Assassin’s Creed III was easily one of the most anticipated games of 2012. Ubisoft also released another AC game, Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, that was exclusive for the PlayStation Vita.
The game is a spin-off of Assassin’s Creed III and focuses on another assassin by the name of Aveline. Unlike the previous titles that starred Desmond, this game has Abstergo looking into the past of Aveline who lived in the mid 1700s. She is the daughter of a slave and her father is a rich businessman, who raised her as a lady. But unknown to many, she is trained in the way of the Assassin by an escaped slave name Agate.
Aveline is the first female assassin players can control in the AC universe, and Ubisoft wanted to make her unique, which they did a good job of. Aveline has three different outfits (aka Personas) she can navigate the game through; a lady, slave or assassin persona. She’ll be able to change into these different outifts once she purchases a changing location.
Each outfit persona grants Aveline different actions. The Lady Persona gives her the ability to charm men and soldiers who will fight for her if she is attacked. She can use an umbrella as her blowpipe to kill her targets. What this persona doesn’t do well is fighting, climbing and running. The Slave Persona allows her to pickpocket, blend into crowds and hide with other slaves. She can climb, run, hide and fight, but is limited in her weapons. Finally the Assassin Persona allows her to do everything the slave can except for pickpocket, and it has a better selection of usable weapons as both the Assassin and Slave can use the same sub items, including my favorite in the game, the whip.
Aveline’s main story is pretty simple. She works in her father’s business and help keep it going by taking out people who are using illegal methods. While she is doing this, she also fights the Templars in order for slaves to gain equality and freedom. Similar to the Assassin’s Creed series, the game is played in sequences and you can complete side jobs along the way, like helping slaves and helping your father’s business.
The game has many ups and downs. Ubisoft makes use of all of the Vita’s capabilities with the back and front touchscreen. With it, you’ll be able to open letters, complete puzzles, switch weapons/sub weapons and access the map and locations. It also uses the six-axis for a single puzzle and the camera to read hidden messages in letters. Using the camera wasn’t intuitive, since you needed to focus on a bright light. I spent maybe 5-10 minutes getting upset as I used my table lamp, cell phone flash light and the sun with no luck. The ability to open letters by having to use the front and back touchscreens simultaneously on the Vita was a cool idea. The touch screen made things more manageable and simple rather than needing to jump into the start menu.
Visually the game is pretty amazing. The Vita is able to deliver beautiful visuals both with characters and backgrounds. You’ll be able to enjoy the scenery by running around in New Orleans, swimming through “The Bayou,” and climbing around Mexico.
The Ubisoft team also did a great job with the sounds of the game. The Vita does have a pretty powerful sound system built into the system, and on full volume you can hear everything clearly, from the character voices and interactions to the running water when you are canoeing in raging waters.
The very disappointing part of this game is the multiplayer. After the AC series brought the multiplayer kill or be killed style of gameplay, Liberation brings in a card-based game, which after about 10 minutes, I was done and jumped over to AC3’s multiplayer game (Now that is fun and amazing). There were quite a few bugs that included the game crashing on me multiple times and finding myself stuck behind plants and unable to move around, causing me to reload the last checkpoint. On the other hand I did find a few glitches that helped me pass some of the hardest synced challenges.
They story itself wasn’t a highlight and seemed to be on the back burner as Ubisoft’s main focus AC3. After all is said and done there were a lot of questions left about the game. Abstergo looked into Aveline’s for what purpose? How does this tie into the the overall story of ACIII, since you only run into Connor once? After finishing the game I felt like aside from getting away with some creative ways to kill, the game didn’t do much to expand the Assassin’s Creed story. Who knows maybe the last message you get in the game will have a better meaning with Assassin’s Creed III or a future title. Aveline was a fun original character. Her ability to change her outfits allowed you to have some fun mixing up your missions, like having to do some of the harder missions in the Lady Persona and the inclusion of the whip as a sub-weapon, allowing you to silently kill on a roof or tree. Even on the ground it is a powerful tool in the game.