Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD Slated For Release in Early 2014
Never let it be said that Ubisoft is above jumping into the sweeping HD remake craze. Their critically acclaimed, if not supremely profitable, Beyond Good & Evil was remastered and re-released in HD for Xbox Live Arcade and the PlayStation Network back in 2011. And now they're stepping it up and doing the same thing to one of their biggest franchises.
Assassin's Creed spans five games in the main series and eight spinoff titles as well as a variety of comics, novels, and short films. While the last three may occasionally throw a wrench into the canon (as all such spinoff media does), they also further expand the franchise, deepen the lore, and widen the fans' character perspective.
What's interesting is that with several AC releases just waiting in the wings (Black Flag is already out for preorder and due for release at the end of this month, mobile games Utopia and Pirates have been announced for release sometime later this year), Ubisoft has revealed that it has even more on its plate, and that Assassin's Creed Liberation HD will be coming to the PlayStation 3 via the PlayStation Store on January 14. It can also be found on Xbox Live Arcade, and is already out for preorder on Steam.
One of the spinoff Assassins' Creed titles for the PlayStation Vita, Liberation tells the story of female protagonist Aveline de Grandpré, a deadly Creole Assassin with a formidable arsenal and skill set. Caught up in the events of leading up to the American Revolution in the north and Spanish forces planning to take control of Louisiana in the south, Aveline is a privileged woman brought up to become a strong-willed, avid opponent of slavery.
Fighting for the control of New Orleans against the Templars following France's handover of the city to Spain, she is instrumental in the Louisiana Rebellion that forces the Spanish and Templars out of the city for nearly two years before they are able to return in force.
But it's more than just HD.
While it seems like every major publisher is popping out HD remakes and rereleases like a pocketful of PEZ dispensers, to Ubisoft's credit, Liberation HD will not be a straight rerelease for the PS3.
When we set out to do Liberation HD, our objective was simple: improve upon what worked on the Vita 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 its pacing, and the challenge it poses to the player.
In addition to upgrading the title to HD, which is often an excuse to add more bloom effects to the screen, Liberation HD will also have new missions specific to Aveline's Personas.
Aveline is the first Assassin with clearly different character types - Assassin, Lady, and Servant. Each persona has its advantages and disadvantages in the 15 new missions that will delve deeper into Aveline's story, and each will generate a different reaction from those she interacts with.
What do you think?
Some fans are already a little miffed that a relatively new title (one that has not even managed to hit one year since its release) should already be getting the makeover for a new platform - particularly one that should be taking second place once the next-gen consoles are released in November.
Is Ubisoft jumping on the current wave of female protagonist popularity, newly revived thanks in large part to Square Enix's 2013 series reboot for Tomb Raider?
Either way, it is nice to see that there are still going to be some new goodies available in the coming months for the PS3 even after the release of the PS4.
If you haven't had the chance to play Liberation on the Vita, or simply want to try it out on the big screen, Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD can be found on the PSN early next year for $19.99.