Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation Review
I thought New Orleans was a party town.
The fact that the Assassin’s Creed series would finally be heading to America, with Assassin’s Creed 3, was something that definitely had me excited. When I saw that the series would be getting a Playstation Vita side-story featuring the series first lady Assassin as a main character, I was even more excited. Ubisoft are aiming to bring a full quality Assassin’s Creed game to Sony’s portable machine, and Liberation looks and plays like an Assassin’s Creed game; but does it live up to the rest of the series? Let’s have a look.
Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation takes place at the same time as Connor’s adventure in New England, but you’ll be controlling Aveline, a lady of African and French descent, who lives in colonial New Orleans. Where the other Assassin’s we’ve played as, in the series up until now, have all been leading a double life, Aveline is in a unique position to lead a triple life.
Due to her heritage, and station in life, Aveline can pose as a lady, and daughter of a wealth French merchant, but can also pass herself off as a slave since Liberation takes place before the abolition of slavery in America. Of course, she can also don her Assassin’s garb which makes her look like some sort of a badass pirate. The three personas play a big part in how you play the game, and how you go about completing each mission.
Each persona has its pros and cons; the Lady can’t climb or free-run but can still use the hidden blade and can also bribe guards, the Slave has obvious social and legal drawbacks and will be attacked quickly upon breaking the law or doing anything suspicious. The good thing about these disguises is that if the heat gets too high on one, you can change clothes and try to lower the notoriety of the other persona by assassinating witnesses or tearing down wanted posters.
The problem I have with this system is that the game always points you toward which persona you should be using. You aren’t really given the chance to figure out how you want to complete a particular mission, and there aren’t often multiple approaches to each mission. It’s simply “put on this outfit and go here”, to complete each mission.
When you do have control, Liberation looks, feels, and controls like a console Assassin’s Creed game. The controls get a little tight, when translated to the PS Vita’s hardware but you’ll still be able to run the rooftops, free-run through the trees, and fight just like you would in Assassin’s Creed 3. Ubisoft does integrate some touch controls, but they aren’t shoved down your throat for the most part, and serve to simply make things easier. Unfortunately the story doesn’t quite live up to that of Assassin’s Creed 3, or any other game in the series, and often jumps around without telling you what is going on.
Aveline had such potential, as a character, given her back story, but I don’t feel like we ever got to know her like we did Connor, Ezio or Altair. I know that PS Vita games aren’t designed to have long cut-scenes or other lengthy story telling devices, but I found I really wasn’t as interested in Aveline or her story as I wanted to be before I picked up the game.
Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation does have a multiplayer mode, but it isn’t what you’re used to if you’re a fan of Assassin’s Creed multiplayer. Now, I don’t expect it to be the same, due to the nature of the PS Vita and the fact that you’re often only playing it for a few minutes at a time, but I still wasn’t very impressed. What you’ll get is an asynchronous strategy game that is missing any real depth.
You’ll start by picking a city on the globe to set as your base, which was pretty cool since I was able to pick my hometown. Your stable of Assassins will reside here, and when you log out, your Assassins will remain on guard to defend your city against other Assassins. The problem is that the battles aren’t very interesting, and you don’t actually fight them out, you just click the attack button and await the outcome. If you win, you’ll earn points that swing the city toward being controlled by your chosen faction. Unfortunately that’s about all there is to it. After a few minutes of this you’ll probably be back to the main campaign, never to return.
Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation shows you that console games can translate directly to Sony’s handheld. Despite falling short in a few areas, Liberation will give you a true Assassin’s Creed experience on your PS Vita. If you were looking for the same quality of story that the other games in the series deliver, you may be disappointed. On the other hand, if you were looking to run the rooftops and drop down on your enemies with a hidden blade of justice, while you’re on the bus or in the doctor’s waiting room, Liberation will get the job done.
Available on: Playstation Vita