My game of E3 – Assassin’s Creed 3 Liberation – Tiny Templars for Vita

Yes, our second new Assassin in three months may have been overshadowed by her Native American counterpart’s spectacular swashbuckling adventures on the big screen – see, I told you it’s going to be epic, check out our  E3 Assassin’s Creed jaw dropping gameplay moments – but the outing of our first ever female Assassin, Aveline De Grandpre is an absurdly exciting prospect.

When I first heard rumours of Assassin’s III on Vita, my heart did its best impression of the Titanic. In my head it was already a port of the console game. It was going to be a squashed monstrosity with crammed in touch controls and ‘swipe this line to skin the bear’ mini games in a tiny shrunken version of the American North East – chances are that I would hold it in my palms and weep. I would have preferred a Lego version. Actually, that’s a point… So no, in short I wasn’t the most confident about the situation. I’m sorry I ever doubted you, Ubisoft.

They may not have delivered a glossy Hollywood CG trailer but what has been handed over – as well as a well placed Bat For Lashes track – is a nice big chunk of hidden blade wearing reassurance. We watch as Aveline careers across buildings and clambers over trees which means that the new Anvil Next Engine hasn’t been ignored on the handheld. It may be a different version but Connor’s new free running skills have thankfully crossed onto the smaller (but no less important) platform. Combat wise, everything is dual wield so there will be no poor combat system to worry about. I’m expecting some touch screen death input but if the trailer is anything to go by, Aveline’s form of murder looks satisfyingly squelchy.  Two analogue sticks mean that a full free running slaughtery extravaganza can take place wherever you want. I’m already looking forward to flights.

The new story and setting too is more than just an added bonus. A Templar history lesson in tumultuous 18th century New Orleans is like catnip to Assassin’s fans – those villains just get everywhere – and Ubisoft Sofia have made sure that our girl has her own rich background of French and African heritage. Aveline comes with her own violent history and, as well as the fact that she doesn’t use the same hygiene facilities as Ezio and co., she isn’t related to Desmond. Not even first cousin once removed, the dual pistol wielding Aveline is controlled by an Abstergo Agent.

Just like the multiplayer option in previous Assassin’s, Abstergo are learning about the ways of the Assassins. It’s a brave choice from Ubisoft as the option to stick to Connor must have been an attractive and far easier choice. Playing a story that runs parallel to your home console experience and even interacting with Connor will be a unique thrill. Oh, and before I forget, there are alligators.

Everything that’s on offer here has ridiculous potential. New cities to explore, new weapons to get murdery with and a new Assassin to control and I’m frankly giddy. I already knew Assassin’s III was going to be the show stealer but Liberation looks equally as promising for a handheld title. We really need good Vita games and more of them. I cling desperately to Gravity Rush as a game worthy of shelling out for the console and although Assassin’s seems far away now, Liberation could be the title that shows the handheld for the incredible gaming device that it is.

 

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