Assassin's Creed Liberation
Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed 4 is the AC game getting the most attention right now, and rightly so. However, also available now is a port of a year old PlayStation Vita game, that's had a bucket of HD paint sloshed over it, getting all the visuals slick and gooey. Some of that stickiness is also squishing some frayed bits of code together, fixing a lot of old bugs. They've also added some new missions and items, but nothing too major. POINT IS - this is probably the biggest, best looking version of the title we're likely to see. But does that make it good?
Answer: eh, kinda? I mean, let's face it, Assassin's Creed is a series that, for me at least, is defined by disappointment. It never ever really shakes out the way you'd like - even this game's most interesting feature, the persona system (which, because of your protagonist's unique social situation of being the daughter of French merchant and and African slave allows her to assume the identity of either an Assassin, a Lady and a Slave) does not really translate into many interesting options as far as actual gameplay goes. And the core experience is still a bit shaky, but like a beloved arthritic family dog, it's a shaky thing we're rather familiar and somewhat comfortable with - go here, kill that, steal this, run away etc etc,. Side quests abound, of course (because what's AC without padding?), and if you're going for 100 per cent completion there's a decent amount of stuff to do. But at the end of the day, what we have is an AC title that's been stripped down - more confined, reduced scope, less options, but also less fat. A leaner, cheaper product. The core experience is the same as it ever was (with some ACIII trappings), so if that's your bag, you could probably do worse for the price.
This review first appeared in Empire Times Magazine