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Retrospective: Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation





So I’ve been meaning to write about this game for a while since it has been some time since I beat it. I’d like to get some bad flak out of the way for this game – it’s nice to see an Assassin’s Creed game on a handheld that is just as pretty as its home console counterpart; however, it seems like the character development skimps out a bit. I think that was a case for both installments of “Assassin’s Creed 3.”

It was exciting and fresh to see a female Assassin take the lead role in the franchise even if it was just for a portable on Vita. New Orleans was fun and I think the different personas added a nice twist to the combat system. At times it was annoying to have different levels of notoriety across different ‘costumes’, but it makes sense. There were a few things that just didn’t make sense to me that made this game really hard to play through at times: who is Aveline? I understand she is the daughter of a slaveholder who grants her freedom and she is also the adopted daughter of her father’s wife. How did she come to be an Assassin? Why did she share her activities so freely with her step-mother? Why is Aveline’s birthmother intent on keeping her distance? Just what is that damn disc everyone is so afraid of? I feel like these are important, pivotal questions which remained unanswered to the very end.

The gameplay is relatively intuitive – it plays a lot like its predecessors, although there are a few quirky things here and there ranging from stroking the back of the Vita to row a boat, to rubbing the backside
a certain way to pick-pocket someone. I’m sorry, but I don’t want to rub my handheld to steal some change! Hold triangle to steal, please! These extra ‘controls’ felt really gimmicky, like the mandatory sixaxis controls in Heavenly Sword (anyone remember that game!?) in which everything involved tilting the controller because.. sixaxis. I also couldn’t stand decoding maps or letters. I’m told to hold my vita to the light as if I am peeking at a real piece of paper, yet the damn camera controls are inverted for some reason and it’s actually the front camera that needs to be held to the light. Decoding maps and other riddles took forever because of this glitch that is NEVER FIXED. I suppose after the game breaking save glitch fix Ubisoft gave up on this game.



Onto other details: there is a trading system side mission(or quest.. or mini game?) where you could make a butt-load of money using Aveline’s company to buy and sell crops, linen, and supplies. It seems
to be the counterpart to the Homestead trading in Assassin’s Creed 3; however, the controls are so horrendous it often took me ten minutes or so to figure out how to select a ship and where to send it. Once I figured out how to do it, the controls are so NOT intuitive that I would forget almost immediately how to send out another ship. Let’s just say I didn’t bother playing this part of the game very much.


Connor: Everyone was looking forward to meeting and running through New Orleans with Aveline. Well, he’s really just eye candy – you can’t do anything with him and all he does is follow you around somewhat incompetently.  I think he is in this short game for just a few minutes depending upon how quickly you clear the missions.

I think this game is worth it if you can find it in the bargain bin. It’s been almost a year since its release so that may be possible at this point in time. I got mine with the Assassin White Playstation Vita bundle which I think was a very good bargain. I’m glad I did not pay full price for this title. Unfortunately, I think I’ll be waiting for the bargain bin for Assassin’s Creed IV since I’m still not convinced that it’s worth being a day one purchase.

Assassin’s Creed Black Flag: New Screens and Trailer Leak

We’re learning more about the newest installation to the franchise faster than expected - does Ubisoft want this stuff leaked on purpose? I’m thinking it would make sense given that the game is supposed to be out on October 29th. The newest trailer confirms that Edward Kenway, a pirate trained by Assassins, is indeed the star of the show. Since we’re going back in time and this is a prequel to Assassin’s Creed III, I hope the gun loads faster… since, you know… Ezio’s hidden gun from Renaissance Italy reloaded faster than Connor’s gun centuries later.

Check out the leaked screens here: All Games Beta

and don’t forget the new trailer before that is gone over at: Nintendo Everything

Why I’m NOT buying anymore Assassin’s Creed DLC

I feel as if the hype surrounding Assassin’s Creed is finally dying down and I have a variety of emotions swirling around me. I feel regret not jumping upon the cosplay bandwagon, for one thing, because maybe I’d be famous like all of the other scantily clad Ezio or Altair chicks who decided cleavage and legs were essential to their interpretation of fully clothed men. Who doesn’t want their photograph of a poorly constructed, inaccurate  skanky cosplay circulating the internet!?

