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Assassin's Creed III: Liberation Review

Assassin's Creed III: Liberation Review

Ever since Ubisoft released the first Assassin's Creed game, its pedigree on the home consoles has been immense. However, Ubisoft has never been able to replicate on the handheld systems. Dubbed as spin-off titles, they have almost always tried to fit a console experience on a handheld device and that's ended up being the downfall. Now that the PlayStation Vita is out and touts being a console experience on the go, does this finally give Assassin's Creed the platform to be a mobile experience?

The story in Liberation is a mixture of the familiar, but it still feels lacking. This leads to its biggest issue. You play as Aveline de Grandpre, a French, female assassin in New Orleans towards the end of the French and Indian War. Along with being the first playable female assassin, Aveline offers a unique perspective as she uses different personas to get the job done.

While the setting, character, and animus are all there, Liberation leaves you feeling like there could’ve been so much more done with the story. You are presented a character unlike any other in the Assassin’s Creed series and spend the game getting dragged through a story missing more than just a bit of explanation. Liberation clearly just asks you to infer way to much of the story, to get the most out of it in the end.

The fact that you are replaying a past assassin’s life through the animus is a totally minute point. Besides the fact that you are using a program made by Abstergos, there is nothing tying this installment into the mainline Assassin’s Creed titles. Besides a small cameo made by Connor, the player is given no real indication about why Aveline is important in the long scheme of things, besides an extremely vague ending of course.

Thankfully the gameplay proves to be the saving grace for this portable title and really proves that a real Assassin’s Creed title is doable, at least on the PS Vita. With the game running on a scaled down version of the AnvilNext engine (Assassin’s Creed III Engine), the gameplay really fits well with all the platforming and assassinating. It's only minor complaints that keep the game from translating all of Assassin's Creed 3's new features over perfectly.

Exploring in Liberation is not just limited to New Orleans as the game takes players to the Bayou, along with other places they might not have expected. Platforming is as easy as ever and with the addition of tree climbing being brought over into Liberation and makes finding collectables enjoyable. Oddly though the games new persona feature takes the platforming away from you and slowing the game down to a crawl.

There are three different personas for Aveline to become in order to play through Liberation. The assassin persona has you playing like any other assassin from past games, but has more notoriety. The slave persona lets you blend in with slaves around New Orleans and get closer to your targets. Lastly there is the lady persona and this offers a slower experience, but limits you with no climbing and rooftop running. The lady persona is the only disappointing one in the batch for the sole reason that not being able to get away by rooftop makes playing as her feel like a chore.

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