Assassin's Creed III: Liberation

Assassin's Creed III: Liberation is a 2012 action-adventure video game developed by Ubisoft Sofia and published by Ubisoft. It was originally released for the PlayStation Vita on October 30, 2012, in North America,[10] with a worldwide launch the following day.[11] It is the fourth spin-off installment in the Assassin's Creed series, and takes place alongside the events of Assassin's Creed III.

Assassin's Creed III: Liberation
Assassin's Creed III Liberation Cover Art.jpg
Developer(s)Ubisoft Sofia[4]
Ubisoft Milan[5]
Publisher(s)Ubisoft
Director(s)Julian Gollop[6][7]
Producer(s)Martin Capel[8]
Writer(s)Richard Farrese
Jill Murray[8]
Composer(s)Winifred Phillips
Music produced by
Winnie Waldron[9]
SeriesAssassin's Creed
EngineAnvilNext
Platform(s)PlayStation Vita
PlayStation 3
Microsoft Windows
Xbox 360
PlayStation 4
Xbox One
Nintendo Switch
Google Stadia
Release
Liberation
  • PlayStation Vita
    • NA: October 30, 2012
    • EU: October 31, 2012
    • AU: October 31, 2012
    • JP: November 15, 2012
Liberation HD
  • PlayStation 3
    • NA: January 14, 2014[1]
    • EU: January 15, 2014[1]
    • AU: January 15, 2014
  • Windows, Xbox 360
  • Stadia
    • WW: December 14, 2021
Liberation Remastered
  • Windows, PS4, Xbox One
    • WW: March 29, 2019[3]
  • Nintendo Switch
    • WW: May 21, 2019
  • Stadia
    • WW: December 14, 2021
Genre(s)Action-adventure, stealth
Mode(s)Single-player
Multiplayer (original release only)[4]

The plot is set within a fictional history of real-world events and follows the millennia-old struggle between the Assassins, who fight to preserve peace and free will, and the Templars, who desire peace through control. The game is set in late 18th-century French Louisiana, from 1765 to 1777, and focuses on the life of French Assassin Aveline de Grandpré, the series' first female protagonist, as she fights the Templars' attempts to gain control of New Orleans following the end of the French and Indian War.[4][10] The game takes place within an open world and is presented from the third-person perspective with a primary focus on using Aveline's combat, stealth, and parkour abilities to complete missions and explore the environment.

The original release of Liberation received mixed reviews from critics, who praised its setting and protagonist, but disliked the narrative's execution and certain aspects of the gameplay, while feeling that the title was limited by its status as a spin-off. A fully remade version of the game, titled Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD, was released in January 2014 for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows via the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and Steam, respectively.[1][12] A remastered version of Liberation HD was released as part of Assassin's Creed III Remastered for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Windows in March 2019, for the Nintendo Switch in May 2019, and for Google Stadia in December 2021.[13] The remastered version was redesigned to operate with 4K HDR/enhanced visuals, and includes several improvements such as a new graphics engine using physics-based lighting, new character models, and heavily revamped gameplay mechanics.

GameplayEdit

Assassin's Creed III: Liberation retains the "franchise's trademark open world and gameplay",[14] while making use of the PlayStation Vita's touchscreen and rear touch pad, cameras and gyroscope. Players assume the role of Assassin Aveline de Grandpré in 18th-century French Louisiana, who controls similarly to other protagonists in the series, being able to free run, use 'social stealth', and fight enemies using a counter-based combat system. Because the game uses the same engine as Assassin's Creed III, most of the animations from that game are reused. However, Aveline does have several unique animations, as well as the ability to dual-wield weapons, such as the new blowpipe as well as the familiar swords, knives, pistols and hidden blade.[15]

