Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation Review – Aveline’s Journey

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Assassins Creed 3: Liberation was developed by Ubisoft exclusively for the PS Vita. It was announced at E3 2012 and quickly became an area of interest for anyone with a Vita and fans of the series alike. This would be the first portable Assassins Creed game that would use dual thumb sticks, correcting the biggest problem AC had on the PSP.

In Liberation you play as Aveline de Grandpré, the first African main character in the series, and also the first female. Just to add another first in there, she’s also the only main character who isn’t related to Desmond–the real world main character of the series. Aveline is the daughter of a middle class white merchant and an African woman that little is known about. All of this opens up interesting options for gameplay like changing your clothes to change your persona allowing entry to areas easier.

Liberation is set between 1765 & 1777 in New Orleans just after the French and Indian war. The people of New Orleans are angry about the Spanish gaining control of the city and revolution is in the air. This is a great setting for Liberation since New Orleans is so geographically diverse. If your not in the city your making your way through the crocodile infested bayou or decaying Mayan ruins in Mexico.

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New Orleans is a city full of life. Women in huge puffy colorful dresses move about the city while trying to avoid the thieves who will rob them if they are caught alone. The city is full of houses and buildings to climb and run along using the new Anvil next Engine’s free running mechanics. Guards wander the streets trying to quell the riots (most of which you start) that are being incited by the Spanish taking control.

The Bayou on the other hand is mostly swamp water and small sets of islands lined with trees to run across. Crocodiles wander around looking for unsuspecting prey while guards patrol some areas. The areas they don’t patrol belong to the thieves and your mentor Agaté. While the Bayou is a fun area it has its downfalls. There are some free running problems similar to AC3’s free running problems. You sometimes jump the wrong way or not at all and it can get a little annoying especially if your being timed for a mission. Also crocodiles will occasionally glitch and be floating mid air when you kill them.

This is the first AC game to allow you to change your persona so that sneaking by guards is easier to do. Aveline can switch between her assassin clothes, lady clothes, and her slave clothes. As an assassin, Aveline can do just about anything but she is spotted much easier. As a slave she can move around with out much suspicion by looking like she’s working carrying crates and what not. As a lady though, Aveline is much slower. She’s not able to free run or even climb a ladder but being noticed isn’t much of a problem. She does however get a neat little umbrella that shoots darts and can make her way into some areas much easier by flirting with guards.

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Combat in Liberation is still just as satisfying as it is in AC3. Aveline gets a nice assortment of weapons including guns, swords, knives and blow darts. The blow darts come in different varieties such as ones that kill, KO or make your enemy go crazy. Actual fighting is still very nice and fluid. Using the touch screen you can select what enemies you want to attack and you get treated to a little show of Aveline destroying anyone in her way. Its very satisfying.

Graphically Liberation looks great. By far one of the best looking Vita games. The city is full of bright colors and people making their way around town. The bayou is more of a darker area with lots of swamp and trees. Most of the animations look good but some can be a little strange depending where they happen. Sometimes during an animation you might attack someone through a barrel or your hand might slip into a wall. I didn’t see this very often but enough to notice it.

The audio for Liberation is somewhat disappointing. The music is weak and unmemorable. At no point did the music ever start to make me feel like I needed to hurry or was I danger it was just kinda there in the background. The voice acting on the other hand wasn’t bad. Aveline sounds great and her accent is very likable. Emotion is easily conveyed through character’s voices. This is something AC on the PSP could never do.

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The online mode is a let down but since its on the Vita it’s understandable. I was hoping for something like AC3 has, player VS player matches. Instead you get a game that reminds me of something you would play on Facebook like Mob Wars. You get a few different characters that you make fight other peoples characters. It all depends on stats and who has the highest attack and defense. It’s really boring but if you want that platinum trophy you gotta do it.

Overall Assassins Creed 3: Liberation is a fun game. The story is great and has a few twists you probably wont see coming. Unfortunately free running problems and glitches tend to happen enough to be annoying. Especially the glitch that corrupts your saved game. I got hit by this about half way through the game.

If I wasn’t reviewing this I probably would have just stopped playing. This is terrible and should have been fixed right away however to my knowledge it hasn’t and probably wont happen. This shouldn’t stop you from playing however. The glitch doesn’t happen to everyone. As a precaution I would suggest copying your save to a PS3 or computer every once in a while just to be safe.

7.5/10