Fans of Assassin’s Creed have made it clear that they are always hungry for more adventures and new historical settings, as Ubisoft‘s flagship franchise has gone from a promising new IP to an annual moneymaker. The publisher is putting that fan loyalty to the test, taking a previously Vita-exclusive adventure, upgrading the textures and refining the gameplay to release the downloadable Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD.
The launch trailer sets the stage for anyone who may not be familiar with the handheld heroine, while a new batch of screenshots shows how well the title has been remastered for (unfortunately not next-gen) home consoles.
When Ubisoft first announced Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation as a game that would not only overlap with the much-hyped Assassin’s Creed 3, but be available exclusively on Sony’s PlayStation Vita, many asked whether the deal would pay dividends for Sony, or simply leave money on the table from AC fans unwilling to purchase the mobile device.
It’s hard to say if the release of Liberation HD was planned from the very beginning, or aimed at the (sizable) audience who never got around to living through Aveline de Grandpre‘s Louisiana hijinx. Either way, the launch trailer claims that more than the textures and visuals have been altered.
The visual upgrades are evident, of course, but promising “refined gameplay” and highlighting the 15 new missions crafted specifically for a console experience makes it clear that Ubisoft is even speaking to players who found the original Liberation promising, but under-developed (as we did in our review). Still, the screenshots, like the gameplay itself, promise that the downloadable title will still scratch the itch for Assassin’s Creed fans who have searched every corner of Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag‘s world.
While HD re-releases of past titles has become commonplace of late, there’s no question that Liberation HD stands out for a number of reasons. Most importantly, that when it was first announced, the title was set to be a Sony exclusive, at least for its launch window. The mere existence of the title will provide fodder for those who claim that locking content to specific consoles – when the game itself is not a system exclusive – is a flawed practice, as Ubisoft takes its second swing with the same core experience.
Of course, we won’t know more until the sales numbers for the title are in, but for now, the game’s re-release gives fans of the franchise’s mythology and extended fiction to walk in the shoes of the first playable female Assassin. The publisher has gone on record claiming that they’re not afraid to delay an Assassin’s Creed title to ensure its quality, so hopefully the wait for Liberation HD will be worth it.
Will you be picking up a copy of the game, or is Assassin’s Creed 4 – and its similarly slavery-focused DLC – all fans need for the time being? Sound off in the comments.
Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD is available for download for $19.99 on PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
Follow Andrew on Twitter @andrew_dyce.