The other thing: I believe Assassin’s Creed II and Ezio were the climax of the series, and like any good book, we can only go downhill from there. Assassin’s Creed III was not a bad game - obviously! It won several awards and sold millions of copies. A hundred hours later I’m still playing the game in an attempt to platinum it. I swear, these trophies have gotten insanely hard since Assassin’s Creed II. My big gripe with the series at the moment is that they really created some huge shoes to fill. Seriously HUGE shoes. Altair wasn’t so interesting and so it was easy to surpass his character with someone else; however, Ezio was bigger than life. He was a womanizer, intelligent, determined, and powerful. Connor is austere like Altair and angry like Ezio but the damn kid just can’t control himself. He makes irrational decisions and doesn’t do much to move the plot. He is simply a boy following fate. 

So now we have some DLC that portrays an alternative universe. What if George Washington didn’t step down? What if he became a king? Well, we could tell where this DLC is going simply by playing the game. Haytham, the only character who actually has a strong sense of justice and morality, really revealed who Washington was. Too bad Connor just can’t handle the truth and offs Haytham like a toddler having a fit. I’m sure this DLC is very fun and most interesting - I won’t insult it because I haven’t played it… but I don’t want to play it because I don’t want to be Connor. I’m just not that interested in his character to throw down another 30 dollars for two more hours of gameplay. I need to note, in my own defense, that I own all previous Assassin’s Creed DLC - including that dreadful Desmond DLC where you’re trapped in the Animus. That DLC just felt like a really bad version of Portal.

 

How can Ubisoft get me to buy into the series again? Drop Connor like a bad habit and bring me some more Haytham Kenway gameplay. 

Or end the series before it turns into another Resident Evil. 

In Depth Review: Assassin’s Creed III

Asssassin’s Creed III does not disappoint and lives up to the hype – Ubisoft proudly announced weeks ago that this was their most pre-ordered game yet. The third title focuses around Connor, an American(yeah, I said it.) of Mohawk Indian and British descent. He is straight out of a Catharine Sedgewick novel, which makes this game all the more charming for early American history and literature buffs. I’ll be writing this from an American perspective in the same fashion I imagine Italians marveled at Ezio slaying the Medici and Borgia families in Assassin’s Creed II. Gamers get to mingle with a cast of historical characters and witness the signing of the Declaration of Independence. I giggled with glee when I dumped boxes of tea into Boston’s harbor and as a New Yorker, I shook my head in disbelief at how rural New York is in this installment of the series. The Desmond plot finally comes to a conclusion and I hope any forthcoming Assassin’s Creed titles keep him gone for good(I was never a fan of the contemporary levels – keep me in the Animus, please!)

The graphics in this game have quite a boost over the previous titles – the water is beautiful, the landscape is beautiful(although rendering could use an improvement, buildings popping up out of thin air isn’t pretty!), and I loved the new features – such as climbing trees, hunting animals, listening to conversations while remaining within a specified range, and the changing seasons. The snow flurries, pouring rain, and scorching sun really helped add to the experience. There are also new side quests that are much less redundant feeling that in earlier games. There are a variety of naval missions that are enjoyable, peg leg trinket missions(similar to gathering feathers for Maria in ACII), convoy missions, and eagle feather collecting. Welcomed back are fort missions in which you can liberate regions of cities from the Templar order – although with a twist. Like the convoy missions, you must find the forts before the mission becomes available. Other missions, such as helping people around town, become available as you walk around. Fast travel is a bad idea to use frequently in this game because you will miss out – in fact, you need to discover the fast travel tunnels in this game; they cannot be purchased. My major qualm about the technicality of this game is maintaining the homestead – I’m not enjoying the whole ‘creation’ of products that then need to be sold and transported via convoy. It reminded me of Atelier Rorona and I was not pleased. I much rather renovate buildings and collect income instead of hunting around for homestead missions to acquire people to live near my property, then buy materials from these rescued people, THEN ship these things on convoys that may not even make it to the destination. It’s like a weird cross between Atelier and Civilization. I could have lived without it.

On a side note, this game is really buggy and needs a patch. Assassin’s Creed III and Liberation has issues with freezing and other strange glitches that require restarting the game. I’m really surprised Ubisoft has not addressed this and issued a patch.

Ultimately, you should buy this game.

Continue reading for some character analysis - but be warned, there are SPOILERS.

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