New gameplay mechanics exclusive to Liberation include a Chain Kill ability, which allows Aveline to chain attacks together to kill multiple enemies at once; a trade system, in which Aveline manages her father's trade network by purchasing goods and selling them to other cities via ship; and the ability to switch between Aveline's three distinct personas, each providing its own advantages and disadvantages. For example, the Assassin persona performs better in combat, but is very quickly detected by enemies; the Slave persona can blend in with other slaves or carry crates to pass by suspicious enemies, but has access to less weapons; and the Lady persona can charm or bribe guards to enter restricted areas and is detected slower than the other personas, but cannot free run.[16]

By linking the game to Assassin's Creed III, players can receive several in-game bonuses, such as the signature tomahawk of Assassin's Creed III's protagonist, Connor, an exclusive character skin, a multiplayer character and a complete upgrade of all ammunition pouches.[10]

The multiplayer component, exclusive to the original PlayStation Vita version, consists of players tapping nodes on a map, using characters (represented with static portraits) to capture bases and collect supplies, among other things. This differs from the series usual competitive multiplayer which had players assassinating each other for sport.

SynopsisEdit

SettingEdit

Liberation explores the life of a second 18th-century assassin in Colonial America who operated during the end of the French and Indian War within Louisiana, during its Spanish occupation; an Afro-French woman named Aveline de Grandpré,[17] whose work included freeing slaves while eradicating Templar presence in New Orleans.[18] Aveline's story encompasses a period of twelve years of her life, and takes place alongside the events of Assassin's Creed III. Much of the game takes place within the city of New Orleans and the bayou that surrounds it, though also includes locations connected to the Seven Years' War and the American Revolutionary War.[19]

Liberation incorporates several events from American history into its plot, like the tragic mulattos, the anti-miscegenation laws in the United States, the back-to-Africa movement, and the education during the Slave Period.[20] Historical characters featured in the game include Jean-Jacques Blaise d'Abbadie,[21] Antonio de Ulloa,[22] François Mackandal,[23] and Gilbert Antoine de Saint-Maxent.[24]

PlotEdit

In the modern day, Abstergo Entertainment, a subsidiary of Abstergo that produces multimedia goods, releases their first major product, Liberation - a video game about the life of the Assassin Aveline de Grandpré. The hacker group Erudito contacts the player during their playthrough, and reveals that a heavy amount of censoring was done in regard to the Assassin-Templar war, offering to help them learn the truth.

The player begins experiencing the life of Aveline in 1765, as she operates within the city of New Orleans from her family mansion, which she lives in alongside her father, Philippe Olivier de Grandpré, and stepmother, Madeleine de L'Isle. As the city undergoes a transition of control from France to Spain near the end of the French and Indian War, Aveline discovers a plot to control Louisiana, orchestrated by the Templar Rafael Joaquín de Ferrer. To counter this, she assassinates two men assisting in his goals—French governor Jean-Jacques Blaise d'Abbadie and an Assassin turncoat named Baptiste. A year after these assassinations, de Ferrer leaves New Orleans, while his associate Antonio de Ulloa is appointed Louisiana's new Spanish governor.

In 1768, Aveline's mentor Agaté orders her to assassinate Ulloa, who has been imposing strict trading restrictions, setting up a covert slave-trading operation, and allowing French officials to continue operating in the city. However, Aveline spares Ulloa upon learning the slaves sent out of the city were assigned to a Templar excavation site in Chichén Itzá, and instead orders him to step down as governor and leave New Orleans. Against Agaté's orders, Aveline heads to Chichén Itzá disguised a slave, and runs into her mother Jeanne, a former Assassin who disappeared during her youth. She also encounters de Ferrer, and learns that he has been ordered by his superior, known only as the "Company Man", to use the slaves to find an ancient chamber built by the First Civilization. Aveline enters the chamber, retrieving one half of an artifact called the Prophecy Disk, and kills de Ferrer. Jeanne, fearing that Agaté sent Aveline to kill her for betraying the Assassins, warns her daughter not to give him the Disk.

