Platform: PlayStation Vita
Release Date: 31/10/12
Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation Review
Assassin’s Creed is a series of games that I instantly fell in love with; the free running across city roof tops, the fast but fun combat and the rather intriguing storyline. Every year since the launch of the second installation, which introduced Ezio, I’ve acted like a ten year old at Christmas; being unable to wait to unwrap the game and get stuck in! This year however Ubisoft want to really spoil me, as I get not just one title in this killer IP, but two. Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation has hit the Vita with an original storyline and the introduction of a brand new Assassin. Can Sony’s handheld really deliver a slice of Assassin pie, or is this going to end up as a Templar trick to turn us all?
Liberation follows the story of Aveline - daughter to a wealthy businessman, and a master Assassin who joined the brotherhood after her mother mysteriously vanishes. Soon the Templars show their faces, with another plan to dominate the world. Aveline must step up to save her land and people; the ingredients are all here with a few sprinklings of change to make the most of the Vita’s platform.
Aveline as a character proves to be quite an interesting character; feisty, fun and intelligent, she soon proves to be a worthy addition to the series. In fact, at times I found her to be more interesting than Ezio as you see her become conflicted between her two different worlds. Oh, and boy can she kick ass!
The main story sees you in action in New Orleans, the Bayou and Mexico. The world is a beautiful place to explore, with the Vita managing to push out some stunning visuals. The game acts and feels just like its big brother’s games – everything is here, from the aerial kills to the crazy free running. It’s a delight running through the trees of the Bayou, climbing to higher vantage points and using your blow darts from above.
The controls feel natural and respond well for the majority of the time, although occasionally I found the combat a little sluggish. The combat works well though and the kill chain combo is a great addition. Using the touch screen you can target the enemies by tapping them – a little icon appears above their heads with a symbol showing you which weapon will be used to take them down. Once you have up to four targets selected, press the X button and watch the fun begin! Pick-pocketing on the other hand can become an absolute nightmare. Touch is now used to pick-pocket your targets; walk up to them and touch the rear touch pad. Sounds brilliant, ey? Unfortunately, in practice it becomes a monster chore, with you waiting to see if it recognizes your movements properly and actually pick-pocket them before they wander off.
One of the bigger changes though, and one that could have worked incredibly well, is the addition of personas. Aveline has three personas she can use throughout the game, all with different abilities at their disposal. Switching between these becomes vital to competing the missions with a perfect synch. First up – the Assassin persona: with this Aveline can climb pretty much anywhere and her combat moves are the most deadly in this guise. However, when in use she always has a level of notoriety. Next up is the slave persona – whilst donning this guise Aveline can blend with other groups of slaves. She can also climb to a degree, but her combat skills are weaker than the Assassin persona.
Guards are less suspicious of her in this mode, and you can bring her notoriety down by removing wanted posters across the game world, although these can be utilised in any persona.The third is the Lady – donning glorious gowns Aveline walks through the streets as a lady of the time. Unable to climb, this persona is great for checking out areas without the guards becoming suspicious. Her attacks are at their weakest, but you can reduce this persona’s notoriety by killing eye witnesses. Aveline can also charm men, and armed with a rather cool gun parasol. Alas at times this feels like just an addition, with no real rewards to use these alter egos unless the mission requires it.
Aside from the main missions, there’s the usual side quests, people marked for assassination and the mini game. Aveline is put in charge of her family’s shipping business and when you are at her base in New Orleans you can access the shipping maps. Send boats to get new cargo, sell the cargo for a profit and help build a shipping empire! There’s also the usual eagle views, sync spots etc. Everything from its big brother titles are here and present, including collectibles in the form of pages from her mother’s diary and Mayan statuettes.
There’s even a multiplayer mode, which is a bit like a Facebook app – choose a side and you play a risk type game. It’s reasonable, but nothing about it really makes you want to go back for more.
Liberation proves to be an enjoyable game with some sound ideas. Personally I found the persona idea added a new twist to the mechanics, although some people might not bother with it unless forced to. It’s a good solid game in the series, one that fans will love and Vita owners should definitely check out. I hope this isn’t the end of Aveline as well, as I’d love to see her return.
- It’s Assassin’s Creed on the go!
- Great graphics.
- Interesting characters.
- Personas add a new angle to the mix.
- Controls can feel a little sluggish at times.
- Multiplayer doesn’t really add anything.
- Personas not used to as great advantage as they could be.
This is a fun title to play but has a few flaws. The idea of the personas is a really cool one, but for me they could have been utilized a little more.