Aveline the Chameleon: Personas in Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation
In Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation, you play as Aveline de Granpré, an assassin of mixed French and African heritage. Her assassination skills span multiple disciplines, and she is especially adept at manipulating the perceptions of others in order to move stealthily through all levels of 18th-century New Orleans society.
In order to understand Aveline’s talents, it helps to have an accurate picture of the world in which she lived. 18th century New Orleans was a tumultuous place, having just transitioned from Spanish to French occupation. People from all over the world and all walks of life interacted with one another on a daily basis in all sorts of capacities: rich landowners rubbed elbows with freshly imported colonists and wealthy merchants mingled with indentured servants. It was a roiling hodgepodge of nationalities, ideologies, religions, social castes and political affiliations — perhaps more so than any other part of the burgeoning United States.
Born of a French father and African mother through a commonlaw marital system referred to as plaçage, Aveline enjoyed all the privileges of her father’s position as a wealthy merchant. Her mixed race heritage did not impede her ability to blend into high society, as her situation was not uncommon in Louisiana.
As Aveline grew into her role as an assassin, she discovered that she could fluidly switch between social strata just by altering her clothing. This is the basis of the game’s Persona System, accessible through a variety of changing rooms scattered throughout the game world that are unlocked in a way similar to unlocking shops in previous Assassin’s Creed games. Aveline has three personas she can use to blend into different venues: the Slave, the Lady, and the Assassin.
Dressed as a commoner of the lower peasant class, Aveline can blend seamlessly with slaves, indentured servants and other workers. As such, she can quickly fade into the background by simply picking up a crate… nothing to see here, just another porter, toting a merchant’s goods. Aveline can also call on her fellow workers for aid and incite them to cause public disturbances on her behalf. There are some drawbacks to this persona, however, as Aveline must eschew her traditional tools of the trade. She’ll be vulnerable if her ruse is discovered!
Some places are only open to the highest echelons of society. In order to access these locations, Aveline will need to adopt the aristocratic Lady persona. Dressing in gilded garb befitting the wealthiest and most influential members of high society enables Aveline to charm or even bribe certain individuals, opening up new opportunities for assassination. Sadly, you can’t stash many armaments in a bustle, so Aveline’s weaponry options are extremely limited in her Lady persona. Of course, certain accessories can be modified for lethal effect… poison dart-shooting umbrella, anyone?
The Assassin persona is designed for combat, agility and durability — as such, you’ll spend most of your time in this lethal, nimble guise that boasts many similarities to the Altair and Ezio’s traditional assassin uniform. Though Aveline has access to a much wider variety of weapons and tools in this persona, the Assassin persona has a tendency to stick out like a sore thumb in most social situations. Consequently, guards will naturally become more alert in the presence of the leather-clad Aveline… just think of how relaxed you might feel around someone with a huge machete strapped to her belt!
Now that you’ve familiarised yourself with our heroine Aveline and the tools that she can employ, you’ll be well prepared to tackle Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation when it lands on PS Vita this October 31st. Ignite the revolution!