Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD Announced, Nobody is Surprised

Ubisoft announced quite a few things yesterday, but the one bit that caught my eye was the announcement of Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD, a port of the previously Vita-exclusive game for PS3, 360 and PC.  I guess it shouldn't be surprising, since it was actually a pretty good game and being solely on the Vita wasn't doing Ubisoft any favors, but I can't help feeling like I should be even the tiniest bit angry about this, being the staunch Vita supporter that I am.  I mean, here's one of the few 'mainstream' exclusives worth a damn and that exclusivity (plus being made retroactively the 'shitty' version by comparison) just went out the window.  One of the big things you could point at for just about anyone enticed by the idea of a Vita but needing a tipping point and make jazz hands over, and now not so much.  I -should- be bothered by it.

Clearly, I'm not, though.  I'm not quite sure what it is about Liberation on the whole, but it's effectively in the "Would not play again" portion of my brain and I just don't know why.  Shortly after I reviewed the game, I mentioned having a bit of fatigue over talking about it and it simply turns out that that never really went away.  Even bringing this post up last night as I intended to do it up (instead of finishing it tonight) brought about a strange weariness that, stacked on my everyday exhaustion simply proved to be too much.  That I'm managing tonight is nothing less than a miracle of sorts, or something a little less dramatic if you're into that sort of thing, I suppose.  Still, it's something weird to say the least - it's not often that you'll find a game that I don't want to talk about as with a good game, I can extol its virtues and with a bad game, I can loudly rant about its inadequacies.  Liberation is somewhere in the middle and I really only have one guess as to how it managed that.

I was....not a fan of Liberation's Multi-Player and that's putting it mildly.  To be entirely frank, I think it was an abomination unto common sense, and how it was ever presented as a good idea is foreign to me.  It seemed as if it was designed in the depths of the underbelly of some Zynga sweatshop, and brought before a Ubisoft exec by some mole-person scraping across the ground so as not to offend the sensibilities.  Shaped in a grotesque fashion, it was surely something to be rejected, to be shunned and mocked, but instead, the exec shrugged and presented it as something proper, allowing the caitiff to return to his duties with a rare sense of satisfaction, and undeserved at that.  A lot of pointless clicking and posturing that was all erased as soon as a faction the Assassins won a 'match' where everything was then reset so you could waste time with it yet again.  Somehow, someway, it managed to make its way into the final product that was Assassin's Creed: Liberation, and that is definitely a grievous injustice upon humanity that will hopefully be righted in the future somehow.  I should hope that it's simply stricken from the HD remake, but I highly doubt that it will be so, you know....enjoy that, whoever is going to buy that.

Of course, there are actual improvements being made to the game beyond the obvious of making it prettier to look at, even if it wasn't much of a slouch on the Vita.  Facial animations will be retouched, the frame-rate (that I didn't have much of a problem with, to be honest) will be locked at something proper, gameplay tweeks to combat and free-running and apparently each mission has been tweeked a bit as well.  Joystiq makes mention of new missions, but I don't see any information about it beyond that, though I do recall a few areas in the game where another mission for story-pacing would have been appreciated.  Likely that's the type of thing that will be done....or simply other missions along the Citizen E vein since those are cheap, easy and interesting.  I doubt I'm going to pay much attention to it, however - the chances of the new content coming to Liberation on the Vita, even as paid DLC, is slim and I doubt that I'd pick it up even if it were offered.  I simply have no intention on playing the game ever again.

That's not to say that you shouldn't either, of course.  I stand by my original assessment of "Just as good as any other Assassin's Creed game, for better or worse" because I would also never really go back and play those all over again either.  I tend to finish them off as best as I can (fuck you, Brotherhood and your online bullshit) and then wash my hands of them entirely which...doesn't say a whole lot of my opinion on the franchise as a whole, it would seem.  That's just my opinion and my way of playing it, of course, and seeing as I keep coming back, I must have -something- that I like about it all.  Perhaps some day I'll figure that out.  Maybe after I buy Assassin's Creed 3 for $20 somewhere and play through it despite likely not enjoying what it has to offer if my pattern recognition isn't off.  Or maybe somewhere else along the line!  I kind of mussed up the point - Liberation was pretty cool so I hope the people who can play it now without a Vita (also known as people who are missing out) will enjoy it despite its flaws that every AC game is requisite to have.

I think it's the drop-stab, because that never, ever gets old

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