Typically when a popular console franchise makes its way on to a handheld, there is a lot of skepticism amongst the fans as to whether the handheld version could deliver a console experience. Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation has suffered from such skepticism and after playing it, it feels very much like Assassin’s Creed but it’s only “okay”.
Liberation puts players in the shows of a female assassin named Aveline, who is half African-American, half French. The game takes place around the same time of Assassin’s Creed III but takes
In the first mission, Aveline is in a swampy area with a woman whose name I did not catch. The demo suffered from ridiculously low volume, but whether or not it was the Vita’s fault or that of the PlayStation PULSE Headset is beyond me. I was pegged with eliminating a group of bandits and their leader from the swamp. I jumped in a canoe and paddled my way towards their area. Players were given the option of using the back touch panel to speed up the boat, swiftly swiping down on the right side. The control felt a little forced at most times and turning the canoe was a pain. Most times, I needed to make a slight right and the boat would end up turning a full 90 degrees. After getting off the boat, I saw the group of bandits and was given the option of being stealthy or being upfront. I chose the latter as I shot one of my adversaries with a gun and engaged in battle with the others with my tomahawk.
The combat was very fluent and felt very much like an Assassin’s Creed game should. I did have some issues countering but it didn’t result in me dying. After I cleared out the group, I had to climb to the tree lookout in which the leader of the gang hid. Instead of being forward and climbing the tree, I went up the pole of a nearby wrecked ship and jumped from there onto a tree branch near the leader. I tapped the weapons menu on the lower right side of the screen and opted to use my lasso for my long-range weapon. I tossed the end of my lasso around the leader, stepped back of the branch and hung him from it.
The lasso is akin to the hookblade we saw Ezio use in Revelations. You can use the rope to pull enemies towards you or straight up lynch them. The lasso can also be used to travel across huge gaps. Either way, the lasso was one of my favorite long-range weapons in place of the gun, bombs and poison darts.
The second mission in the demo was quite different from the first. I was in a small town with a military base stationed right in the middle. My objective was to get in undetected and assassinate the army’s recruiter. Getting detected by guards clearly means you would fail and have to restart the mission so it required me to do some thinking. I originally tried running on top of buildings, jumping over the gate and staying on a platform on the side of the gate to find my target but was spotted by a guard on the roof. I then decided to take a different route with climbing to the top of the base’s tower and using Eagle Sense to scope out my target from there. After finding out his location, I carefully used the rooftops to get to him and used a smoke bomb to distort the guards’ line of sight as I assassinated the recruiter with my tomahawk.
Unfortunately, when I was given my next objective to travel to a specific area, my path was blocked by the infamous white grids that indicate that your Animus isn’t synchronized. After unsuccessfully finding a way to get through, I decided that I had seen enough of the game and that it surely wasn’t going to be a disappointment.
The graphics for Liberation aren’t so stunning. Anti-aliasing is almost non-existent in the title and a few of the buildings looked the same. There were also occasional hiccups when I tried countering my opponents’ attacks.
Liberation was fun for a moment, but I’m not entirely convinced that it will be a killer app for the PlayStation Vita like it’s expected to be. It will be released on the PlayStation Vita on October 30th alongside Assassin’s Creed III. Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation will come bundled with a limited edition Wi-Fi only white PlayStation Vita and will only cost you $249.99. That’s pretty much giving you a limited edition Vita and a game for the price of a regular Vita!