hot  /  reviews  /  videos  /  cblogs  /  qposts

Assassin's Creed III: Liberation
 BLOG ABOUT THIS

Review: Assassin's Creed III: Liberation

10:30 AM on 11.01.2012 // Chris Carter
  @DtoidChris

Finally, Assassin's Creed on the go

Liberation is a bit of conundrum. On one hand, it offers a pretty incredible portable Assassin's Creed experience for the first time, since the plethora of iOS spinoffs and Bloodlines didn't really do the series any true justice.

On the other, it suffers the occasional disjointed gameplay experience, and a handful of technical limitations that obviously are due to Ubisoft cramming a console quality game into a portable.

Let's see how it turns out.

Assassin's Creed III: Liberation (PlayStation Vita)
Developer: Ubisoft Sofia
Publisher: Ubisoft
Release: October 30, 2012
MSRP: $39.99

You'll probably notice that Liberation is a bit different than other series iterations fairly quickly. As soon as you jump in, you won't have any lengthy present day meta-narrative sequences to deal with -- it's straight to the action. After a short tutorial, Liberation hits the ground running and is a no-nonsense affair

The game's heroine, Aveline de Grandpré, a half-French, half-African-American, is essentially Batman. Like Bruce Wayne, she's a privileged young woman who has access to a number of luxuries many would not -- on top of having the support of her clan of assassins.

As such, she's able to do pretty much everything you're accustomed to in past games, alongside the ability to adopt three separate personas to accomplish her goals (hence, the Batman comparison) -- the slave, the assassin, and the lady.

The slave can blend in with crowds better than the assassin, and still run around as freely as Altair, Ezio, and Connor can. The assassin persona has access to all of the lovely tools you're used to at this point, but is more conspicuous. The lady is the more limited (and hence, less fun) of the trio, as this persona is limited to light combat capabilities and the ability to charm guards, but she cannot traverse rooftops or engage in free running.

With these three personas, you'll traverse through the entire game, unraveling Aveline's own separate, self-contained story that has nothing to do with Desmond or the Assassin's Creed meta. It mainly  concerns itself with the elimination of slavery, while dealing with Aveline's own personal demons and past. While it's not bulletproof, to be blunt, I love this setup.

It shows that Ubisoft is confident that they can present a narrative without all of the kooky Abstergo/Desmond/present day overarching story, and leaves limitless options open for future IPs in the franchise. If you ever thought it was lame that Altair, Ezio and Connor were able to run around with a giant white ominous cloak and never be noticed, you may be able to buy into Aveline.

The only big holdup in everything mentioned so far is the lady persona itself, strictly from a gameplay standpoint. To reiterate, she cannot climb buildings and is very limited in combat: in essence, she lacks a lot of the core values that make Assassin's Creed games fun. While you do have a choice in what persona you choose for many missions (through various costume storefronts), there are some where you don't have a choice.

If this disinterests you, you may want to steer clear of Liberation, as a decent chunk of required missions are carried out with this persona. While I was able to get on board with the different feel and pacing of the game, many people who are more bent on "stabby stabby" gameplay may feel a bit out of place from time to time, so you have been warned.

Because of the inclusion of this persona however, it helps add to Aveline's character, which makes her one of the more interesting and likeable protagonists in the franchise. Aveline is a confident woman, and it shows -- she's extremely likeable yet flawed, and her Bruce Wayne-esque backstory only adds to her allure.

The missions themselves are your typical run-of-the-mill AC investigatory, kill, and fetch quests. It isn't nearly as repetitive as the first game as it's structured more like the sequels, in that you aren't doing the same three types over and over. Missions have a natural flow to them, and even if you're doing something menial in the short term, it all contributes to Aveline's personal story and narrative.

Like the main game, there are optional objectives to accomplish for each mission, such as "don't take [x] amount of damage" and the like. They're not wholly necessary for anything, yet they're there as a bit of fun in case you're the competitive or completionist type.

Combat is the exact same as Assassin's Creed III's system, as the game is running on basically the same engine. Aveline utilizes a hatchet and hidden blade just like Connor, but she also has a new multi-kill ability (think Splinter Cell's "mark" system), a blowgun, and a whip to help mix things up a bit.

Ok, so it plays like a mainstead Assassin's Creed game should, but does it compromise anything by virtue of being portable? The cold, hard truth is, yes. You're going to notice the framerate dip, dive, and duck from time to time, and some draw distance issues rear their ugly head at about the same rate. Personally, I didn't find them to be large enough issues to directly effect gameplay on a consistent basis, but the problems are there, and I did notice them from time to time.

It's odd though, because in the same mental breath, I'm in awe at how well the core console experience has translated to the Vita. When you're not noticing technical limitations, you're considering how amazing the game looks, especially when you factor in the very short load times, and lack of loading when in the open world. It's a conflicting feeling for sure, but it helps that the game has a great control scheme.

There's no two ways about it: the controls are as smooth as butter. Outside of some framerate compensation, I didn't have any issues with them at all, and the game functions at roughly a 1:1 rate when compared to Assassin's Creed III.

You also don't need to worry about any major Vita touch gimmicks here -- pretty much everything outside of a few menial tasks can be performed through button inputs, and any touch controls are mostly for ancillary functions or mini-games that are over and done with quickly.

In terms of longevity, you'll get bang for your buck here, as is the usual case with the Assassin's Creed franchise. The story is ten chapters long and fairly lengthy (about ten to fifteen hours), and long after the credits roll, there are plenty of extra things to do.

If you're looking to buy it for the Connor/Assassin's Creed III tie-in though, don't bother. The crossover only really happens towards the end of the game, and its impact isn't wholly representative of the theme. I don't care either way, just know that it isn't a big deal -- nor are the tie-in items you get for linking the game to your PSN account.