In 1771, following Aveline's return to New Orleans, her friend and fellow Assassin Gérald Blanc informs her that while Spanish control strengthened during her absence, a Templar named Diego Vázquez bribed several soldiers to control the Bayou. Learning that Agaté is in danger, Aveline goes to warn and protect him. A year later, she returns to Chichén Itzá, where she reunites with Jeanne and forgives her for her past actions. After helping Aveline recover the second half of the Disk, Jeanne stays behind to protect the area from further Templar incursions. In 1776, Aveline returns to New Orleans and commits herself to freeing slaves. When Madeleine learns of her stepdaughter's work, she asks her to help a former slave, George Davidson, escape to the north so that he may join the Patriot army. Aveline later assassinates Vázquez, but learns that the he is not the Company Man as she assumed. During this time, Philippe mysteriously falls ill and dies.

In 1777, Gérald informs Aveline of a Loyalist officer operating at the New York Frontier who might know the Company Man's identity. With the help of fellow Assassin Connor, Aveline kills the officer, revealed to be Davidson. After returning to New Orleans and deducing that Madeleine is the Company Man and poisoned Philippe, Aveline confronts her. Madeleine reveals that she had been secretly grooming Aveline to become a Templar, and asks her to kill Agaté as a final show of trust. Aveline goes to warn him, but Agaté, believing that Aveline has already joined the Templars because of her past disobediences, attacks her, before committing suicide, unable to accept his failure as a mentor.

Aveline meets with Madeleine at the St. Louis Cathedral to be initiated into the Templar Order, and gives her the Prophecy Disk. Madeleine is unable to activate it, and deduces that it is missing its final component: a locket Jeanne had given to Aveline in her youth. Aveline then reveals her true intentions and kills Madeleine and the other attending Templars, before connecting the locket to the Disk. This unlocks a holographic recording from the time of the First Civilization, showing the election of Eve as the leader of the human rebellion during the Human-First Civilization War.

ReleaseEdit

Assassin's Creed III: Liberation was released on October 30, 2012, the same day as Assassin's Creed III. The game is available in a PS Vita bundle pack with a new crystal white Wi-Fi Vita and a 4GB memory card.[10] In Japan it was released under the title Assassin's Creed III: Lady Liberty.[25]

It was announced on September 10, 2013, that the game would be re-released as Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Microsoft Windows via the PlayStation Network, Xbox Live Arcade and Steam, respectively, in 2014. The game features visuals closer to III as well as updated audio, AI and facial animations. Additional missions have been added and some of the Vita-specific touch screen missions have been removed, as well as the nodes multiplayer and a minor Quick Time Event minigame.[12] The game was released on the PlayStation 3 on January 14, 2014, in North America and January 15, 2014, in Europe. The Microsoft Windows and Xbox 360 versions were released worldwide on January 15, 2014.[1][2]

It was announced on September 13, 2018, that Assassin’s Creed III Remastered would be included in the Assassin's Creed: Odyssey season pass.[26] Assassin's Creed III Remastered was announced to include all of its original DLC and a remastered version of Assassin's Creed III: Liberation.[3]

On July 11, 2022, Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD was removed from purchase on Steam. Furthermore, it was announced that all DLC and online features would subsequently be inaccessible to players after September 1, 2022.[27]

Additional contentEdit

Purchasing Assassin's Creed III for the PlayStation 3 gives the player the ability to connect it to Liberation and unlock an exclusive mission in the latter game featuring Connor, as well as a multiplayer skin and an Ammunition Pouch. There was also a promotional DLC, titled Mysteries of the Bayou Pack, that came with pre-orders of the game in PAL regions. It included an exclusive weapon, an alligator hunting hat, a multiplayer skin, and Ammunition Pouches for smoke bombs and poison darts.

All the additional content is included in Liberation HD and Liberation Remastered, save for the multiplayer skin, as that feature was removed.

