- "Shay was an Assassin. He was a friend, a brother. Now the man we once called a brother is coming to hunt us all."
- ―Liam O'Brien, Assassin's Creed: Rogue Story Trailer.
Assassin's Creed: Rogue is an open-world action adventure game, released for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 on 11 November 2014 in the United States, 13 November globally, and 10 March 2015 for the PC. Rogue follows the story of the Assassin-turned-Templar Shay Cormac between 1752 and 1760, during the Seven Years' War, and is the closing chapter in the Kenway saga. The game was written by Richard Farrese.
The modern day plot begins one year after the events of Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, with a new unnamed player character who works for Abstergo Entertainment. While investigating the memories of Shay Patrick Cormac, an Irish Assassin working in the North Atlantic during the French and Indian War, they inadvertently trip a hidden memory file that corrupts the Abstergo servers. With the building being put into lockdown, the player is recruited by Melanie Lemay to continue exploring Cormac's memories in an effort to clear the system.
Cormac is a new recruit to the Brotherhood of Assassins, working under Achilles Davenport. Even though he is often praised for his potential, the young man's insubordination has him relegated to a secondary role in the Brotherhood. Believing that taking a more active role in the Brotherhood's affairs will shape him into a better assassin, Achilles orders Cormac with his newly acquired ship, the Morrigan, to track down a Templar cell that has been deciphering a Precursor artefact revealing the locations of several Pieces of Eden. The said artefact, in the form of a wooden box, had been stolen from the Caribbean Assassins following a massive earthquake in Haiti some years before. With the help of Benjamin Franklin, a Piece of Eden is located in Lisbon, and Cormac is tasked with retrieving it.
However, during the course of his task, Shay has gradually begun to question the Assassins' motives and disagrees with their refusal to engage in dialogue with the Templars. His doubts come to a head in Lisbon, where his attempt to retrieve the Piece of Eden triggers an earthquake which destroys the city. Knowing that a similar event involving the same artefact had occurred in Haiti and almost mad with guilt, Shay assumes that Achilles and the Assassins knew the consequences of such an action from the beginning. Once back to the Homestead, he confronts his superiors about the events he had witnessed; however, his aggressive behaviour and his uncontrollable anger lead to incomprehension between him and the other Assassins. Taking the Assassin's reluctancy as a refusal to believe him, Cormac steals a manuscript necessary to interpret the artefact and attempts to flee. Ultimately, the chase ends with a confrontation on the edge of a cliff at the homestead, where he decides to commit suicide rather than having the Assassins take back the Manuscript. Just as he jumps, Louis-Joseph Gaultier, Chevalier de la Vérendrye shoots him in the back, although Shay goes on to believe that it was his best friend Liam's doing.
Cormac is rescued by a passing ship and taken to New York City, where, once recovered, devotes his time to driving out the city's criminal gangs. His actions attract the attention of George Monro, the city's governor, who offers Cormac the chance to help rebuild the city. Shay accepts and then goes on assisting the British Army in their early campaigns against the French. Monro reveals himself to be a Templar, and despite being aware of Cormac's previous loyalties, he offers him a place within their Order. Cormac accepts in the aftermath of the Siege of Fort William Henry; in that instance he sought to defend Monroe and his remaining soldiers who will be targeted by an attack lead by Kesegowaase, one of Cormac's former tutors, who is later killed by his hand. Monroe perishes, too, by Liam's hand. Shortly afterwards, Shay is formally inducted to the Templar Order by the Grandmaster Haytham Kenway.
Cormac tells Kenway that he believes that the Pieces of Eden sought by the Assassins are not weapons, but structures to hold the world together; he then pledges to stop his former allies before they cause another catastrophe. Among of Shay's victims is Adéwalé, former Quartermaster of Edward Kenway's Jackdaw, even though he expresses regret in doing so. After killing Hope Jensen, head of New York's Assassin network and allegedly Shay's love interest, the latter finds out that the Assassins are headed to the Artic, where another Precursor temple has been located.
Ultimately, Shay and Haytham confront Achilles and Liam over their actions even though the Assassins admit their mistake about the Artefact. In an attempt to present bloodshed, Achilles pushed Liam towards the Piece of Eden, causing its destructions and another earthquake. While Haytham pursues Achilles, Cormac and Liam fight throughout the temple, until a high fall kills the latter. Before he takes his last breath, Liam questions Shay about his motives; after he dies, his former friend lowers his hood over his eyes to show his respect.
In the end, Cormac arrives in time to persuade Haytham to spare Achilles, as his testimony will stop the Assassins from trying to locate other Precursor Sites. Haytham nonetheless cripples Achilles as a precaution by shooting him in the knee.
With the Colonial America branch of the Assassin Brotherhood all but destroyed, Cormac is tasked with locating the artefact that was used to find the Pieces of Eden, as Achilles had passed it to other Assassins prior to his Arctic voyage. Cormac's twenty year search eventually leads him to Versailles, where he discovers it under the care of a French assassin named Charles Dorian. Cormac kills Dorian and takes possession of the artifact, taunting the dying man with the promise that while the American Revolution ended Templar influence in the Americas, the advent of a new revolution may yet hold promise.
In the present day, the player reconciles Cormac's memories. Under the direction of Juhani Otso Berg, a senior Templar leader, they upload them to the Assassin network, revealing how close Achilles Davenport came to destroying the world. The result is almost instantaneous, with the Assassins thrown into disarray and, as revealed in Assassin's Creed: Unity, retaliating by hacking into Abstergo's systems and destroying all of the company's Precursor samples as well as causing several of their servers to melt down. As reward for their actions, the player is presented with a choice: join the Templar Order, or die. The game fades to black before a choice is made.
The primary locations in the game are New York, the Hudson River Valley and the North Atlantic Ocean, more specifically the area around Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, which is known as the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. The North Atlantic is an icy water-based region, where icebergs can be used as cover during naval combat, as well as broken to reveal frozen cargo and Animus data fragments. With the help of an ice-breaker ram, navigation is supplemented and additional secret areas can be reached.
Some mechanics from previous games' multiplayer have been incorporated, such as a compass indicating the target's position being a part of Eagle Vision, and whispers increasing in volume to indicate the presence of nearby stalkers.
Environmental hazards have been incorporated in the form of poison gas barrels, which drives victims berserk within their expanding radius; Shay can avoid being affected by pulling a mask over his face. Accompanying this, swimming in the freezing waters of the North Atlantic damages Shay's health and underwater sections from the previous game, Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, were removed entirely.
During naval battles, the Morrigan can be rammed by enemy ships, forcing Shay and his crew to protect their vessel from Assassin-affiliated attackers. Sea shanties make a return in Rogue, comprised of a mix of old ones from Black Flag and newly composed ones.
Characters seen previously in the Kenway saga make appearances, such as Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Haytham Kenway, William Johnson, and Achilles Davenport from Assassin's Creed III, as well as Adéwalé from Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag. François Mackandal, Edward Kenway, and Ratonhnhaké:ton are mentioned.
The ability to kill civilians and domestic animals with melee weapons returns, with desynchronization penalty applying to Shay during his time as an Assassin. Once he leaves the Assassins, bounty hunters will be sent after Shay for killing civilians, similar to pirate hunters in Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag.