Video Game: Assassin's Creed III: Liberation
"Commit injustice in this world, and I'll send you to the next."
"I seek liberty and freedom, not for myself, but for those whom such fundamental rights are denied. I am their shield, their sword, their only hope. The roads I travel are dark, but they bring me closer to the light. I move unseen and strike when they least expect it. I am Aveline de Grandpré. I am an Assassin."Assassin's Creed III: Liberation
— Aveline de Grandpré
is a Video Game
in the Assassin's Creed
series, developed for the Play Station Vita
, and later released on other platforms. Taking place between the years 1765 and 1780 in New Orleans
during the Louisiana rebellion against the Spanish occupation of the city, it was released on October 30, 2012 in conjunction with Assassins Creed III
The protagonist, Aveline de Grandpré
, grew up in a privileged environment, being the child of a wealthy French aristocrat and his plaçee, an African slave. She was recruited into the Assassin Brotherhood shortly after her biological mother's disappearance, following which she was raised by her loving stepmother. At the age of 18, she discovers a complex slave trafficking operation orchestrated by a mysterious individual known only as the "Company Man" and vows to dismantle it, unknowingly starting a journey that will challenge her beliefs and test her loyalties.
Notably, her genetic memories
are not relived by Desmond, because they have been synthesized into an entertainment product by Abstergo Industries. In making a game centered around Aveline's memories, they have changed or edited out various crucial scenes
, so that Aveline appears to be a confused Assassin that eventually joins the Templars
. Luckily, Erudito breached Abstergo's version upon release and hacked the truth back in, provided the players look for it.Liberation
brings with it many of the changes of Assassin's Creed III
, most notably the traversal through more natural environments. Both games use nearly identical interfaces and movement schemes and are meant to complement one another. Furthermore both titles are set in roughly the same time period, in neighboring territories of the New World.
An HD re-release of the game (marketed as Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD) was announced in September 2013 for PlayStation 3
, Xbox 360
and PC, via digital download, and released on January 14, 2014. It features additional missions, improved graphics, reworked sound and various other tweaks to bring the game closer to its console brethren in quality.
- Action Commands:
- Much like in Assassin's Creed III, these appear when fighting hostile animals.
- They also appear during moments when you're supposed to "analyze" something. For The Verse, this makes sense: the Templars do not know how to use "Eagle Vision", so they thought it was just an "Aha!" moment after looking at something for a while. And, yes, Eagle Vision does not work that way.
- Action Girl: Aveline de Grandpré. Élise Lafleur also counts.
- The Adjectival Man: The "Company Man", the Templar running things in New Orleans. Turns out, it's not a man at all...
- After Combat Recovery: The primary method of recovering from damage, as health regenerates much more rapidly when outside of combat.
- The Alcoholic: Carlos Dominguez likes his drink a tad too much. Aveline finds him completely wasted in the streets during one mission, making her planned interrogation of him difficult. The smuggler Roussillon also has shades of this, but not to the same extent.
- Amazon Chaser: Gérald Blanc, the Non-Action Guy infatuated with Badass Action Girl Aveline de Grandpré. Sadly, we never get to see whether he finally won her over or not.
- The American Revolution: Liberation is more about the events leading up to the revolution, but there's references here and there about the conflicts in the north. One mission has you smuggle supplies to the patriots, which is very much Truth in Television. Another has Aveline travel north and join Connor in a mission to take down a Loyalist encampment.
- Animal Motifs: The eagle symbolism returns; you'll notice Aveline's hat has a beak-shaped tip. Her name itself is probably also meant to refer to the Latin avis, which stands for "bird", though the name is actually derived from an Italian city, Avella, and means "hazelnut". However, in a sort of demi-deconstructed-Franglish, it could be taken for "little bird".
- And Now for Someone Completely Different: This is the first game to feature an ancestor of someone other than Desmond Miles, though not the first point in the canon. Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag reveals the (in-universe) game was made from the genetic memories of Subject One.
- After Sequence 8 has been completed, you can replay the sequence as Connor.
- And Your Reward Is Clothes: If there's a reward for collecting something, it's this. The hats you get don't look all that different than the standard one but provide some nifty, if not exactly spectacular, bonuses. It's the outfits you receive for the persona specific collectibles that really stand out design-wise. The Assassin's outfit is a houngan-inspired, asymmetrical costume with skull face paint. The Lady's is an entirely different dress skin, rather than a recolor, and with loads more lace, layers, and a new Nice Hat. The Slave persona's, on the other hand, is basically just the default with a skirt and some hoop earrings.
- Artificial Stupidity: In the final mission, the axe wielding mooks can actually kill Madeleine if they are swinging their axe in her vicinity.
- An Axe to Grind: Aveline has access to a number of axes. Synching your PS3 with the PS Vita allows her to use Connor's iconic tomahawk as well.
- Bears Are Bad News: One of the Lady persona missions ends with Aveline being trapped in a confined space with an angry bear. Only a series of QTE commands can save her.
- Bayonet Ya: Muskets, all with fixed bayonets, can be picked up in and around New Orleans, or obtained from your friendly neighbourhood guard.
- Big Bad: The "Company Man". Much of the game revolves around uncovering his identity.
- Bittersweet Ending: By the end of the game, Aveline has eradicated the most powerful members of the Templar Order, but in doing so, lost her father, killed her stepmother, who turned out to have been the head Templar all along, and saw her mentor commit suicide. And while her biological mother is alive and well, she chose to stay in Mexico, meaning Aveline probably didn't see her all that often.
- Blade Below the Shoulder: Aveline's hidden blade is available as a detachable version.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Simply put, this is a video game portrayed as a video game in its own universe. After the Ubisoft logo, it even displays "ANIMUS" and "Abstergo" as if that were the operating system and production company. There are even some fake credits after the fake ending. Warren Vidic is listed as a consultant!
- Perhaps best of all, though, is Erudito hacking into your system and sending it to the boot menu so the truth can be added to your game, looking for all the world like that's exactly what's happening to your system.
- Bulletproof Human Shield: Aveline can use enemies as shields against massed musket fire, then kill off the remaining soldiers before they can reload. It also features in one dual execution move, where Aveline knocks down one soldier, then grabs the other to block the knocked down soldier's musket shot. There's even an achievement for doing this ten times.
- But Not Too Black: Deliberately invoked, and Aveline can use this to her advantage because she can put on a dress to look like a member of the aristocracy, or put on rags to pretend to be a slave. During a party, some gossipers do comment on her complexion but don't openly insult her for it.
- Butt Monkey: Carlos Dominguez, after he encounters Aveline.
- Call Back: The situation of fighting with your mentor and having him send out illusions of all the men you've killed to fight you and throw your actions back at you is pretty much exactly what happened with Altaïr and Al Mualim all the way back in the original game.
- Calling the Old Man Out: After having discovered the identity of the "Company Man", who attempts to recruit her into the Templar Order, Aveline goes to Agaté, who, by then, is less than friendly to her. She calls him out on his failure to properly protect New Orleans from the Templars; suffice to say, stuff goes wrong very quickly after that.
- Chekhov's Gun: Aveline's locket is the final piece that unlocks the Prophecy Disk's secrets. This probably came out of left field for a lot of players, as only Jeanne's diary pages - of which there are more than 20 to collect - allude to its significance.
- Climax Boss: The penultimate memory has you fighting against illusions of your former targets, conjured by your Mentor Agaté, who believes you've betrayed the Assassin Brotherhood and joined the Templars. The True Final Boss, however, is revealed only after a fake ending, after which you finally confront Madeleine.
- Climbing Climax: Tying in with the former, Aveline needs to climb all the way to the top of Agaté's treehouse, being plagued by hallucinations while she does so.
- Collapsing Lair: Due to de Ferrer's rather unsubtle way of entering the First Civilization ruins (hint: it involves explosives) Aveline cannot afford to stay very long after acquiring the Macguffin. The entire structure caves in on itself as she makes her escape through the tunnels.
- Cruel Mercy: Aveline decides to spare Antonio de Ulloa after he gives her valuable information that she needs to dismantle the slave trafficking information going on around New Orleans. She is quick to rebuff him however when he thanks her for her mercy.
Aveline: I will turn my back now, and walk away. If you would like to keep your life, you will remove yourself from this continent, never to be seen again.
De Ulloa: Thank you! Thank you for your mercy.
Aveline: Mercy? This is not mercy. I merely leave you to contend with the arsenal of your own employers. A life of hiding awaits you. Go, and wallow in your false freedom.
- Deadly Lunge: Alligators will do this to you if they get close enough. Cue Action Commands for Aveline to put some Hidden Blades in that reptile's face.
- Department of Redundancy Department: A TV advertisement for the game mentions fighting "for liberty and freedom".
- Designated Girl Fight: In a sense, the first Assassin's Creed game to have a female main protagonist is also the first Assassin's Creed game to have a female main antagonist.
- Does Not Like Shoes: Agaté.
- Driven to Suicide: Agaté; after Aveline defeats his poison-induced hallucinations and warns him to never show his face again in New Orleans, Agaté dives off the top of his treehouse, refusing to live a life of pointless hiding.
- Dual Wielding: Aveline can easily combine her machete with her pistols, and also has the trademark Hidden Blades.
- Dungeon Bypass: Aveline has to find some hidden precursor ruins beneath Chichen Itza, a circuitous path that has her climbing cliffs, descending through caves and swimming underwater a bunch. She finds the macguffin, and then the Templars show up simply by using explosives to break into the underground temple.
- An Entrepreneur Is You: Your primary means of income is sending ships around a map of the New World, buying cargo in one port and selling it in another. This can be very time-consuming depending on the type of ship you use and how long the trade route is.
- Escort Mission: A minor one in the beginning, where Aveline finds and escorts a captured slave out of a plantation. The escort part is entirely dropped in the HD remake, ending as soon as Aveline and the slave step out of the holding cell. Another one occurs later in the game, when Aveline, on Madeleine's request, escorts a slave called George out of New Orleans.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Madeleine considered de Ferrer's actions in Chichen Itza a perversion of her own ideals and claimed that she was glad Aveline killed him. Aveline doesn't seem to buy into it.
- Face-Heel Turn: Cleverly subverted. The game is supposed to end with Aveline joining the Templar Order after she defeats The Mentor. As the credits begin to roll, however, Erudito hacks into the Abstergo game and unlocks the true ending which has Aveline take out not just Madeleine, but the entire Templar installment as well. Earlier hacks also highlight the assassination targets' Templar affiliations (or aspirations), as well as Aveline's unwavering loyalty to the Brotherhood despite Agaté's lack of faith in her.
- Faux Affably Evil: While de Ferrer isn't the nicest of people, he still appears pretty amiable, even suggesting Aveline and he would make better friends than enemies. As it turns out, his more sadistic tendencies were deliberately obscured by Abstergo Entertainment while making the game.
- Final Exam Boss: In the penultimate battle, Agaté's illusions test your combat skills by throwing every guard archetype in the game at you, and they increase in difficulty as you progress.
- Framing Device: The game is presented as a piece of software entertainment that Abstergo is distributing to the public. The loading screen is identical to the multiplayer loading screen of the main Assassin's Creed III game, or a more Microsoft-esque version of the one from the original game. The sequel clarifies that this is Abstergo Entertainment's first video game production — in conjunction with Ubisoft, no less!
- Gaiden Game: To ACIII.
- Grey and Gray Morality: The game itself is actually a piece of in-universe Templar propaganda meant to put the Assassins in a darker light. Even when you include the cutscenes that Erudito adds back into it, it's still not the brightest mark on the Assassin Brotherhood's scorecard (at least, with Agaté representing them).
- Guns Akimbo: Aveline carries two single-shot pistols on her.
- Guns Are Worthless: Even full musket volleys don't faze Aveline that much. Inversely, her guns allow her to kill most guard archetypes in one shot.
- Happiness in Slavery: Aveline investigates a string of disappearances of workers and slaves and follows the trail to Chichen Itza. What she finds is both surprising and sinister: the Templars have set up a community where there are no whips or chains, and everyone works happily for the common good. However, nobody gets paid, nobody actually owns anything until their contract is up, and nobody is allowed to leave (or to even think of leaving; "why would anyone want to leave?") It's the Templar ideal writ small: a world where everyone is a slave but doesn't know it.
- Hero of Another Story: At one point in the game, Aveline ends up meeting Connor.
- Historical-Domain Character: Present, but not as strongly (or as instantly familiar) as in its counterpart, Assassin's Creed III. Governor d'Abbadie and Antonio de Ulloa are targets of Aveline, while Gilbert Antoine de Saint-Maxent is an acquaintance of Aveline's father. François Mackandal, a known voodoo priest, is also referenced several times.
- Hurricane of Puns: Some of the dialogue in the Business Rival side missions is definitely this.
Citizen: Mademoiselle Aveline, the overstuffed textile trade bursts with corruption.
Aveline: How unseemly. And the enemy is to blame?
Citizen: Yes. A single Textiler—Monsieur Chapperon—keeps prices tightly knotted.
Aveline: I'll sew this up as quickly as possible.
- In the Hood: Not by default, but Aveline can be made to wear one.
- Insurmountable Waist High Fence: The Lady persona can't free-run. Not at all. Not even a little. She can perform long jumps in the loading screens, though...
- It Always Rains at Funerals: Played completely straight for the funeral of Aveline's father in the Vita version. Strangely, the HD remake averts this (albeit there's still a faint noise of rain in the background).
- Kicking Ass in All Her Finery: Aveline wears a very fancy green dress and hat when in her "lady" mode. She isn't as skilled a fighter as in her "slave" and "assassin" modes, but she is still formidable, and can hide a fair number of weapons in her frills (including the series's favorite sleeve daggers).
- Kill Streak: Plays this straighter than the previous two games. Some Elite Mooks that are normally immune to the One-Hit Kill chain from an existing foe will turn vulnerable if you rack up enough kills first.
- Late-Arrival Spoiler + All There in the Manual: Either they didn't expect everyone to diligently collect all the diary pages early on or they didn't expect people to read them. Doing so makes it absolutely clear that Madeleine is a Templar, who sent Jeanne to Mexico as a slave. This is also spoiled by Black Flag's additional material, gained by hacking computers in said game.