Hands-On With Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation

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Hands-On With Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation

Last week, Ubisoft graciously offered members of the gaming media the first opportunity to go hands-on with Assassin’s Creed III for PS3 and Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, the upcoming PS Vita-bound chapter set against the backdrop of Spanish occupation in 18th century Louisiana.

Both games, of course, demonstrated plenty of promise: ACIII for its Revolutionary War-era pomp and Skyrim-rivalling scale, ACIII: Liberation for its sultry new setting and uncanny attention to detail. But in the five days since the hands-on session, I’ve unexpectedly found myself reflecting more on my experiences with Liberation. Seeing the series’ sprawling, hyper-detailed environments and fluid gameplay so faithfully recreated on PS Vita’s luminous 5’’ screen bordered on startling. Protagonist Aveline also struck me as an interesting character with unique motivations, and the game’s untapped 18th-century Louisiana setting seems like it could pay off in a big way.

Assassin's Creed III: Liberation for PS Vita

Refined by leaps and bounds compared to its early E3 showing, the updated build of Liberation I played was fully able to strut its stuff on PS Vita — enough so that, at times, it seemed to come within throat-slitting distance of ACII or ACIII on PS3. Taking control of Aveline, I explored the teeming streets of New Orleans, admiring the details that swirled around me. The town looked alive. Pushing my way through the throngs of townspeople that clogged the thoroughfare, I spotted a local shopkeeper sweeping his stoop, a lazy dog slouched in the sun, and flies buzzing thickly in the oppressive heat. The technical details are all in place — the textures looked sharp, the lighting realistic, the draw distances expansive — but it’s the way Liberation weaves them all into a convincing illusion of 18-century New Orleans that left the most lasting impression.

Liberation also pleased in the gameplay department, borrowing the core control scheme and myriad refinements of ACIII while adding subtle yet profound PS Vita-specific niceties. Aveline climbed and tumbled every bit as gracefully as Ezio or Connor, and the familiar controls enabled me to clamber up walls, through balconies, and over rooftops without so much as a second thought. Combat also felt nimble and natural as I deflected incoming strikes using the Circle button only to lash out with Aveline’s brutal sugar cane machete (the kill animations for this weapon are wince-worthy). One mission tasked me with silently eliminating five guards in a crowded square, and here the poison blowgun came in handy. New Orlean’s scorching sunlight, I learned, creates plenty of dark shadows. I was able to slink through ivy-covered terraces and darkened porches in order to get the perfect vantage point on my prey.

Assassin's Creed III: Liberation for PS Vita

I even fired off a few Chain Kills, which are touchscreen-directed cinematic slaughters that make Aveline slice, stab, blast, and eviscerate multiple enemies at all distances at the drop of a hat. But the touchscreen-based UI really started to feel indispensible when it came time to swap weapons and gear, a job that takes several button presses and a bit of practice to accomplish on PS3 but here is accomplished effortlessly. Outside of combat and navigation, much of the game’s is logically directed via the touchscreen, and results felt quick, responsive, and lightweight. The rear touchpad gets some time in the sun, too — you can swipe it to pickpocket nearby passersby, or use it to manage your rowing speed during bayou boating sequences.

Liberation’s October 30th release is weeks away, and yet tantalizing questions persist. Ubisoft has revealed some details about the bonus content that will be unlocked by owning both ACIII for PS3 and Liberation for PS Vita, but the PS Vita-unique multiplayer mode remains cloaked in mystery. No matter — we’ll be following up to learn more about on of this fall’s most intriguing action-adventure titles.

Assassin's Creed III: Liberation for PS Vita

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12 Author Replies

  • Looks beautiful, one of my more anticipated Vita games along with Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time, LittleBIGPlanet PSVita, Tearaway and many more


    • There won’t be cross-play, but there will be content that is unlocked for owning ACIII on PS3 and Liberation on Vita. More details should be coming soon!

  • I cant wait to hear more about the multiplayer side of this. I ordered a Vita just for this game :) I’m actually looking forward to Liberations more than ACIII. October 30th, hurry up and get here!

    • Yeah, I’m intrigued – I’m told it’s “unique” to PS Vita, so I’m not expecting the deathmatch-type stuff I saw in ACIII (which was very cool, btw).

  • Fresh, farm fresh!

  • I might get this if it isn’t too easy. The touch killing sounds like a game-breaking feature…

    • You build up a meter by silently killing unsuspecting enemies, so there’s a higher level of risk-reward going on to earn those Chain Kills.

  • the Louisiana setting is the game’s main draw for me.

