The DLC for Assassin's Creed III
was barely finished when Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag
was announced. Now, Ubisoft has gone to an even bigger extreme and announced yet another title for the franchise before the other one is even out yet! However, this instalment is slightly different to the rest of the series. Originally a PS Vita exclusive, Assassin's Creed Liberation HD
is set to be the first download-only title for the franchise. It's also the first time we get to play as a female assassin. That's if you don't count the bevvy of female multiplayer characters we've had over the series.Assassin's Creed Liberation HD
features unique gameplay mechanics and an immersive storyline which are sure to keep the franchise fresh. Ubisoft Sofia are also giving the game a complete graphic overhaul, remastered music and sound effects, and even some brand new missions so that players will be able to delve deeper into the main character's story. This isn't just a simple port from its handheld predecessor; Ubisoft are taking full advantage of the Xbox 360 hardware and giving players a worthy experience. You're probably also wondering what the game is all about and who this female assassin is. If you haven't been able to get your hands on the PS Vita version, Ubisoft have been kind enough to get you up to speed.
The year is 1765. While the seeds of the American Revolution are being sewn in Boston and New York, Spanish forces in the South plot to seize control of Louisiana for the Templars, threatening to forever shift the balance of power in the New World. As Templars secretly take hold of the slave trade in New Orleans, Aveline de Grandpré, an assassin of mixed French and African heritage, stands ready to defend her people. She soon finds herself on an unforgettable journey that will take her from the crowded streets of New Orleans to voodoo-haunted swamps and ancient Mayan ruins. Whether eliminating her enemies with new assassination skills or luring them into cunning traps, Aveline strikes mortal fear into the hearts of those who would stand against freedom.
Aveline sounds like an interesting new addition alongside Altair, Ezio, Connor, and Edward, doesn't she? With a machete, poison-dart blowpipe, a whip and duelling pistols by her side, she could even surpass them! As well as the slick-looking screenshots of her seen above, a large helping of other shots have been revealed showing off the game's new graphics, environments, character renders, and more of the leading lady herself.
Now an announcement would never be a REAL announcement without its own announcement trailer, would it?
To top it off, Ubisoft answered some burning questions about the game in a global Q&A following the announcement.
• What does Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD brings to table versus its predecessor? How does it improve upon its predecessor in terms of gameplay?
When we set out to do Liberation HD, our objective was simple – improve upon what worked and adapt the gameplay and missions to be the most fun and enjoyable they could be. As a result, each mission has been reworked in order to improve their pacing and the challenge they pose for the player. Based on the feedback from our fans and our internal review of Liberation, mission paths, objectives and enemy encounters have all been edited to improve flow and the gameplay experience. Additionally, each scripted scene has been updated. Finally, a new set of tutorials has been implemented throughout the main path in order to introduce and educate players on combat and navigation mechanics.
We also polished the world layouts and every free-running path. Thus ensuring navigation is more enjoyable throughout our multiple game areas; namely New Orleans, the Louisiana Bayou and Chichen Itza. Controls also have been adapted to consoles and PC as to be closer to what you would expect of Assassin’s Creed and as to be more natural for consoles and PC gamers.
We also have new missions specific to Aveline’s Personas. Three news side missions’ chains have been created and each is a set of five (5) missions for a particular Persona, focusing on their specific strength and features set. That’s a total of 15 missions delving deeper into Aveline’s story.
• Beyond graphics and gameplay, what is Liberation improving upon from its predecessor in terms of narrative and storytelling?
Purely in terms of story, we are introducing in Liberation HD new story panels inserted between certain missions in order to focus players on the important bits of the story. This ensures smoother storytelling and story progression but also provides additional insights/details of the interesting world of 18th century New Orleans.
In term of storytelling, we heavily focused on improving the character’s performance to provide a richer cinematic experience. Every cinematic and their animation has been reworked and upgraded. In other words, the team implemented high resolution characters, high definition skeletons (the animation rigs used when creating cut-scenes) and improved facial animations (and their rigs). The result is enhanced cut-scenes with smoother camera work that improve the storytelling and believability of characters.
• Can you give us a glimpse at the scale of Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD?
The scope of Liberation is similar in length to previous Assassin’s Creed console games, with between 15 hours of play for experienced gamers to 20 hours for typical players. Liberation has also been scaled for “short burst” game session. This is reflected in the mission design and checkpoints to ensure maximal enjoyment.
• Can you introduce us to the new protagonist, Aveline? What is her back story?
Aveline is an assassin of mixed heritage. She is the daughter of a wealthy French merchant and his African placée bride (Plaçage was a form of temporary marriage that was widely accepted in Louisiana at this time). Aveline is raised with privilege and love, even after her mother disappears and her father marries her step-mother. As Aveline grows she develops into a strong willed young woman and starts to take notice of the contrasts around her - wealth and poverty, freedom and slavery, and while torn between the different values she inherited from her parents, she forms her own set of values, including a vehement anti-slavery stance. It is at this time that she is recruited to the Assassins by Agate, an escaped slave who teaches Aveline to focus the strengths and skills required as an Assassin.
In creating Aveline we wanted a new character with clear values and the will to fight for them, even if they do not always align with those of her parents or Agate. She is driven by her perception of what is right and what is wrong. She is very much an insider - a model citizen and the privileged daughter of a successful businessman, who uses her skills to fight against the injustices she sees around her every day in New Orleans, but as events begin to overtake the New World, Aveline finds herself caught more and more in the struggle between the Assassins and Templars for supremacy.
• What key new features and content does Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD brings to the Assassin’s Creed universe?
Aveline is the first Assassin with such clearly different character types – Assassin, Lady and Servant. Each character has their own advantages and disadvantages when playing missions, and each generates a different reaction from the city life around Aveline. All three personas bring depth to her character and game play choice to the player. The persona system also introduced changing rooms – booths placed around the city to facilitate Aveline’s change in disguise.
You reckon you feel educated enough to take on another new Assassin's Creed
game then? There has been no official price and release date for Assassin's Creed Liberation HD
yet, but we'll let you know when you can take control of Aveline and eliminate more of those evil Templar menaces on XBLA as soon as we can!