Hands on at gamescom: Assassin’s Creed III Liberation for PS Vita

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Hands on at gamescom: Assassin’s Creed III Liberation for PS Vita

Here at gamescom 2012, Ubisoft finally granted hands-on access to its newest assassin, Aveline, star of Assassin’s Creed III Liberation. In this video, story writer Richard Farrese walks us through some of the new features found in PS Vita’s first entry in the series.

Hands on at gamescom: Assassin’s Creed III Liberation for PS Vita

Liberation takes full advantage of the new Assassin’s Creed III game engine and its simplified control scheme. Gone are the days of leaning on the shoulder button and playing defense during encounters. Press Square for melee attacks, hold and release Triangle to aim and fire ranged weapons, Circle counters, X is used for block-breakers and other moves. It’s a bit of an adjustment to begin thinking offense first in an Assassin’s Creed game, but ultimately it’s likely to be seen as an improvement.

Ubisoft is taking advantage of PS Vita’s touchscreen in logical ways: tapping the screen brings up a split weapon wheel where you can select melee weapons (machete, hidden blades) on the left and ranged weapons (blowgun, whip) on the right. Of note: with the whip equipped, Aveline improves her parkour abilities, latching onto structures much as Ezio used the hook blade in Assassin’s Creed Revelations. You may have seen a shot in the gamescom trailer showing Aveline paddling a canoe using the rear touch panel, though that’s entirely optional.

If you’ve watched any videos for Liberation, you’ve likely seen the “Chain Kill” system in action. Reminiscent of Fallout 3’s VATS mechanic, a tap of the Right button on the D-pad pauses the game and allows you to select enemies to target for cinematic insta-kills. While the number of enemies you can target will grow as the campaign progresses, don’t think you’re going to Chain Kill your way through the game. At best, it’s likely to tilt overwhelming odds slightly more in your favor, much as Ezio could call in his assassin buddies from time to time in Assassin’s Creed Brotherhood and Revelations.

After trying out these features in a bayou setting, a Ubisoft staffer took the reins to show off Liberation’s “Persona” feature. No, you’re not evoking parts of your psyche to attack evil creatures. Rather, this system refers to Aveline’s ability to get the job done by blending in with the denizens of old New Orleans. Or not.

We were shown three ways to dispatch a well-guarded, high value target. The first — Assassin mode — follows the traditional Assassin’s Creed formula: Sneak or fight your way to the target, execute a flashy takedown, and get the hell out of there with guards in pursuit.

Next, we reset the mission and changed into the “Lady Persona.” Decked out in a fancy dress and feathered hat, high society Aveline can’t run, climb, or battle assassin-style. Rather, the Lady engages in “social stealth,” relying on bribery, feminine charms, and the hidden blade to accomplish the task completely undetected.

Splitting the difference is the “Servant Persona.” Posing as a member of the working class, Aveline can infiltrate pretty much anywhere, get the job done, then take to the rooftops to escape. Just don’t get into a protracted battle in this persona – in the demo we watched, the lightly-armored Servant fell in just two blows.

We were told that while you’ll occasionally be forced to tackle a mission in a particular persona, for much of the game Aveline will assume the guise of your choosing.

I was able to squeeze a few story tidbits out of our demonstrator. Series mainstay Desmond is not the one in control of Aveline via the Animus. Rather, the tale is being played out as a part of a Templar-controlled Abstergo project. Assassin’s Creed III Liberation is, however, related to the PS3’s Assassin’s Creed III, which takes place during the same American Revolution time period. Aveline will encounter ACIII protagonist Connor during the course of Liberation, perhaps swapping weapons with him (I saw his trademark tomahawk in the menus). Fittingly, both titles arrive on the same day, this October 30th.

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7 Author Replies

  • Thanks for the preview, Jeff. This is the kind of game the Vita needs, a console-style game that doesn’t sacrifice anything to be on a handheld. However, I have one concern… in all the videos/previews I’ve seen I’ve never once heard anything about voice acting. Will the game have voice acting or will it all be scripted??

  • This game has officially blown me away. I can’t wait to play it. I think I might actually be more excited for this than AC3 on console!