  • Man I hope this game doesn’t suck. We all remember previous handheld entries of this franchise. Those games really put the double-ASS in continuing Assassin’s Creed saga…

  • Sony, will this game offer the U-Play as well?

  • Are those in game graphics ? If so, thats awesome. Hope to see some gameplay on Vita as soon as possible.

  • I just might buy a vita.

  • I remember them mentioning that touch killing was optional. You can also see some combat footage at IGN.
    Combat looks pretty easy though.

  • Interested will we be able to preorder Assassins Creed 3 aswell as Resident Evil 6 and NBA 2k13 digital? If so can we get an opportunity to preorder them with bonuses or day one bundled bonuses same as other retailers.

    Thank You

  • If the in game graphics actually look like that wow great job ubisoft :-)

  • Hey Sid. If one buys both Assassin’s Creed III and Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation on the same day, which one should be played first in terms of the story? Is it possible to get any official word on the issue?

    • Hmmmm. I’d say you can’t really go wrong, but I think I may play ACL first and move into ACIII after that, just because the Liberation environments are so radically different than what we’ve seen in the past. Then, ACIII takes the scale to insane Skyrim-like levels.

  • Multiplayer is great and all, but are there going to be multi-player / online only trophies? I really hate those.

  • Hey Sid can you put up a trailer of the game or video? ;-)

  • ;-) did I forget to mention day one buy!

  • You got Fallout VATS in my Assassin’s Creed.

  • Will there be a digital bundle with ACIII and ACL on day one? If not I’ll just have to buy them on Disk/Card as I’m getting both.

  • honestly i’m pretty surprised AC3: Liberation will have multiplayer, didn’t really expect that but I hope Ubisoft didn’t have to sacrifice to much of the main story for it

  • I hope this gets ported to the PS3 someday. Just don’t have any use for a handheld gaming device as I prefer gaming on the big screen. Like others have said here, I’m actually more interested in Liberation than ACIII, which I may even pass on due to the focus on hunting and killing animals, even though I’m otherwise a huge fan of the series.

  • I am just so excited for this title. Even for than the console brother because I’m in College and I commute.

  • 1) Will we be able to pre-order the digital version of ACL through the PS Store in the USA?

    2) If yes, will there be any pre-order bonuses for PS Plus members?

    3) If we’re able to pre-order the digital versions of both ACIII and ACL through the USA PS Store – will there be any special deals or pre-order bonuses for PS Plus members?

    Keep it “Farm Fresh”, Sid……LOL!!!

  • Bundling this game with a white Vita was a great idea, gonna be pre-ordering my bundle today at gamestop, hopefully they still have pre-orders left. I’ve seen videos on the white Vita and its very slick looking, like it much better than the black, plus its harder to see all the fingerprints on it :P

    Only downside is that AC3 might just have to wait, that’s a lot of cash to be spending on one day, I’m also gonna be getting the AC hidden blade replica from gamestop that day. Should be an awesome day dedicated to AC, but if I can afford AC3, then I will surely get that too just to complete the full day of AC releases!

  • @ #14 In terms of the story, AC3 starts off right where AC Revelations ended so that would probably be the best route. Liberations is a Templar/Abstergo project so its unrelated to the main story we know, as far as I’ve heard and read at least, but maybe the story will tie in at some point? I myself am going to play around with Liberations a little bit then get back into the story with AC3.

  • this is looking interesting… i never follow the series before… to you is it a game or an experience?

  • So, Sid, I guess you’re saying i won’t be disappointed when I pick up my pre-paid Liberation Vita bundle? Now, I need to figure out how to deactivate & wipe clean my unused PSP Go.

    Thanks for the peek, but I’m on total media blackout for both AC games.

  • This is awesome, I cannot wait til I can play.

  • i need this in my hands already :( cant october 30th be here already? lol

  • Mann, it looks very much like a console game.

  • Aveline is a very pretty woman.I can’t wait to play with her. *nudge, nudge, wink, wink*

  • Hmmm “Vita-unique multiplayer”, that sounds kinda suspicious…..

    Nonetheless I’m still excited, October’s gonna be a busy (and expensive) month!

    @lisatsunami If the PSP Go is anything like the PSP 1000 (yeah I still have it lol) then you should be able to deactivate it by going to the Playstation Network part of the XMB–>Account Management–>System Activation–>Game or Video/Comics–>Deactivate System

  • I want it now. D:

  • I pre- ordered but AC games. Looking forward to playing them. I just wish so many games weren’t coming out all at once. Do the developers know there are 12 months in the year?

