1. #1

    Assassin's Creed III Liberation: A truly terrible game.

    So I platinumed Liberation for completionistís sake because that's how much of an AC fan I am. Now, I should preface this by saying Iíve always hated Liberation but it came free with the season pass for Odyssey so I thought Iíd give it anotherchance. In life there is saying: "sometimes things are better the second time round". I find that is often true but unfortunately Liberation is just as bad as I remembered and I have only FOUR positives to say about it:

    1. It's at least trying to tell an Assassin's Creed story. Aveline is an assassin dedicated to her cause first and foremost but also has a personal side story involving her mother. *
    2. The second is that the water on the remastered version is pretty.
    3. I like Agate mainly because of the way he scolds Aveline.
    Spoiler:  Show
    4. Connor cameo is still lit and just made me wish I was playing Assassin's Creed III main game instead.


    That's it. That's as nice as I'm going get so if you're sensitive to anyone saying anything negative about an Assassin's Creed game (you know who you are) leave the thread now because I am going to tear this awful, sorry excuse for "art" apart piece by piece.

    *The story, itself, is meh - a clichťd ďthere are snakes in the grassĒ narrative, and Aveline is a nothing character. For all the unfair treatment Connor got for being ďboringĒ Iím not sure how Aveline has managed to slip through the net. You can have an Assassin dedicated to their creed, yes, but you do actually have to give them some personality traits so that we actually care about them as a people. It is also regrettable to say that some truly horrible voice acting does not help her or the rest of the cast. It reminds me of when actors are reading out the script for the first time in the writers room before the shooting of a film or television show begins, but in this case it looks like the dev team just recorded that practice session and said, ďyeah, good to go.Ē

    Why is this an open world game? Each side quest and collectible is absolutely throttled by main sequences which means thereís no point in exploration, itís not rewarding to explore. Other Assassinís Creed games disguise this well but Liberation does not. It also has a nasty structure of thrusting you from one mission to the next without any break to get your bearings. The main campaign just seem to go on an on and on and on. Thereís so many needless mini steps within one mission even though this is probably as short a campaign as Rogue. Ambient music is present but it's bland, generic and repetitive. The Bayou music, in particular, really makes me graze my teeth. Sounds like it was recorded in 5 minutes on a cheap keyboard. Awful.

    The quality of life is non-existent. You blinked and missed what the optional objective was? Well tough luck! Weíre not going show you what that optional objective is anymore even if you pause the menu to view the current memory so abort the mission entirely and start again you worthless scrub!
    Obviously, Iím sure this was not deliberate, just a rather ridiculous oversight considering they had three entries in the series prior that got that basic feature right. Sometimes I didnít even realise that a new sequence had started because it literally doesnít tell you until youíve completed a mission in it. It doesnít even tell you in the current memory tab. And thereís no in-game stats. That would have been quite helpful for trophy huntersÖ

    I think the moment I realised how little thought actually went into the quality of life was when I encountered a rival business mission in the Bayou that I initially couldn't complete because the target wandered through a memory wall. Love it.

    Some of the worst quality of life issues are to do with the gameís biggest mechanic which is the persona system (oh boy, do I have a lot to say on THAT particular feature).
    Often youíll stumble across a collectible that is only achievable with a certain persona equipped so youíll have to run across the map and change outfits. Simple enough, right? Except, the collectible doesnít remain on the map if you go too far from it, which means youíll have to find it again from memory. Like, why? Once youíve discovered a collectible it should be marked, period. Again, this world isnít rewarding to explore.
    There are also two other maps to travel to from New Orleans which are the aforementioned Bayou and Mexico but again, it doesnít show you the fast travel points for them until youíre near the fast travel points. There are certain missions you wonít even see on the map unless that persona is equipped. Why not show ALL missions and simply grey out the ones that you canít do rather than forcing us to go to the dressing room to see whatís available for that persona???
    There are business rival missions that are mandatory to do in a certain personas due to the main objective e.g. ďCharmĒ the targetĒ but the problem is you can start the mission in another persona. This is a huge problem because the game locks out the open world once on a mission so that the player canít change personas during active missions which means youíll have to abort the mission if you want to complete it.

