The developers at Ubisoft have made it clear from the start that Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation would be much more than a spin-off to Assassin’s Creed 3. By selecting a protagonist every bit as conflicted and racially significant to America’s beginnings as Connor Kenway, the opportunity to tell a poignant story is in place.
The last trailer for Liberation explained the role of women and slavery in the game’s campaign, but the newest video for the PlayStation Vita exclusive gets much more personal. It seems Aveline will be a woman of two worlds – and equally deadly in both.
As the child of a French merchant and an African mother, Aveline de Grandpre embodies many of the important questions of racial identity in America’a earliest days, and even more so in Louisiana. The conflagration of French, Spanish, Native American and Creole cultures that was present in the areas surrounding New Orleans at the time the game takes place is a history lesson itself, but Aveline doesn’t need to take notes.
That same question of finding one’s place in a new nation, while descending from neither is something that Connor Kenway will be dealing with just as much. Like Connor, Aveline is forced to deal with the loss of family at an early age, as the trailer shows. The two Assassins set to be introduced with AC3 may be worlds apart, but both turn loss into fuel for revolution.
But to distinguish Liberation from AC3 on consoles and PC, the developers have made sure that the Vita experience looks and feels differently. Wrestling alligators is one thing, but the face-painted soldiers of the Louisiana Bayou that Aveline is seen dispatching in the trailer promise a unique design. The same can be said for Aveline’s ability to infiltrate both the noble classes and the lowly servants, relying as much on her skills as the assumptions her race carried at the time.
We’re still waiting to see how the notions of slavery and racism are approached in terms of morality, since AC3 will be very careful not to paint either the Americans or the British with a single brush, positively or negatively. Aveline seems to be facing off against the forces of Spain, not Britain – take that, conspiracy theorists – but how the incredibly controversial subjects are explored by Ubisoft’s writers will likely come as a surprise to those actually playing through the campaign.
Politics and racism will surely take a backseat when the slicing and dicing begins, so those Vita owners who aren’t looking for as grand, sweeping, or large-scale a proposition as AC3 need not fret. The team behind the Vita title has tailor-made the experience for handheld gameplay, and from our time spent with the game at E3, the results are more than promising.
What parts of Aveline’s story are you most looking forward to? The new elements of gameplay, the crossovers with Connor, or the writing? Sound off in the comments.
Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation launches on the PlayStation Vita alongsideAssassin’s Creed 3 October 30, 2012.
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