Sunday, January 13, 2013

So, I Have Put Time Into Assassin's Creed 3: Liberation

In my frantic attempts to continue getting last-minute play sessions with games that came out last year before the voting for Game of the Year is final (if anyone is wondering (you aren't), I go by the poll that goes around a few forums including the Penny Arcade one where I frequent, hence the absolute lateness) and I have to put these games into an order of some sort.  I will worry about that step when I come to it, because for now, I'm just trying to get a fairly good impression of the games that I have since there least four games that I have that I have not fully played that are eligible and that is going to be a difficult thing to juggle.  Thankfully, AssLib is the only one for the Vita (as I've played the hell out of the rest of the Vita games I currently have), so there's not a lot of swapping.  Of course, with the other three being PS3 games and the depressing discovery that I am completely out of HDD space for the installs for these games, it is....a challenge, to say the least.

Still, I put a good deal of time into AssLib today and I've got a pretty decent first impression of it, I should say.  I'm not quite sure what I was going into the game expecting and as such, I'm not quite sure what I'm walking away with so far, but it's lukewarmly positive at the very least.  Assassin's Creed is always a weird series for me, if that wasn't obvious already, so another iteration of it means that I will invariably find that it does not live up to the expectations I have for such a title, yet I will find its attempt adorable if not enthusiastic and nearing impressive.  So far, that is definitely where I would put AssLib, of course, which definitely puts it head and shoulders above the previous portable ventures which is, of course, like saying three fingers of scotch is heads and shoulders above a glass with orange juice and spit in it.  It is not a good compliment, is what I'm saying, because it is not a difficult task by any means.

AssLib is most certainly an Assassin's Creed game in more than just name and influence, and I daresay that the freerunning in this title is better than it has been in the entirety of the Ezio trilogy.  I'm not quite sure, of course, but so far, I've only accidentally jumped to my death for reasons beyond my comprehension once despite spending quite a good bit of time in the Slave and Assassin personas running around like crazy.  Combat is similar as well, despite having some of the repertoire of abilities dispersed through the different personas as well, subscribing to a whole as the sum of its parts ideal it seems.  And, surprising the ever-loving hell of me is the fact that I can, in fact, swim in this game without being desynched or without a sort of 'time limit' that is both arbitrary and ultimately ruins the fact that you -can- swim in the game.  All the factors, more or less, are there and that alone is pretty astounding.

The negatives of being an Assassin's Creed game in much the same vein as the others are also present with a couple exclusive to this game unfortunately.  The story seems tenuous and shallow, only told in little snippits here and there, as is the custom, which makes it rather easy to forget about and otherwise just not care about it.  The game is fairly notorious already in my mind for not knowing just what the hell it wants in that I've desynched thrice already for killing guards where I was not once told that I could -not- kill guards, and I can only surmise it was because I was detected.  Similarly, in those cases, I was not told that I was to remain undetected which, let's be honest, is a bit of a departure from the rest of the series.  The mini-games that are present, specifically the trade game, is underthought and more of a pain to get to than the Brotherhood missions were, though I suspect it will ultimately feel more rewarding once I really get the hang of it.  Specific to this game, however, is the absolutely terrible audio which has been needlessly compressed and it just sounds awful even with headphones (or perhaps especially with headphones) and really ruins any semblance of mood the game tries for.

Still, it is a rather enjoyable game for what it is, and I'm pretty glad that I'm getting into it.  The multiplayer is a whole other beast and I'll get into that another night, but the single-player is fairly solid so far despite my complaints.  It is, really, -as- solid as Brotherhood and Revelations were to me, which is certainly saying something while also stating that it's a bit of a mixed bag.  With any luck, that won't change for the worse, but I honestly doubt it will - the game is beginning to unfold more and more now as I play it and what I see is things that I like and that I want to see expanded on a little.  At the very least, it is immensely fun to run around in this game, since the engine is different, and I can make myself have some fun with that, as well as working air assassinations into my hit-and-run style.  Because goddamn if that is not fun in this game, then what is?

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