    Now, that brings me to by far and away the biggest problem with Liberation if you havenít guessed already: The persona mechanic is right up there with the worst mechanics ever introduced into an Assassinís Creed game alongside the nomad app in Unity and the den defence system in Revelations. A bad idea executed badly. Incredibly limiting gameplay wise and also socially ignorant and irresponsible. First of all, who plays Assassinís Creed to be forced into jogging, flirting, using an umbrella and having all their best equipment taken away??? Because if you do just pick the lady persona.

    I hate how itís forced into almost every situation and that enemy spawning is deliberately on acid because the game wants you to use the persona system to combat it. Good luck trying to lower your bounty of the persona that you currently have equipped. You wonít be able to make it 2 feet to the magistrate without a guard spawning in front of you and then somehow attracting even more guards to join just as the fight is about to end. When the fight does finally end, the magistrate decides heís a little upset with all the killing and runs away lol.

    In sequence 9 where Aveline discovers the truth, I went to confront the person in question in my assassin persona but was forced into a lady persona for that dramatic ďvillain explains the whole plotĒ clichť. Again, WHY? The jig is up so why would Aveline not walk in with every tool at her disposal? That makes no sense.

    I canít even defend the persona system from a social stealth aspect because the entire point of social stealth is to blend in plain sight but Avelineís appearance, even in plain sight, would raise eyebrows. Ubisoft, please donít insult the playerís intelligence - even a mixed raced woman back then would be hated and she wouldnít be able to leave the house alone. Skin colour/race is not a ďpersonaĒ. Aveline can take off her clothes but she canít take off her blackness. Being a slave was not a "persona" that one could use to evade guards lol, and slaves didnít have the privilege of swapping it out either. Every time Avelineís bounty went up bit by bit in the slave persona it made me laugh. If guards saw a half black woman free- running through the streets she would have been shot from long range, beaten and dragged back to whatever plantation they think she came from. Disrespectful.

    Also, to imply that using her feminine wiles on men can alleviate Avelineís blackness is not only nonsense but very sexist. You have the first female protagonist in the series and one of her gifts isÖ charming men into giving her what she wants? I feel like this is how the conversation went in the dev room:

    Lead Male Dev 1: We have our first female protagonist. We should really explore that.
    Male Dev 2: Agreed. (Jokes) What skills do women have? Oh yes, they like to use sex as a weapon to manipulate us hehe.
    Lead Male Dev 1: Sooo true. Thatís a great idea!
    Male Dev 2: No, I was kid-
    (Other male devs agree and applaud and have big olí circle jerk contest before taking that ridiculous idea to the higher ups.)

    Iím actually being kind here because in truth Iím about 98% sure that idea wasnít pitched as a joke... If you want to make Aveline a flirt or someone who likes the fellas you can have that be genuine personality trait (goodness knows she needs one) like Ezio. He would specifically blend in with prostitutes to stress to players that he is a ladiesí man and enjoys the company of, uh, working women. But Aveline using it as a form of pure manipulation is a really bad sexist trope.

    Due to some of the liberties Odyssey took there has been a lot of recent discussion about historical accuracy and my stance has always been that as long as it doesnít drastically alter history then itís OK. I remember an interview with the writer of Odyssey where she stated that the reason why no one in Greece makes a big deal about Kassandra being a female mercenary is because it would be annoying for a female gamer to be constantly talked down to by male NPCs in the game. Women have to go through that in real life so why put that in a power fantasy video game? It doesnít feel weird or implausible that Kassandra and Evie have so much freedom and power in their respective instalments because the game world treats their inclusion like itís normal, and thus so do we.

    However, Liberation does touch on issues of sexism and racism and even uses it as the framework for the story but then is too timid to explore it honestly, and furthermore insultingly tries to imply that such social disadvantages can be empowering. Simply put, if youíre going to use such subject matters you need to do it properly or not at all. Donít be flippant. Assassinís Creed III, a game released alongside Liberation, was far more honest in it depictions of such themes so again itís baffling that the team working on Liberation didnít look to that game to see how to do it right.

