November 7, 2012

Equal rights

Lasting First Impressions of Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation

Developed by Ubisoft

ACL Boxart» The Assassin’s Creed series has seen its fair share of titles released, not only on the major consoles, but on all forms of mobile entertainment mediums as well.  None of these mobile titles ever really stood up to the quality of their console counterparts.  Until now.  Enter Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, exclusive to the PlayStation Vita mobile gaming platform.

Unlike the main Assassin’s Creed storyline, which follows Desmond Miles’ experience in the Animus, Liberation is set up to be a story of your own Animus experience courtesy of Abstergo Industries and, for the first time in Assassin’s Creed history, the main protagonist is a woman. Our new Assassin is Aveline, a wealthy woman of African and French lineage living in late 18th century Louisiana.

Liberation is a parallel story to Connor’s Assassin’s Creed III storyline.  With the American Revolution heating up in the north (as told in AC3), Spanish forces are attempting to take control of the south and our hero, Aveline, will do anything to ensure freedom for her land and people.

ACL Screen 1

Those familiar with the Assassin’s Creed series will find that Liberation feels and plays exactly as they would expect it to.  As I began playing the game, I found I didn’t even need to read the tutorial text to understand what each button was for.  I was immediately struck by how much this game truly looks and feels like a console version of Assassin’s Creed.  The city of New Orleans is absolutely breathtaking on the PS Vita and much more than what I have come to expect on this system.  Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation must be pushing the system beyond what other developers have yet to do as this is simply the best looking and best playing game on the handheld console yet.

The best new feature available in Liberation is the concept of personas. Aveline can use ‘dressing rooms’ location throughout the city to change her clothes and take on one of three different personas which adds to the ‘secret’ order of the Assassins something that previous games have done. Each of the personas have different abilities and truly make me feel like I’m playing a true, stealthy, undercover assassin.

  1. ACL LadyThe Lady: This persona has Aveline dressed like the proper wealthy lady that she has grown up as. In this persona, she is unable to climb or carry any weapons save her hidden blade. The advantage to the lady persona is the ability to charm or even bribe guards to let her pass or protect her.
  2. The Slave: Donning the slave outfit, Aveline is able to blend in throughout the city by appearing to work amongst the other slaves simply by picking up a crate. This allows her the anonymity she needs to slip into buildings unaware or incite unrest amongst the other slaves. In this persona, Aveline is able to climb and move around as normal but carries only the hidden blade weapon.
  3. The Assassin: This is the full-on assassin mode donning the recognized Brotherhood gear that we ACL Slaveall know and love. In this persona, all regular abilities and weapons are available to Aveline.

Each of the above personas even carry their own notoriety levels, which can be lessened in different manners and by any of the personas. For example, removing the standard wanted posters will lessen the notoriety of the Assassin and killing an eye-witness will lessen the notoriety of the Lady.  It is a great new addition to the gameplay of Assassin’s Creed and gives Aveline abilities that her Assassin ancestors never had.

ACL Screen 4

Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, like its console counterpart, is simply beautiful. The city is meticulously designed and feels truly alive and full of life. The action is smooth and familiar and all the custom Assassin’s Creed abilities are intact as well as typical side missions and collectables.

For the first time, as I’m playing the game, I actually forget that I’m not playing on a console.  Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation is, undeniably, the best console experience available on a handheld system and is an amazing addition to the series.

Ubisoft, I gave you an hour and I am IMPRESSED.

About the Author

Sean is an avid gamer and lover of all thing tech. He is a dedicated husband and the father to three beautiful daughters. In addition to taking his love of gaming to a new level with this site, Sean is also host of our podcasts: The OMG! Hour, Lost Treasures of Gaming, and Primetime as well as the bi-weekly podcast mashup show, Gamers Unscripted. Follow Sean on Twitter as @Xiantayne and this blog as @OMGnexus.



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