    How often are you able to use the chain kill feature? Is it something that regenerates over time or can you just spam it whenever you want? I’m hoping it’s the former, personally, but I’m just curious!


    • It regenerates over time. I didn’t get to play long enough to get a feel for how often, but you won’t be able to spam it.

  • Great preview (if anything, wish there was a full playthrough of the demo available to watch)!

    Any way that Richard/Ubisoft staff could describe the experience of using the same AC3 engine for the Vita? As in, “What were the limitations, if any?” and, “How was the development time affected by the use the same engine, and why?”

  • 1# In one video I saw Avelin talk.

  • @manobon. Here’s a good video of the demo with English subtitles…


  • I pre ordered and I was wondering will I and other people that pre oredered the game get something special for pre ordering?
    Can’t wait for the game!

  • Please tell me that when you pre-order this game on Gamestop you will get the “Mysteries of Bayou”pack…

  • hey Jeff this is totally off topic, i have just finished Papo & Yo and i wanted to ask you is it a true story? i think i read on one of the blog post that it was based on childhood memories, its one of the best psn games i have ever played. i just wish i could play it on my vita.

    back on topic yes im getting Assassins Creed Liberation no doubt about it.

  • Take notes Nihilistic, THIS is how you spin-off a big console franchise.

    Anyway, game looks awesome. Day 1 buy alongside ACIII. Will we get the pre-order bonuses on PSN if we buy the game in it’s first week, like Gravity Rush?

  • Already pre-ordered. I would say I can’t wait, but I’m presently enjoying Sound Shapes, Gravity Rush, WipeOut 2048, MotorStorm RC, Mortal Kombat, FIFA, Escape Plan, and in less than two weeks a wealth of PS1 titles.

    Would love to hear more about Ragnarok Odyssey. Seems pretty interesting but official information (in English) has been pretty rare, apart from the too-brief update by XSEED a week ago.

  • Will you give us the full demo gameplay because I think that it’s not fair for us people in here rather than there.There is some demo footage but the one is only halfway in the demo and the other one is a full demo footage but too blurry to see and I think I have to see an eye doctor after seeing that video…

  • @ Notarealaccountx Wow ur really overreacting

    @Jeff when will we see this game being PLAYED with Vita in hand? I’d like to see how it looks on the actual screen. A game demo done on vid wud be appreciated or something. So Ubi doesn’t want to tell us about the multiplayer yet huh…..guess I’m waiting for PAX then. So is the combat closer to ACIII then previous titles then?

  • Not entirely sure who’s in charge of monitoring comments, but how is it that a comment such as what “Notarealaccountx” said is allowed to be posted, but my perfectly reasonable comment with a link to a youtube video (in the other AC liberation article) was “awaiting moderation” for hours before it was finally approved?

    Anyway on the subject of AC Liberation, @MakoSOLDIER does this mean that multiplayer is official, or are you just asking will it be included?

  • I’m happy for this game….2 AC in 1 year just too great!

  • I still don’t get producer and developer fascinations with switching a running franchise to a different console or to a handheld that not everyone has.

    I like the assassin’s creed series, and I believe that I want liberation more then plain AC 3. But I won’t be able to play it because it’s only on the vita.

    It may be nice, but it’s on the wrong system now.

  • @BlueBl1zzard The multiplayer is real. “PlayStation® fans who pick up both Assassin’s Creed III Liberation for the PS Vita system and Assassin’s Creed III for the PlayStation®3 computer entertainment system will receive exclusive content, including an in-game version of Connor’s tomahawk, an exclusive character skin, a multiplayer character and a complete upgrade of all ammunition pouches.”

  • reason to own a Vita rite here lol, I love the Assassin’s Creed series & i’m so happy we finally get our 1st female Assassin, can’t wait to pick up the game

  • I can’t believe that by the end of the year :

    My Vita catalog is going to include : Uncharted, EscapePlan, FIFA, UMVC3, Motorstrom RC, Rayman Origins, Wipeout 2048, Gravity Rush, MGS HD Collection, SlyCooper4, PSAllStars, FIFA 13, NFSmostWanted, RetroCityRampage, LittleBigPlanet, TearAway ( hopefully ), COD : BO ( maybe it depends ), AC 3 Liberation and Warrior’s Lair.

