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Posted 6:00pm

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.

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 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 direction 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 AC 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.

He then 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 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 30th October.

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Killa-byte 17 August, 2012 @ 6:46 pm   1

I’m sorry but that ‘interview’ was rubbish.

Would be great if I could watch this video on my Vita, but YouTube app is not available in Ukraine. /sadpanda

lianplay_1985 17 August, 2012 @ 8:01 pm   3

I hope this is fantastic as the previous ones on the PS3 and hope that the use of the rear pad and touch screen controls can be very good for the killer moves to make it satisfying for our excitement.

Fingers Cross!!!

Im Quite Surprised By The Fact That AC III Is Gonna Be Released On The Vita :)

“Fittingly, both titles arrive on the same day, this 30th October.”

Sorry, but that is not fitting at all.

How many people can afford to buy both Assassin’s games (PS3 & Vita) at the same day?
Can’t you see that most people who own a Vita also own a PS3 and they will probably prioritize the console version over the handheld?

You (Sony) are supposedly looking forward to sell units and software so you can get more 3rd party support. So, how will that happen if the portable version is overshadowed by the console version on release day?

I don’t know who’s decision that is (Sony or Ubi) but it lacks common sense. One of the two games should be released before or after the other within a reasonable timeframe, such as a month.

chrisboers 20 August, 2012 @ 10:51 am   6

The same launchday for Vita and PS3 would be fitting if Ubi offered them with a crossbuy option, or even a combined package offer. As it is now, I’m getting the Vita version, and the PS3 game will have to wait until it hits the budget-bin.

residentSteve 20 August, 2012 @ 5:40 pm   7

@5 you could save up up its not out for another 2 months but do think it’s a bit odd most people will play 3 first then check the vita one out I think they should release it a week or 2 before.

Stonesthrow 21 August, 2012 @ 4:31 pm   8

How can people still say there’s no games for vita.. Uncharted, Gravity rush, Wipeout, Unit 13,.. was enough to begin with, and if we get more games like this coming in it’s all good. This is such an underrated portable, this should be like the modern Gameboy. It’s the only decent portable on the market (not to mention the best one ever) but a lot of people don’t seem interested because they got their little phones to play games on. Ridiculous if you ask me.

I’m particularly excited for this one, AC on psp didn’t really do it for me because it felt so empty and less maneuverable. This looks absolutely awesome.

just pre-ordered this, it looks fantastic. Will get AC3 for PS3 later on.