Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation Review (Vita)


In all of our excitement over Assassin’s Creed III, it took a little while to get down to business with the first title in the franchise for PlayStation Vita.Liberation is a handheld spinoff in a new location with a different story. It’s not the first time Sony’s portable hardware has been treated to Assassin’s Creed, with Altair exploring ancient cities in Assassin’s Creed: Bloodlineson the PSP.

Liberation goes one step further, giving players a huge open-world, a host of mechanical improvements (as seen on PS3 in ACIII), and a female Assassin for the first time. What could be wrong with a game that lets you take an open world and a pair hidden blades wherever you go?

Technically speaking, Liberation is astounding. It can be dumb-founding to look at the size of the map, the number of NPCs lining New Orleans streets, and know that you can explore every nook and cranny in full 3D on your Vita. Crossing 18th century rooftops and clambering up towers to synchronize your map feels just like it does on console. While the city isn’t as vibrant as in previous games, such a huge scale on such a small device is truly amazing.

In that way, Liberation is fodder for the handheld wars. With two analog sticks and the complete array of face buttons, Sony’s portable meansAssassin’s Creed exists as it should on the bus, in the doctor’s office, on car trips and, let’s face it, on the toilet. Climbing around and assassinating guards, tailing marks on city streets and hiding behind crates or diving into hay comes as close to ACIII as you might imagine.

What’s more, it’s refreshing to see Ubisoft shine the spotlight on a character as fresh as Liberation‘s protagonist Aveline de Grandpré. The daughter of a Frenchmen and a slave woman, Aveline toes the line between the two societies in conflict at the heart of New Orleans.

Much like Connor in ACIII, Aveline’s motives and methods are in conflict with the world around her. To allow players the ability to experience both societies, Ubisoft Sofia has given Aveline the opportunity to switch her outfit as her objectives change. You can take on the Lady persona to charm guards and infiltrate unfriendly zones. The Lady, dressed in the trappings of the time, can’t climb, run, or enter open combat.

The slave dress allows you to climb, run, and fight, but it’s true strength lies in blending in with other slaves in unfriendly locations. The slave persona has weakened combat abilities to balance against the Assassin uniform. All three types of dress have independent notoriety levels, but completing actions to lower those levels will vary on what action you use.

Unfortunately, much of the outfit-swapping feels arbitrary and gimmicky. I can’t stand the lady costume, if only for the way it limits players from the most enjoyable part of Assassin’s Creed: the fighting and the climbing. It’s true that these different uniforms are contextually accurate, juggling between the three uniforms actively detracts from your in-game enjoyment.

Ubisoft Sofia has also made a confusing choice in Liberation‘s multiplayer mode which ditches the console version’s fantastic stabfest for a poorly explained card game. It would have been a better choice to pour the time and energy into the single-player campaign, or at least do a bit more bug fixing. Every time I tried to play against another player, I kept thinking about how much I’d love to take the Homestead building and economy of ACIIIwith me on the go.

Liberation is an enticing endeavor, not just for fans of historical murdering, but for Vita owners everywhere. But while Liberation may be a technical marvel, it doesn’t quite hit the bar. If you’re a fan of the series or you want to spend time running around stabbing people, Assassin’s Creed III: Liberation will suffice, but because it tries so hard to be like a console title, its failure to match the level of depth, breadth or enjoyment you’d expect is all the more heartbreaking.



World Of Warcraft and Politics?

Hey everyone. I’m loving me some Pandaren..hence the reason (and school) why I haven’t posted recently, but I came across a very interesting article from It seems an article published by Politico talks about a campaign in Maine where the Republican party is comparing senate Democratic candidate Colleen Lachowicz’s obsessive World of Warcraft playing as an Orc assassination rogue as Immature and living a double life with inappropriate comments on her blog.

Very interesting read indeed.

Maine GOP Attacks State Senate Candidate for Playing World of Warcraft

October 4, 2012

In one of the more unusual attacks on an opponent in this election cycle, the Republican party of Maine has decided that it would be a good idea to take Maine state Senate Democratic candidate Colleen Lachowicz to task for playing World of Warcraft. Apparently they don’t know that over 10 million people around the world are playing the game daily, with millions playing here in the United States. The law of averages would also suggest that a fair amount of Maine’s population also plays the game, but let’s put that aside for now..

In a bizarre press release (as reported by Politico) the Republican party in Maine attacked Lachowicz for living a double life. Apparently her playing an orc assassin was beyond the pale for them. Lachowicz is running against incumbent state Sen. Tom Martin in a heavily Democratic district in south-central Maine. Martin, the first Republican to hold the seat since the 1960s won the position during the 2010 election cycle.

Most of the information on Lachowicz put forth by the Maine GOP comes from her blogging about playing the game on the DailyKOS. Admittedly she says a few things that might raise some eyebrows like the following:

“Now if you’ll excuse me, I may have to go and hunt down Grover Norquist and drown him in my bathtub.”

Grover Norquist runs Americans for Tax Reform and is infamous for getting conservative candidates to make a “no tax hike” pledge.

“We think anyone making comments about drowning Grover Norquist and stabbing things shows a shocking level of immaturity and poor judgment that voters should know about,” Maine GOP party spokesman David Sorenson said. “Certainly the fact that she spends so much time on a video game says something about her work ethic and, again, her immaturity.”

But the thrusts of their attack accuses Lachowicz of being distracted by the game while at work, claims she is in a “socialist guild” pointing out her swearing in her blog posts on DailyKOS and making frequent jokes about stabbing things.

To his credit, her Republican opponent says that he was unaware of the state Republican Party’s press release or Lachowicz’s activities in World of Warcraft until Politico asked him. Martin went on to say that he “hates mudslinging politics” and that he thinks that she is “a nice lady.”

Source: Politico