While the Assassin’s Creed fans of the world wait with bated breath for October 30 to finally arrive, there is more than just Assassin’s Creed 3 to look forward to. While players will be plugging away as new protagonist Connor Kenway, there is a good chance that they’ll find themselves more than a little jealous of PlayStation Vita owners.
Only those who possess one of the handheld platforms will be able to enjoy Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation, and witness firsthand how Connor Kenway’s lifelong mission will relate and intersect with that of Aveline de Grandpre, Liberation‘s heroine. The newest developer diary from Ubisoft, titled ‘Liberty Chronicles,’ hints at the very different struggle for freedom Aveline will take part in, and what role she’ll play in Connor’s. Anyone who thought the handheld title wasn’t a true Assassin’s Creed game may want to reconsider.
If casual observers thought that making an Assassin a driving force in America’s independence from Great Britain was controversial, then Liberation is downright groundbreaking. As a woman of French-African descent in 18th Century Louisiana, Aveline’s own perceptions of social justice aren’t bogged down in politics or empire, but slavery, plain and simple.
But in case anyone thinks that Connor and Aveline share a common existence as victims of oppression and violence, the truth is far more complex. As the daughter of a wealthy French merchant, the various images showing an evening-gown-wearing Aveline don’t show her in disguise, but the wardrobe of her upbringing. Aveline has been trained by Agate, an escaped slave, but social status is just the beginning of her differences from Connor Kenway.
The Vita-exclusive may share a time period with AC3, but everything from the bayou locations of New Orleans to the look of both Assassins and Templars will be distinct. As Louisiana was still under French control at the time the game takes place (seen in the more French/Creole character costumes) it seems the British won’t be the only foreign power being dispatched with regularity. But with slavery a central issue (Aveline’s mentor, Agate, is an escaped slave himself) that Aveline herself isn’t victim to, her convictions are every bit as potent as Connor, Ezio or Altair before.
Previous details on the morality of Assassin’s Creed 3 promised conflicted figures, since both sides of the war still allowed slavery. With that in mind, the possibilities for how Aveline and Connor will encounter one another in the course of their games are endless. Perhaps he takes a break from scouring New York’s underworld to take in a few lessons in alligator wrestling?
The trailer also shows off the unique combat and weaponry granted to Aveline, after it blew us away at E3 2012. The setting, mechanics and mission structure distinguish Liberation as anything but a re-skinned spin-off. Ubisoft always intended to deliver a console experience (in both story and technical and quality) on the Vita, and Assassin’s Creed 3‘s lead writer Corey May says those entrusted with the task have done “an incredible job.”
They’ve certainly pulled off an impressive likeness to singer Rihanna, which we’re going to assume is more striking in concept artwork than the in-game model.
What do you think of the standalone, yet canon story being told with Liberation? Do you think that it’s somewhat unfair for such a rich story to be a platform exclusive, or is it a game you can go without playing? Sound off in the comments, while we seriously consider a Vita purchase for this game alone.
Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation launches on the PlayStation Vita alongside Assassin’s Creed 3 October 30, 2012.
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