MusicEdit

Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation (Original Game Soundtrack)
Soundtrack album by
ReleasedOctober 30, 2012
GenreVideo game soundtrack
LabelUbisoft Music
ProducerWinnie Waldron
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
ArtasticGaming.comA+[28]
GSoundtracks.com    [29]
MundoBSO.com     [30]
FilmMusicMedia.com    [31]

The music in the game was composed by Winifred Phillips and produced by Winnie Waldron.[9] The soundtrack album was released by Ubisoft Music on the same day as the release of the Assassin's Creed III: Liberation video game, October 30, 2012.[32] Together with music producer Winnie Waldron, Winifred Phillips won several awards for her work on this project. For the music composition of the Assassin's Creed III Liberation video game, Phillips won a Global Music Award for musical excellence.[33] Composer Winifred Phillips and music producer Winnie Waldron won a 2012 Hollywood Music in Media Award for the music score for Assassin's Creed III: Liberation.[34] The main theme music of the Assassin's Creed III: Liberation video game won a G.A.N.G. Award from the Game Audio Network Guild in the category of "Best Original Vocal Song — Choral."'[35] The music of Assassin's Creed III Liberation won a GameFocus Award for Best Music of 2012.[36] The game's musical score also received nominations in several year-end award competitions, including the GameZone Awards,[37] the Best of IGN Awards,[38] and the G4TV X-Play Best of 2012 Awards.[39]

The music of Assassin's Creed III Liberation was very well received by both game and music critics. Robert Workman of GameZone wrote, "The music is superb,"[40] and Evan Narcisse of Kotaku called the soundtrack, "a stealthy success."[41] Jen Bosier of VideoGameWriters said that the music of Assassin's Creed III Liberation was "without question, the best soundtrack the series has seen to date."[42] Music critic Randall Larson of BuySoundtrax.com stated, "This is a fine score and one that even non-gamers should applaud for its cinematic, dynamic and immersive drive." Reviewer Lucas Smith of Piki Geek asserted that "the soundtrack will go down as one of the year's best."[43]

Assassin's Creed III Liberation video game soundtrack
No.TitleLength
1."Liberation Main Theme"2:01
2."Stealth"2:11
3."Virtual Pursuit"2:12
4."The Docks"2:02
5."Abstergo Ops"3:43
6."Secrets of the Bayou"2:02
7."Poverty"2:10
8."Aveline's Escape"3:36
9."Society Suite in 4 Movements"7:16
10."Ride to Oblivion"2:12
11."Mayan Labyrinth"2:04
12."Chasing Freedom"2:19
13."The Hunt"2:13
14."Bayou Fortress"2:00
15."Safe Harbor"2:07
16."Shanty Town"2:01
17."Deliverance"2:27
18."Winter in the North"2:04
19."The Cathedral Grounds"2:05
20."Animus"2:27
21."In the Bayou"2:23
22."Mayan Ruins"2:03
23."River of the Mayans"2:35
24."Agate's Power"3:26
25."In the Service of Humanity"3:11
26."Virtual Reality Room"3:26

ReceptionEdit

Initial reviews for Assassin's Creed III: Liberation were mixed. Metacritic, which assigns a score based on reviews from industry leaders, has the game scored at 70/100 based on 71 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[44]

Shaun McInnis, reviewer for GameSpot, gave the game a score of 6.5/10, praising the protagonist as "...a woman born from the romance between a wealthy father and a slave mother, someone who has overcome her uncertain upbringing to find a new life in the Assassin Brotherhood". McInnis also commended the setting, writing "...a brilliant version of 18th-century New Orleans, one that beautifully reflects the diverse cultural ambience formed over years of operating as a French trading port". However, he also wrote that the game "squanders its most unique ideas...Liberation takes little advantage of its own narrative format" and that the plot is "largely aimless and hastily delivered".[50]

IGN's Greg Miller stated, "The moves and kills you'd expect are here, but the story is boiled down to be easy to jump in and out of. That takes away some of the excitement in playing through it", giving it 7.2/10.[14] In April 2020, Game Informer ranked the game as the 13th best game in the Assassin's Creed series to date, the lowest entry on the list.[51]

ReferencesEdit

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  51. ^ Juba, Joe (April 29, 2020). "Ranking The Entire Assassin's Creed Series". Game Informer. GameStop. Retrieved November 19, 2020.

External linksEdit