A multiplayer mode is present, but it's not what you're accustomed to seeing in the franchise -- it's essentially a Risk-like board game. It's asynchronous and anonymous, which makes it a decidedly love/hate affair. I found it fairly inconsequential, but it would have been nice to at least get a true local multiplayer mode, even if it only had a few gametypes.

At the end of the day, Liberation is the first true portable entry into the Assassin's Creed franchise, and thus, is naturally going to be a little rough along the edges. So long as you can deal with some technical limitations, you should enjoy yourself while you wait for Abstergo to craft more simulations for you.



THE VERDICT

8

Assassin's Creed III: Liberation - Reviewed by Chris Carter
Charming - Not perfect, but it's easy to ignore the rough spots when faced with so many engaging design decisions and entertaining moments. A memorable game that's hard not to like and recommend to others.

See more reviews or the Destructoid score guide.

Chris Carter, Reviews Director
 Follow Blog + disclosure DtoidChris Tips
Chris (Magnalon) has been enjoying Destructoid avidly since 2008. He finally decided to take the next step, make an account, and start blogging in January of 2009. Now, he's staff! -----------... more   |   staff directory



 Setup email comments

Unsavory comments? Please report harassment, spam, and hate speech to our moderators, and flag the user (we will ban users dishing bad karma). Can't see comments? Apps like Avast or browser extensions can cause it. You can fix it by adding *.disqus.com to your whitelists.

 Add your impressions

 Quickposts
Status updates from C-bloggers

Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
My son just washed my Majora's Mask NEW 3DS because the screen was dirty. Bahahaha *cries uncontrollably*
Flegma avatarFlegma
Ever thought of skipping a console generation (and not upgrading PC for years, either) because of how big your pile of shame is? I'm doing that just now.
Tenzan  avatarTenzan
Apparently there are cancellations on the CE versions of MGSV:TTP from Europe and North America. People getting emails saying they are cancelled and such. On top of that is that there's been unboxings that don't have the extras for the Day One edition.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I've been mad at myself all morning for missing the apostrophe in "I'll" on my Quickpost last night, but it turns out that apostrophes just don't show up on the feed! Isn't that the bee's knees?
Perro avatarPerro
Playing through Skies of Arcadia Legends right now. Bringing this to Steam or current gen in HD seems like a no-brainer. Make it so, Sega!
Kris S avatarKris S
Fassbender looks awesome. A not shit game adaption? We will see
Nathan D  avatarNathan D
Just found out that Third Impact in The End of Evangelion took place on my birthday. I'm freaking out right now.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Man at Arms did the Geralt Witcher's Swords ! [youtube]https://youtu.be/HJZekaPAd_M[/youtube]
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
3:16 MIKA, DO YOU SMELL WHAT THE BOW IS COOKING?
Virtua Kazama avatarVirtua Kazama
Welcome back to Street Fighter, Rainbow Mika! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nbDSvRMc9rQ
pixelrock avatarpixelrock
Jumpy Wall, my first game, is coming to the iOS App Store this September [img]http://i.imgur.com/oHAWJuC.gif?1[/img] See the trailer [youtube]https://youtu.be/Q1GKzQTiDtY[/youtube] or [url="http://jumpywall.com"]jumpywall.com[/url] for more.
Cosmonstropolis avatarCosmonstropolis
Looking for a good book? Defending Jacob by William Landay is fantastic. Couldn't put it down.
Jiraya avatarJiraya
Have you played Vampire Hunter D on Ps1 ? [youtube]https://youtu.be/XdMxdMIXFCI[/youtube] A cool game , very hard last boss.
StriderHoang avatarStriderHoang
Please be gentle Shiek. I want a character who's actually good at neutral for once.
Shinta avatarShinta
[youtube]https://youtu.be/SivYdHmSBc0[/youtube] Taiwanese rapper Aristophanes. I am loving this lol. Supposedly will be on Grimes' next album.
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
[url="http://www.nintendolife.com/news/2015/08/rumour_fresh_sources_suggest_shovel_knight_is_indeed_digging_his_way_to_super_smash_bros"]Exciting rumors of Shovel Knight arriving in Smash have surfaced![/url] Get those salt shakers ready!
Niero Desu avatarNiero Desu
Mr. Cordoba knows a lot about CSS, so I asked him to give us a touch-up job. Here's an early sneak peek at the next big Dtoid update: Drop us a note in the comments! [url]http://www.raulcordoba.com/dtoid/[/url]
OverlordZetta avatarOverlordZetta
I'll never get how making an inanimate object or a plant look like an animal or just alive somehow is considered more "out of ideas" than just an animal being an animal. That seems more like the opposite of being "out of ideas" to me.
Pixie The Fairy avatarPixie The Fairy
I don't hate spiders because they look weird and scary, but because they put their webs in places I commonly walk through. It gets all over my face and hair and getting it out makes me look crazy to everyone else.
Shinta avatarShinta
[youtube]https://youtu.be/Wa9kVBTITZk[/youtube] When fun invades Skyrim.
more quickposts


Contest!


destructoid's previous coverage:
Assassin's Creed III: Liberation


  Oct 08

Ubisoft devs discuss Assassin's Creed Liberation

Reminds that Vita entry will be just as large as home console releases


View all:powered by:  MM.Elephant

Ads on destructoid may be purchased from:



Please contact Crave Online, thanks!



Seriously

Invert site colors

  Dark Theme
  Light Theme


Destructoid means family.
Living the dream, since 2006

Pssst. konami code + enter

modernmethod logo



Back to Top


We follow moms on   Facebook  and   Twitter
  Light Theme      Dark Theme
Pssst. Konami Code + Enter!
You may remix stuff our site under creative commons w/@
- Destructoid means family. Living the dream, since 2006 -