  • THIS GAME ALONE…. is starting to justify my PS VITA purchase!!! Can’t wait to try it out along side Assasin’s Creed 3!!!

  • Just wondering, maybe a dumb question, but will the Assassion’s Creed 3: Liberation White Vita bundle include the game case or will the cartridge just be in some crappy plastic holder? I know the Madden 13 bundle did not include the game case, which I find annoying for a variety of reasons.

    I have a pre-oder down for the bundle at Gamestop and am exicted to check out this game and what the Vita has to offer. :)

  • Cannot wait for this to be released, I’ve had it pre-ordered forever. I’ve never even played an Ass Creed game, but this looks awesome, and game are never set in Louisiana, and you never get to be a black female, looks really interesting and cool.

  • I wish they could make the chain kills more fluid and more connected with each attacks,not like pull gun-pause-fire-pause-pull machete-pause-slash.I have no problem with the slow-mo just make it feel more connected…

  • I can’t wait for this game!!! I’ve had it preordered for over a month now. This and Personal 4 golden day 1. Vita rocks and anyone who is on the fence. don’t be. Get it already! It’s great and has great games, plus psp and ps1 games look amazing on the device!

  • At E3 this year it was said that Liberation will have “cross goods” with AC:3 any clue what that is? Also any clue why did Jack Tretton (President and CEO if SONY for those who dont know) Lie and say their will be a 4Gb memory card with the vita bundle? I am not mad that I am not getting the 4Gb card, I am just mad because he lied to us at E3.

  • @40 MilitaryDragon If you sync Liberations with AC3 it unlocks a New York mission to play as Connor, Connors tomahawk, French Agile multiplayer character and ammunition pouch upgrades. I’m not sure what or if it unlocks anything inside of AC3 but my guess would be yes. Also, where does it say your not getting the 4gb memory card? My preorder still has it listed (gamestop).

  • Wow, I’ve been waiting for this game so long now ^^
    Just 2 questions:
    1/ There will be other costumes for Aveline? That would be super awesome XD
    2/ Will there be DLC or multiplayer? That will make me love this game even more!!

    I’m so gonna buy it anyway! Here I come Liberation!!!

  • Thanks for the reply :-) I like that you guys are always listening thanks

  • @bestscreenname Back in July their was a rumor that Amazon was taking out the 4Gb memory card, not long after the image and details where updated with no pic of the 4Gb card and no card in the description. Gamestop did the same thing, no image and no card in the description, but now it looks like they have finally put it back. I have no clue why they did that just to put it back in, BestBuy still does not have the card and Target is sill using the old image with no card but says it will have one.

  • Skyrim rivalry?
    LOL, Skyrim’s interface epically failed.
    You won’t find those problems with AC3 Vita.

  • can we change outfits like, maybe play as ezio or connar as a bonus feature( that may sound silly but why not, i mean you could play as raiden in brotherhood!!). the game looks amazing and it’s a day one buy for me but i’ve always had trouble playing as a character of opposite gender in games (alice madness returns is an exception)..still can’t w8 for this masterpiece! i guess lbp vita will be keeping me busy till then ;)

  • omg !!! this is the real games for vita !!! gud job ubisoft …now its time to show to those nihilistic guy how to make game for vita! slap them in the face when they said cannot make better graphic bcoz of hardware limitation !

  • I’ve tried 2 demo’s of the game, one in New Orleans and the other in the bayou.

    Many people before me, hurried and started the mission, they all died a lot. I knew there was a catch to it, I first explored the ‘fraction’ of new orleans given, and tried all the weapons and just how everything worked, it quickly sunk in into my head and felt natural. It was surreal, the graphics, the detailed environment, the character, the movement of the character everything felt right. I love the AC franchise, and having it on the go would be fantastic, we all remember’ AC Bloodlines’, it was nice, but didn’t have that “Assassin’s Creed-y” feeling to it, but with Liberation that ‘feeling’ is there, it all works, it felt like a complete Jigsaw puzzel with no pieces left out.
    ( But honestly, rowing the canoe with the touch pad was boring and useless )

    But if the game is going to be consistently as good as the demo it’ll easily be the best PSVita game yet, and if the game turns out even better than those 2 very exciting demo’s ( which I easily think it will, ) It might be one of the best portable gaming experience ever.

    I am excited for many games to come to the Vita this year, but this is, as far as I know, the best !

  • Will the AC:L bundle Vita be pure white or is going to be sparkly white like the AC:Bloodline was?

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