Assassin’s Creed The Legacy Collection brings Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and Assassin’s Creed Rogue to the Nintendo Switch. I adore the entire Assassin’s Creed franchise, but Black Flag is my favourite game out of all of them. While Rogue launched for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 only, acting as the last-gen release for the franchise when Assassin’s Creed Unity released, it’s still a fantastic game. It builds upon the naval aspects that made Black Flag so much fun, but really it’s a nice add-on for the ultimate Assassin’s Creed game.
Both of the games in this collection have been available for quite a long time now. You’ve probably read reviews about them, watched countless videos on them, and now you’re probably looking forward to Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. However, I can tell you that these games are worth looking back at, whether you played them the first time around, or if you’ve never touched them. If you’ve only played Assassin’s Creed Origins and Odyssey, then you definitely need to go back to these games, providing you have a Nintendo Switch, and there’s really only one reason why.
It’s A Pirate Game
With Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, Ubisoft is making a viking game in the Assassin’s Creed universe. With Black Flag, they made a pirate game in the same universe, and it’s an experience that you can still load up and get lost in for hours today. The story follows Edward Kenway, a relative of the protagonist from Assassin’s Creed 3, but that link doesn’t matter at all. Here we follow Edward on his journey from being a selfish opportunist, looking for an easy payout, through a transition that sees him realise that the life he is living is far from what is best. He grows as a person as the story comes to a crescendo, and the golden age of pirating is murdered. By the end, you’ve connected with Edward on a much deeper level than any other assassin.
In Assassin’s Creed Rogue, you play an assassin turncoat. Siding with the Templars, you’ll be hunting down assassins instead of helping them. It’s a nice twist that the series needed, and while it is a great game for most of the same reasons that Black Flag is, I’d honestly just play more Black Flag over this.
Both of these games were the last in the series to have truly epic tutorials, ones that took hours to get out of. However, once you’re done learning everything you already know, you’re free to roam the seas at your leisure. The world maps are massive, even by today’s standards, making Red Dead Redemption 2 look a lot smaller than it is. You can sail around the ocean, picking up treasure from the bottom of the sea, hunting whales, or landing on and exploring new islands. The freedom that both games give you, though it is less in Rogue, is astounding.
Each game has a distinct setting. Black Flag is tropical and vibrant, while Rogue is cold and harsh, but mixes in some of those tropical locations for good measure. Black Flag really is the star here though, and it’s the level of freedom to roam the world that allows you to waste away your life playing it. If you need something to play for a good month, this collection is more than enough to keep you busy with everything it has on offer.
Unfortunately, these Assassin’s Creed games have inherited the issues that made every game up until Origins feel outdated. The combat system is the same as the first game, and while it’s not too much of an issue, it does slow the pace of combat. Both of the game sin this collection included an improved version of this system, making for more dynamic combat that rewarded you for attacking first, but it’s still not amazing. The better version of combat is on ships, which is exactly as it is in Odyssey, and so much better when you realise that this is all running on a Nintendo Switch.
There are still remnants from the time in both games. Ubisoft had a habit of putting the same things in every game, collectibles, viewpoints for the map, and various other tropes of their games specifically. These were bad at the time, and they haven’t aged well. They don’t really get in the way of enjoying the game, but you’ll definitely notice them and wonder why they exist at all.
Of all the Assassin’s Creed games on the Nintendo Switch, these are the best. They’re not great for getting ready for Valhalla, you’d be better off playing Odyssey for that, but they are a brilliant way to spend hundreds of hours gaming on your Switch. At the time of writing this review, Animal Crossing: new Horizons is huge, and that’s great. Eventually though, you’ll want something with more action, a larger story, and a world that’s ripe for exploration. This collection gives you two games that meet these needs, and will have you actively engaged with a truly charismatic character that you’re rooting for from start to finish. If you’re a series fan and can’t wait until Valhalla launches, then these are great games to play on a new platform. I’ve played every game on a few different platforms, and these have convinced me that there’s still a fresh way to experience them when it comes to the Switch ports.