The Assassins Creed series has long allowed players to assume the role of a stealthy assassin who tries to thwart the work of the Knights Templar. Now, the series' developer is giving players a taste of their own medicine by putting them in the shoes of the Templars.
"In previous games you were performing all the assassinations," said Assassin's Creed Rogue's game director, Martin Capel. "Now we've developed characters that can assassinate you."
Playing as a templar named Shay Patrick Cormac, players work with the British forces to try to remove the French from power and break the control and influence of the assassins. Where assassin characters in previous games had to follow the creed and approach most missions in a stealthy way, the templars don't live by rules.
"If you want pure combat, you can do that," Capel said. "You can use sleep grenades or berzerk grenades on animals and citizens. This is the templar's way. You're not following the creed any more, so you don't get this message when you kill civilians saying 'Your ancestors didn't kill civilians.' You can do it. The templar approach is very much the ends justify the means."
In the demo of the game shown at Gamescom, Shay was much more brazen a main character than the assassins from other titles in the series. He has access to an air rifle, various grenades and fire crackers. He can use a stealth approach, but he can also run in guns blazing.
Players will try to prevent assassinations by intercepting the assassins before they have a chance to carry out their missions. In previous games, players would go to a pigeon coop, take out a pigeon and find a message about who they need to kill. In Rogue, players can go to the pigeons and find out who the assassins plan to kill, and get to them before they have a chance to carry it out.
One of the main goals Shay will have is to assassinate the assassins. This won't be easy.
"We've created a whole new set of character types to do to you what you did to others," Capel said. "The assassins are really strong in combat; they'll use smoke, they'll use pistols, they'll shoot at powder kegs in the environment, they'll try to hide and, if they hit you, they do a lot of damage. They're the toughest of the characters you'll face.
"We saw this as an opportunity. Players have spent so many years as an assassin. We wanted to reverse it and turn it against them."