    Right, what else we got? Oh yes, the "remaster" is poorly optimised. Shocker! Crashed on me three times and whilst not nearly as buggy and poorly optimised as Assassinís Creed III Remastered (Jesus Christ) it was still very unnerving to play. I even had a mission in sequence 2 break on me where I couldnít loot a chest so had to restart the checkpoint. Oh, and speaking of which, donít restart checkpoints... The game canít handle this basic feature it implemented and will crash if you utilise it.

    Also, the loading screens arenít long but theyíre too frequent. You loot a treasure box, loading screen, you run to the other side of the map, loading screen. And it yíwas a bit annoying trying to get the ĎSurvivorí trophy when sometimes animals wouldnít attack.


    Finally, the in-game economy is trash. The money made is unequal to the cost of in-game items. How can you call pocket watches "collectibles" when you have to purchase them for insane prices? In the end, all that matters is your stupid fleet unless you want to do a pickpocket grinding. I would strongly suggest using the ship merchandise feature as soon as you possibly can rather than leaving it to the end. When my final trophy for the platinum consists of me having to set my controller down and wait idly by while some arbitrary system decides how much money I'll make and when you know your economy is fíd up . Assassinís Creed III allows you to ACTIVELY make money by hunting and selling pelts during convoy runs - again, why didn't they take inspiration from that?


    1/10. Itís rubbish.
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  2. #2
    Why not show ALL missions and simply grey out the ones that you can’t do rather than forcing us to go to the dressing room to see what’s available for that persona???
    I think because the map would be cluttered with icons even more than it already is.

    This is a huge problem because the game locks out the open world once on a mission so that the player can’t change personas during active missions which means you’ll have to abort the mission if you want to complete it.
    Yes, it's annoying and they could fix it in the remaster if they gave a crap. Just auto-equip last outfit for the needed persona type. That's it.

    When the fight does finally end, the magistrate decides he’s a little upset with all the killing and runs away.
    That's because you supposed to kill him the stealthy way with your parasol. Assassin should rely more on stealth than obliterating everything that moves in vicinity of 1 km.

    Ubisoft, please don’t insult the player’s intelligence - even a mixed raced woman back then would be hated and she wouldn’t be able to leave the house alone. Skin colour/race is not a “persona”. Aveline can take off her clothes but she can’t take off her blackness.
    Yes, that's totally true. And woman in pretty much all countries couldn't go to any public places alone, even if she was white, up until the end of XIXth century.

    For me personally the worst part of ACL is dialogues, especially with smugglers and Aveline with her mother. It's just a concentrated cringe. Although AC Origins managed to outdo ACL in that field.

    But as a whole package I still like ACL. It's short and fun. And there is something in parkour animations of Aveline that is really enjoyable to watch and never gets old. She feels very agile and... light-footed.
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  3. #3
    Originally Posted by Finoderi Go to original post
    I think because the map would be cluttered with icons even more than it already is.
    I'm struggling to give the benefit of the doubt here because this franchise has never been shy of absolutely filling the map with icons.

    That's because you supposed to kill him the stealthy way with your parasol. Assassin should rely more on stealth than obliterating everything that moves in vicinity of 1 km.
    You don't kill the magistrate, you pay him and the Assassin persona doesn't use the parasol. I don't think I ever became notorious as the Lady.

    But as a whole package I still like ACL. It's short and fun. And there is something in parkour animations of Aveline that is really enjoyable to watch and never gets old. She feels very agile and... light-footed.
    Ooh kinky lol
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  4. #4
    You don't kill the magistrate, you pay him and the Assassin persona doesn't use the parasol.
    I mixed them up then. You still can kill his guards the stealthy way though.

    Ooh kinky lol
    In my head that sounded with less innuendo. Oh well...
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  5. #5
    Originally Posted by Finoderi Go to original post
    I mixed them up then. You still can kill his guards the stealthy way though.


    In my head that sounded with less innuendo. Oh well...
    He doesn't have guards.
    And it's nigh impossible to kill any guards nearby stealthily because the way the system works is that it spawns an enemy right in front of you as you go to approach him. IIt's not impossible to lower your notoriety in the persona that currently has the high bounty but needlessly longer than it needs to be because the game wants you to change into another persona to lower the notoriety of the others.
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  6. #6
    Quite an impressive, scathing review of a 7 year old PlayStation Vita port.
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