Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation Preview

Perhaps 2012’s most anticipated PlayStation Vita title, Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation casts players as Aveline, the very first playable female Assassin in the franchise. Her adventure is set in 18th century Louisiana, and ties-in to Connor’s story in Assassin’s Creed 3 (for PS3 and Xbox 360).

In Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation, Aveline must defend her city from the advancing Spanish forces by eliminating key leaders of the armada. Players will get to use weapons unique to the game including a machete, a blowpipe that shoots poison darts, and even dual pistols. I recently had a chance to play the most recent build of the game and was quite impressed with Liberation’s amount of detail, graphical fidelity, and console-like experience that’s quite unique to the PlayStation Vita.

Hit the jump to read our Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation preview.

Aveline’s animations rival that of Ezio, Altair, and Desmond combined.

The very first thing that I noticed when playing Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation was how Aveline moved; it really felt like Aveline had many of Desmond’s, Ezio’s, Altair’s, and Connor’s moves from the entirety of the Assassin’s Creed franchise. That means Aveline’s acrobatics and combat style is like a mash-up/best-of each of the aforementioned assassin’s movelists along with her own unique moves and weapon combinations. I also noticed that animations have been tweaked ever-so-slightly to look more feminine. And hey, I’m not complaining at all. It really helps put the player in Aveline’s shoes.

Like Connor in Assassin’s Creed 3, Aveline uses both hands for combat oftentimes carrying a machete/blade on one hand and a firearm in the other. During my hands-on with Liberation, I was able to take out enemies using the traditional combat system (meaning the time-based counters) along with the new gunplay system mixed in. In addition to that, Liberation allows players to use Aveline’s “Chain-Kill” technique  by pressing right on the d-pad to pause the combat as they point at their targets (on the touch-screen) and unleashes multiple brutal and cinematic kills. Aveline can also use her trusty blowdart that takes out opponents with one hit; reminded me of the poison blow darts I loved utilizing to kill enemies in Tenchu.

Aveline can take out opponents silently (and in long-range) using her trusty blow dart.

Of course, because of the PlayStation Vita’s limited buttons (compared to the PS3 anyway) Ubisoft managed to add a new and intuitive item and weapon wheel system using the handheld’s touchscreen functionality. Players need only touch the  lower right-hand side of the screen to open up the wheel, and there players can pick and choose their items and weapons of choice by touching the screen.

While we’re on the topic of Vita functionality, Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation uses the rear-touchpad when Aveline rides her canoe accross the deeper parts of the Louisiana swamps. Swiping down on the rear-touchpad speeds up Aveline’s paddling and swiping up slows it down. Think of Uncharted: Golden Abyss’ canoe mini-game (with Sully) and you get the idea.

Here’s a rundown one the Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation’s default button control scheme:

L – Precision Mode                                         Circle – Interact

R – Run/Free Run                                            Square – Attack

Down (d-pad) – Reload Firearm                       Triangle (tap) – Reflex shot

Right (d-pad) – Chain Kill                                 Triangle (hold) – Aim Weapon and Shoot

Players paddle the canoe using the PS Vita’s rear-touchpad.

And since the game is set in New Orleans, players can expect a mixture of 18th century buildings and towns as well as swamplands. What’s amazing about these each of these places is the amount of detail found on every single part of the environment. For example, the walking about town, I saw an incredible amount of debris from broken boxes and garbage that people have left littering the streets. In the swamplands, I was as I waded through thick vegetation (and it’s not just re-used assets, you’ll see different coloured flora and fauna, bushes of differing heights, smattering of roots protruding from the ground near trees, etc.) and even deeper swamps filled with dangerous habitat like Crocodiles.

Players will also get to climb and traverse trees just like in Assassin’s Creed 3 for the consoles. I was blown away by how much they replicated the experience in Liberation to look and feel exactly like its console kin. I also found it easy and fun to jump around from tree to tree, all the while keeping a watchful eye on my target(s) below.

Like I said before, what excites me the most about Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation is that it’s built from the ground-up for the PS Vita. That means Liberation will make use of the handhelds key features like the front-and-back touchpads for a more immersive experience. And the fact that it replicates the huge, open-world of it’s console brothers onto the handheld still amazes me every time I see the game in action.

In the meantime, check out these Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation screenshots:


What excites you the most about Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation on the PlayStation Vita?


About janhutchings

Canadian Game Industry Blogger / Contributor for @Sonyrumors & @ShogunGamer / Communications and PR Professional. Voice of Canadian and Indie Gaming.

Posted on September 10, 2012, in Game Previews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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