Assassin's Creed III: Liberation - At Last, a Lady Assassin

Meet Aveline, the Creole assassin heroine of the Vita's just-announced Assassin's Creed instalment.

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An assassin heroine would "feel kind of wrong" against the manly backdrop of the American Revolution. So says the creative director of Assassin's Creed III, for whom the period is "a history of men." Ubisoft Sofia must not have got the memo, because here is Assassin's Creed III: Liberation--a game set at the same time, starring a female protagonist who feels exactly right.

That protagonist is Aveline, whose character materialised out of the studio's preliminary research into old-timey New Orleans, the city in and around which the game is set. "From the beginning, she was there," says producer Martin Capel.

Aveline is the daughter of a French merchant and his African wife, troubling the status quo as both a Templar-stabbing assassin and a female. She does her murderous work in a time and place when, says Capel, certain women were finding new levels of influence and independence, albeit with less cross-dressing than the star of Liberation.

Still, hers is a lovely looking character design, styling out braids and a sweet tricorn hat as her assassin uniform rather than the traditional peaked hood, with a machete (a "sugar cane machete," says the trailer) and blowpipe as signature weapons.

The game takes place over 15 years, with our first glimpse set at the time of the Louisiana Rebellion, in which New Orleans settlers resisted their city being turned over to Spain. So it is that Spanish guards walk the streets and rooftops of Aveline's home city, through which she free-runs in much the same way as her fellow mixed-race assassin, Connor.

The developer intended to squeeze as much of the Assassin's Creed III experience onto the Vita as possible, with tree climbing and wilderness-type areas (such as the swampy bayous) yet to be shown off, says Capel. It's done a fair job, too, though animations are a shade less smooth than those in the console game.

Otherwise, the visuals are impressive. New Orleans especially is handsome, roads lined with palms and the climbable St. Louis Cathedral at its centre. It looks as sunny as signature-city Boston looks chilly in Assassin's Creed III.

We see some of Connor's manoeuvres also making the transition to the Vita; a Spanish guard makes as effective a meat shield against musket fire as a British redcoat. The touch screen on the Vita provides new kinds of control, as well. Charging a power gauge with regular combat kills enables a chain kill, in which you freeze the action, tap each victim in the order you want them dead, then unfreeze it, setting Aveline loose with a quick combo of executions.

The Vita's touch-sensitive display is also used to steer when racing a horse-drawn cart of smouldering gunpowder barrels through the streets of the city, though this looks less convincingly enjoyable than the power trip of a chain kill.

Capel calls the historical setting of his game one of being "outside the Revolution, looking in," another contrast with Liberation's big brother, multi-format, Revolution-set title. His game concerns itself instead with French and Spanish powers vying for the city, smuggling, and, surely, slavery, still thriving in the period of the game. But the games don't exist in isolation of each other: Connor and Aveline will cross paths in some way, says Capel, though elaborating no further than "a crossover is planned."

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Discussion

21 comments
AyatollaofRnR
AyatollaofRnR

There were female assassins in brotherhood that you could send out on quests, so it's not to surprising to see a female protagonist. I think they are right that it wouldn't have fit ACIII's setting though

Deviija
Deviija

I'm so frustrated that this isn't coming to the consoles/PC!  Aveline looks amazing and we finally get a lady Assassin as protagonist -- but only on the Vita.  :(  Disappointing!  But it sounds to be a great game for the handheld.  Kudos to you Ubisoft Sofia!  If their stories cross, perhaps we can see Aveline in a DLC of ACIII, or as a protagonist you play for a DLC? Could be lovely.

Uesugi-dono
Uesugi-dono

I LOVE the idea of this game.  This has the capacity to be one of my favorites this year.  And I absolutely love the loss of the hood; which shouldn't even be in AssThreed.  I'm glad Ubisoft Sofia went with a more realistic outfit. 

SANDMAN201
SANDMAN201

I've been wondering if a Vita is going to be worth it. But with all these cool new looking games such as MGS and this. Not to mention Call of Duty for the Vita. I think I might finally go out and get one.

bonander
bonander

This was hands down my favorite reveal at E3.  I can't wait until October!

Poncho_Hachacha
Poncho_Hachacha

Everything I'm reading so far sounds great. Now I just need some more footage.

darkPSPfan
darkPSPfan

Now that's how a Vita game should be made like

s_h_a_d_o
s_h_a_d_o

This is the best news I've heard from the franchise in many a year...

pity it's not enough to convince me to purchase a Vita. :|

Kravyn81
Kravyn81

I'm interested to learn how these two new characters are related back to the original Desmond Miles, and how the story arc is going to proceed.

JeyNyce
JeyNyce

I wish this was coming out for the consoles as well, at least as a DLC or something.

Benzo396
Benzo396

@ ClaudiusCaesar Lol that's a good one, but I highly doubt it. It's good to see a female protagonist and it shouldn't surprise me there are more assassins especially with the introduction of Brotherhood. I just hope they don't stray too far off the main story.

Benzo396
Benzo396

How does Aveline tie in with Desmond?

Luiscesjr
Luiscesjr

 @Benzo396  But it was also said that Aveline and Connor will meet somewhere in the games, in AC III or III liberation. So who knows? Maybe she is Desmond Grandgrandgrand...mother =)

Deviija
Deviija

 @Benzo396 I wouldn't mind if Aveline was an ancestor of Lucy.  Just putting that out there.  

JediKnight66
JediKnight66

 @Benzo396 Aveline isn't a descendant of Desmond. In fact, I think I saw somewhere that Desmond won't even be in the Vita version.

Granpire
Granpire

 @Benzo396 In a GameInformer interview, Capel outlined a bizarre setting for the game. To quote:

 

"Liberation is different from main Assassin Creed games in that it is an Abstergo product where the player is playing in the Animus, rather than playing an Assassin through the Animus.

 

The game has been released as a propaganda tool by Abstergo, who want players to experience a gray area of the Assassin/Templar conflict as an Assassin rather than a Templar."

 

So it sounds like a fictional video game within the game world of Assassin's Creed. Sounds like a silly idea to me, but as long as the game is good, I won't complain.