person, Action-Adventure
Available On: Nintendo Switch
Version Tested: Switch
Official Site: Ubisoft
Release Date: Dec 6th, 2019
Where To Buy: Nintendo eShop, Any store outside with games
Stalk, stab and repeat on the go as Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection hits the Nintendo Switch. This port features a lot of content that could be worth one more swing for players.
The Rebel Collection features Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed: Rogue. Black Flag is about pirate turned assassin Edward Kenway (a Jack Sparrow type) who gets mixed up fighting for something bigger than himself. Meanwhile, Rouge follows Shay; an assassin turned Templar after catastrophic events has him fighting against men he once considered brothers.
Both these titles have an enticing gameplay loop of ship combat, freerunning, and numerous side activities. This collection comes with all the single-player DLC, HD rumble support, and motion controls for aiming. I’m not sure what I’m more surprised at, this being such a great port or the motion controls being a useful alternative.
When it comes to Switch ports, people often say, “it’s impressive that it runs this well” or “it’s almost as great as the PS4 and Xbox versions. Enough of this grading curve, I’m not going to say that here. Instead, I’ll say that it is cool that this runs great and looks so well compared to other renditions.
The performance of this game runs smoother than the Greased-up Deaf Guy from Family Guy. This title stays at a steady 30 FPS, looks excellent in handheld mode, and displays in dynamic 1080p when docked. But a word to the wise, docked mode can make it water clear what the difference between this and the other versions are.
Ironically, the change in water graphics is most noticeable when sailing at sea, which you’ll spend a lot of time doing. I remember being floored and mesmerized by the water physics in Black Flag upon release, while here I’m thinking, “who took all the good water?”
Nitpicks aside, the team behind this took the time and care to make a proper definitive port. The minor things like touchscreen support for start menus or motion controls go a long way. The graphics are still sharp, with colors popping in handheld mode.
Some slight loss of detail is worth it to fit everything on the Switch. If Edward looked like Solid Snake from MGS1, then I would be singing a different tune. Thankfully, that’s far from the case, and if Spongebob has taught anything is that some details being lost are for the better as I don’t need to see the plaque on pirate’s teeth that badly.
Ready to Rumble
AC devs use ground combat almost as a punishment. Every time I got caught sneaking, I thought, “oh no, I gotta fight now.” The fights are so mindlessly easy, and they become an annoyance as enemies swam you like nats. This is likely to incentivize sneaking into bases to kill targets, which does feel more rewarding than taking the Leeroy Jenkins route.
Black Flag is super fun even though being an assassin in this game took a backseat for swashbuckling action. Yet, the game forces you to be an assassin the way how people that wear their hat backwards treat sleeves or Floridians with red lights, straight ignore it.
Literally, for most assassinations, I can run straight to the target and stab them into a cutscene. Rouge does a better job of encouraging players to be stealthy while being mixed in with some excellent level design.
The lack of multiplayer is also a bummer as Black Flag has the last traditional online multiplayer for the series. That title released six years ago, and every entry since has either featured some form of co-op or nothing at all. It’s not a deal-breaker but still a shame not to be included.
However, Rouge brings multiplayer mechanics into the single-player with the Gang Hideouts. You still enter bases to kill the boss, except other enemies are hiding like in multiplayer waiting to take you out. There’s even a HUD indicator to let you know how close the hidden killers are to your location.
The list of side activities here is steep, with the most memorable being fights with legendary ships, treasure hunts, fort takeovers, and much more. When it comes to side missions, they’re not as varied or detailed as the ones from The Witcher 3, so switching them up is advised to avoid any repetitiveness. Once you’ve played one assassin contract, you’ve played them all.
Dive Right in
Verdict: Assassin’s Creed: The Rebel Collection are fun content rich experiences with a variety of activities to enjoy. The two games give similar but different enough experiences by focusing on the best aspects of the franchise and downplaying some shortcomings.
This Switch version makes it a must-have on the console for any fan of the series. Longstanding series problems such as the take it or leave it ground combat and dumb A.I still exist here. Yet, the score, activities, and story can be so engaging that you are willing to deal with any blemishes.
What’s your favorite Assassin’s Creed game? Where do you hope the series goes for the next location? Are Nintendo Switch ports ever worth it? Leave your comments!
- Lots of content
- Great visuals & music
- Good story
- Nice price point ($40)
- Bad A.I
- The combat system is not too engaging, almost passive.
- No multiplayer