Posted

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 31st October release is just weeks away, and yet tantalising 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 one of this Autumn’s most intriguing action-adventure titles.

Assassin's Creed III: Liberation for PS Vita

21 Comments
0 Author replies
XzSlLENTSNIPERzX 24 September, 2012 @ 17:13
1

This is looking exceptional and I can’t wait to get my hands on it!

Looks good, very [DELETED] that there is no special edition with the George Washington journal though.

3

So ACIII: Liberation comes out 31st October but that would be US release date I think but I have questions:

So when will ACIII for Vita come out in the UK since our release dates usually on a Friday?

Will ACIII come out the same day as ACIII: Liberation for Vita?

White Vita?

4

It’s not, 31st is for Europe and IGN said December, is 31st October both Assassin Creed III and III Liberation for Vita come out for UK? Please someone tell if this date is right? Thanks.

31st? Gah~ Why do all the games I want come out around that time Dx

@supersmith2500

The 31st seems right for both according to amazon and play at least.

Really looking forward to this, aside from Persona 4 Golden, it was one of my main reasons to get a Vita.

8

@Player42791:
And GAME too.

@Vitkir:
Even though I’m not a fan of RPGs, I hate to disappoint you, it won’t come out for Europe until spring 2013. Fortunely, you can import it. = )

Oh I can’t wait. Have had it pre-ordered for months now. I enjoy the assassins creed series but to be able to play as a woman is just amazing :)

10

Very excited for this. But I’m still waiting for ANY SIGN that the AC3:Liberation + Vita bundle is coming to Australia. Local retailers have told me they have no idea and there is still no place to pre-order it here.

If it turns out to be US only, I’ll have to import it, which is really disappointing. From the moment it was announced at e3 I decided that bundle would be the first Vita I buy.

11

I’m not a fan of the main series, but this new character and the fact that it’s on vita is very tempting.

I’d love to see a demo, although I’m not expecting one.

12

they will add this to ps3 DLC just you wait :D and im tempted to buy AC3 gold edition from ps store and yes i know its about £84 but it will be worth it .

talking of games where is GTA III on ps store we want that game and i do know that gta vice city will follow then before GTAV is out gta san andreas

13

So, how will you ruin it’s launch then? Not available in half the countries? Or maybe it won’t even install on your Vita?
Well, I’m used to importing any and all games.

14

Ok, i know this defeats it’s purpose But will it (is it) ever be possible to play vita games on tv’s, ?. . as though great when out, or even not, i really would like to see a bigger picture, sometimes, i asked about this a while back regards the psp, as before GoW collection2 was announced i was going to buy psp and them games, but only if i could play them using tv screen, but was told that, though possible it would look really, really awful, on a tv etc, something about pixels or pixies or other tech ‘stuff’, i am hoping that the same limitations don’t apply to vita though ?.
Regards Liberation, got to say that if the write up is correct, then it has just definately sold itself to me, though as someone above mentioned (i think) surely this will have a demo, hoping so anyway.
Lastly, why can’t/don’t psp compatible vita games demos work on vita, will this ever happen.

quidditys_shore 24 September, 2012 @ 22:24
15

@13 – I hope it does allow playing on your tv one day! Hopefully like the psp go did.

I myself have used my psp (not the 1000) & psp go on my tv. They are great going through the menus in full screen, but when you start a game it goes smaller with huge black boarders. You can zoom in you your tv, but as I have a 50″ it did look awful! However I regularly play my psp go on a 19″ tv & it looks fine. I use the psp go more as its got a neat trick, you can use your ps3 controller on it! It truelly is a home console :)
This is where Sony could push says of the vita by making it a portable & home console.

Anyway, back to the game! It looks amazing & I do hope it’s out for next month!

16

I really hope the missus takes my hint and gets me a Vita for Christmas, so many games I wanna try out now. And with cross buying on Sony games, I’ll be in nerd heaven.

Any news on some kind of AC3 and Liberation double pack?

18

You guys do of course know this, but have you ever thought of buying the ac3 gold Pack at pstore because you get ac3 + ac3 liberation + season pass and i guess much more ;-)

19

You guys really need to tie these products better. As mentioned above, needs double pack for reduced price.

Sony’s marketing for VITA…For whatever reason, seems to be “it’s almost as good as PS3” which has a huge downfall as most people interested in VITA already have a PS3 and why would they pay a lot for a handheld that is “almost” as good as what they already have.

For us Sony enthusiasts who have both, nothing annoys me more than dishing out a lot twice, for games that Sony itself admits are pretty similar. Recently MGS HD. I have VITA version, why the hell can’t I play the PS3 version. I know you will say “ask Konami” but you need to push this hard and get 3rd part on CrossBuy.

You put me in a situation now where if it’s a game I want but not “need” (i.e: AC), I buy one or the other. Or might even say “forget it”. When with a double pack for a good price, it would be very tempting and I would happily purchase it (win for you) and get both games (win for me).

i go buy ps3 + vita version in real store
if u buy them both togeter u also need price cut .
ore u registrated them both on ps+ +- on same time u get al dlc free ?

looking forward to this!!!

We close the comments for posts after 30 days.

Edit history