Today, we’ll be discussing Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation, the series first venture onto the Playstation Vita. This is also our first review of a Playstation Vita game here at Web of Paine, so hopefully you enjoy this review.
With the Vita being the hi-def sequel to the PSP system, AC3 Liberation is one of the games that I was looking at to see the quality of the Vita’s hi-def capabilities. Having experienced a mixed bag with some prior games, I was really looking forward to seeing some quality visuals from this game.
For the most part, Liberation delivers solid graphics, though in my opinion, they were not quite on par with Uncharted: Golden Abyss. That is not meant as a knock on Liberation, as Golden Abyss was the best looking Vita game I have seen so far. Liberation, while graphically solid, seems inconsistent to me at times. It is mostly very good, but there are instances where I felt the visuals were just a little above average.
Bigger downside, I’m so used to playing on my 48” TV that it was hard to adjust to playing on the Vita screen. I think this is probably the majority of any graphical issues I experienced.
The audio for Liberation is also fairly solid, though more consistent than the graphics. The French accents are pretty good and the voice acting is even better. The only downside is that the sound is limited by the Vita system itself, so unless you have an awesome set of headphones or can plug it into a nice set of speakers, you’re stuck with the default system speakers. Even still, that will be enough to get you through the game in pretty solid shape.
Our game takes place in the mid-to-late 18th Century, in the period between the French and Indian War and leading into the American Revolution. For the first time in the series, our character is a woman, Aveline de Grandpre. She is obviously an assassin, and she is also half black and half French. The game takes place in New Orleans, Louisiana, in town, on a plantation, on The Bayou, and you can cross the Gulf into Mexico.
Aveline’s role has a few purpose in this story. She spearheads the attack to keep Spanish forces(Templars) from seizing control of Louisiana. There is also the mystery of what happened to Aveline’s mother, who disappears during an opening flashback sequence. Make no mistake, there is plenty enough conspiracy to choke a horse.
Liberation uses the same game engine that Assassin’s Creed III does on consoles, which I haven’t played yet. Aside from that, the mechanics feel pretty much in line with prior entries to the series, though obviously there are changes that have taken place from game to game and with Liberation being on the Playstation Vita. Liberation makes use of the touch screen and rear touch pad for actions such as pick-pocketing and open letters. It takes a little getting used to, but it works rather well and is a good use of the touch features.
Liberation is a very good game in an excellent series. It has an interesting story and some unique gameplay features added onto a tried and true base of play.
The graphics are a tad inconsistent at times, but still pretty good. Other than that, I think this game would have played out better if I had been able to play it on an actual TV screen. The is probably just me nitpicking, but I can see this game doing well at some point when it is released for regular consoles just as with the God of War titles.
Liberation is a very good entry into a great series. As I have already discussed, the story and gameplay are what makes this game, as it has with the whole series. Liberation makes a good first effort and utilizing the touch screen and touch pad features of the Vita, and hopefully those can be built on, not only in future Assassin’s Creed games, but any other Vita game in general.
There are some minor drawbacks in my opinion, namely the graphics. I don’t think that is necessarily a huge knock on the game, but perhaps just system limitations. Or it could just be trying to cram everything onto the small screen, yeah, I think this is the primary issue I had with it. Does not look bad by any means, but I’d love to see this game on a real TV.
Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation gets a three out of five: GOOD.