    To have 19 games by the end of the year is going to be simply Jaw-dropping. It’ll be an unbelievable amount for a new system. And I still can’t believe people actually think the Vita has no games,

    Sony you MUST do more advertising for the device, and this time advertise the device showing all the gamings that Vita owners can own by the end of the year.

  • @Jharlequin
    They are not switching anything. They are branching out. Vita users who have invested a lot of money in a fledgling system absolutely deserve to have the chance to play exclusive games like this which validate that investment. No one is preventing you from buying a Vita so stop whining about being left out. Just because you can’t afford one now doesn’t mean that in a few years you won’t be able to. Just be happy the game is being made and look forward to playing it in the future.

  • @JHarlequin I understand what you’re saying but that is a common request by vita owners. Many people want games playable only on Vita, because if the same game was also available on PS3, few people would buy the Vita version over the PS3 one. Plus, exclusive vita games are used to attract more people (like you for example) to want to buy the console, and I can see it’s working : ) If you can afford one I would recommend you to buy a vita. Not only for this game, but with all the vita announcements from the past couple of days, these next couple of months are shaping up to be very exciting for the Vita!

    @MakoSOLDIER I must have misunderstood, I thought that the multiplayer preorder bonuses were for AC III. But if I’m wrong that would be cool too because I would really enjoy multiplayer on liberation.

    P.S. How do you remove comments you previously posted?

  • @#16

    How else is a system supposed to get games? A combination of established franchises and new IPs sell systems which in turn sells more games. It’s on the system it should be on, ACIII is on the bigger consoles so if you want an AC experience without a Vita you have other venues.

  • Buy AC3, get Liberation for FREE (I wish).

  • @21 Sid confirmed on the earlier post. Also its multiplayer “tailored to a handheld”-whatever that means.

    Sid Shuman on August 16th, 2012 at 1:38 pm said:
    There is multiplayer but they’re keeping those details pretty quiet for now. Jeff is working on a video and hands-on post — should be live tomorrow, so check back soon!

  • Is there any kind of multiplayer over wifi???? and what kind of in game bonus things will people get if we have the AC3 for ps3 and the AC3L for vita???

  • Really, REALLY looking forward to this. <3

    I wish Sony would get some recording stuff for the media on PS Vita already though. It's been a good while, and video reviews off-screen are just sad.

  • @22, Sid confirmed that if you buy AC3 you get Liberation? Could you provide a specific link? Because if by earlier post you mean the AC3 one about naval warfare, there is no such comment to be made.

  • There is hands on gameplay on IGN. I don’t know if I’m allowed to post YouTube videos but here one


  • i need wake up club before school starts tuesday

  • This is worrying me. The way the developer was hinting towards “Simplified” gameplay and how it wasn’t exactly the same as previous assassins creeds sounds suspicious. This better not be some gimicky crap like Resistance and all Tearaway are. I don’t want to have to utilize all the useless vita features just to play a game portably. Just give us ASSASSIN’S CREED Portable!

    Not…Touch Assassins Creed Touch Portable Touch with Cameras and microphone and reartouch and touch ….

  • I LOVE THAT SHIRT! Sanrio X Street Fighter, that is awesome where did you get that shirt from.

    Man loving the information coming from this game i so can’t wait to play it

  • Is this set before or after AC3?

  • @ Souledge94 The same day as AC III unless if you’re a pc gamer since ac III pc version will be released late november.

  • @Nick: I’m guessing that “simplified” has something to do with the fact that we have two less shoulder buttons on the Vita than on a PS3 controller, so some of the basic functions will need to be remapped, or multiple functions assigned to the same button with a switch between them. Considering how AC: Bloodlines came out, I’m not at all worried about them ruining AC3: L.

  • Buying 2 ass creeds game this October. Yay!!!!! Wish I can a full mission gameplay BTW

  • Is there any official announcement about the pre-order bonus on this game?

  • Liberation is going to be freaking amazing. Enough said!

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