Assassin's Creed III: Liberation Review

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Assassin's Creed III: Liberation

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The PS Vita receives a wonderful, but slightly flawed, exclusive Assassin's Creed title in Liberation.

We like

  • Favorable, simplistic gameplay
  • Beautiful sounds and visuals
  • Entire experience is engrossing

We dislike

  • Multiplayer mode is a phone app
  • Re-occuring combat issues native to series
  • Random glitches throughout

See PSU's review on Metacritic & GameRankings

(continued from previous page) ...which doesn't always work. Often times, I'd find myself staring at an NPC's back waiting for the game to recognize that I was trying to pickpocket. Even little dots on the screen would follow my finger movement, but the act of pickpocketing wouldn't always register. Opening the weapon menus is clean and initiative. Touching the on-screen weapon display would open up two menus, one showing melee weapons and the other showing ranged weapons. The only part that was frustrating about these menus is that only one change can happen when they're opened. So, if you want to change both weapons, you'll have to open them twice.

The camera is only limited by the perspective. Even the HUD isn't in the way, which is impressive since the screen is small and AC games usually have a lot on the screen at once. The camera does everything it's expected to do, but it feels a bit too close to Aveline to really take in what the landscape has to offer. It works beautifully in New Orleans, since everything is evenly mapped out. The Bayou, as well as the deep, beautiful caves, are held back just enough by the viewpoint itself that the scope of what's being done takes some time to appreciate. This might be intentional, so we're more interested to stop and look at the view, but doing this has taken away those jaw-dropping scenes that even graces Uncharted: Golden Abyss. It's not a deal breaker, since the story is driving, but the slight lack of appreciation that Ubisoft has put on its own work is undeserved.

The game has small, technical errors throughout. These aren't major, but they tend to pop up at inconvenient times. Glitches like swimming in air performing melee kills at range are really hard to find, but they do show up if you dig deep enough into the game. By that time, though, they're easily overlooked and forgotten about.

Outside of the small issues and little inconsistencies, the only part to Liberation that truly disgusted me was the online multiplayer. The term "multiplayer" is used in a way that's used in cell phone games. Essentially, the multiplayer functions like recruiting assassins in Revelations: you take recruited assassins and pit them against challenges and other players in simulated combat. Multiplayer doesn't include any actual gameplay, which only highlights itself by the way that the single player existence disconnects the PS Vita from any wireless connectivity. This mode may be designed to play alongside Assassin's Creed 3, since the online missions in Liberation are time-based leaving a lot of time waiting for energy to regenerate like it does in so many small, mobile games.

Multiplayer is represented on a globe of Earth, with big cities across it as venues for the fight between the Assassins and Abstergo. You can also pick which side you wish to represent and fight for the cause you see fit. More and more fighters are assigned through leveling, which is accomplished by fighting other characters and completing missions. Home bases can even be chosen from the hundreds of represented cities on the globe, and missions and fights won "close to home" yield more reward and experience. Sadly the multiplayer mode overall feels like a waste, since it doesn't really show the multiplayer ability that the PS Vita may or may not have. Since it doesn't validate Liberation like the campaign does, it might have been just as well to eliminate it from the game entirely.

The strength of Liberation is in its favored delivery of the story which truly represents an Assassin's Creed story in a unique and interesting way. Visually and audibly, the game is astounding, showing off the PS Vita's ability to maintain and perform on a similar level to its console cousin. Though the online is a major blemish and it has its fair share of technical issues, Liberation brings to the PS Vita exactly what fans want and more by showing that the hardware is more of a new way to do it rather than a hindrance.


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