Liberation gives the Vita its first Assassin’s Creed outing and aims to provide a console-quality experience on the go, for the most part, it does exactly what you would expect.
Instead of trying to cram the console version of Assassin’s Creed onto the portable developer Ubisoft has opted to introduce a new character to the franchise. This story revolves around Aveline a female African-French Assassin and is set in New Orleans at the turn of the American Revolution. The game is sectioned into bite-sized chapters which is ideal for jumping in and out of play on the go. Liberation plays much the same as the console version, an open-world setting, collecting missions along the way to progress the story with optional side quests. I found it very similar to Revelations in its setup and design.
Graphically Liberation is decent in places and stunning at times, but only times. There’s nothing better than climbing up to the highest point on a map and taking a good old look around before performing the impossible ‘leap of faith’ into a cart full of straw. Annoyingly it was a disappointing mess of washed-out browns in some of the swamp based levels. By the time I had purchased the game, there was already an update which addressed most of the frame rate and sound issues that many gamers had reported. I did find Aveline falling off the occasional ledge or missing a jump for no apparent reason but it happened so few and far between it never become a real issue. The music is great, the voice acting is simply terrible. The comical accents reminded me of René from the TV show ‘Allo ‘Allo!. I’m glad that I had the option to turn the subtitles on so I could turn the sound down.
Liberation makes use of the touchscreen, rear touchpad, cameras and gyroscope. These additional input methods feel very gimmicky to me and did not really add anything to the game apart from the chain kill finishing move which was fun… the first time. Linking the game to the PS3 version gives you an exclusive mission to play in Liberation, among other extras. This is a nice touch from the developer but also means they expect you to purchase both.
Overall it is a very enjoyable game and I am just about to go back thru it to get all the extras missed on my first play. I’d like to see this as the foundation for future releases which hopefully will improve on the flaws found here. Let’s be honest no one really liked the first Assassin’s Creed. So sadly I can’t say Liberation is the system seller we all hoped it would be, In a way I blame Uncharted Golden Abyss for this. Golden Abyss proved from day one that the console experience can be had on a smaller screen without having to be on a smaller scale.