Monday, October 8, 2012

Assassin's Creed III Liberation: Hope for Portables

Assassin's Creed III Liberation will be out on PlayStation Vita on October 30, 2012, and it offers a completely different experience than the console versions of Assassin's Creed III. There are two paths that portable releases of major titles typically take when accompanying their console brethren. The rarest option is the direct port, as few developers seem to see this as a viable option. For Vita, we've seen it with the Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, Mortal Kombat, and will again with the upcoming PlayStation All-Stars Battle Royale. More often than not, what we get instead is simply a side game. Sadly, these are typically farmed out to smaller developers who work on them independently to craft something that is deemed "better suited" to a portable environment. What this usually turns out to be is a game featuring bite-sized missions or a completely neutered experience that is nothing like the console version. It's sad to see either of these, because it feels like the portable systems are simply being tossed scraps that gamers would be better off without in the first place.

That said, it is with great hope that Assassin's Creed III Liberation appears to be taking the latter route in a better direction. Ubisoft is taking this opportunity to create a solid, unique experience that differs from the console release while hopefully still feeling every bit as complete. In this latest dev diary the team at Ubisoft shares a little more info about the game. While we still don't know if this portable experience is segmented into missions like many other portable versions attempt do, but the core gameplay looks solid enough to support this one either way. There are even story crossovers to be found here, as the main character Aveline will meet up with the console version's protagonist Conner at certain points.

If this formula succeeds maybe the next round of portable versions for major releases will be deeper than they have been in the past. Stay tuned as this one nears launch for more details, but for now Liberation has given me hope that a brighter future for Vita and 3DS releases exists.

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