Why AC Liberation is the most underrated Assassin's Creed

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Assassin's Creed III: Liberation was initially released as a PSP Vita game and released alongside Assassin's Creed III in 2012 as an ambitious side game that was nothing short of unconventional.

However the limitations of Sony's handheld console held it back from reaching it's full potential and hid Aveline from the wider audience she rightfully deserved.

Wisely Ubisoft released a HD remake of the game called Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD in 2014 on PlayStation 3. Several years later an additional version came out in 2019 entitled Assassin's Creed III Remastered for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch.

It starred one of the first playable female Assassin Creed characters, an African French assassin called Aveline de Grandpré, operating in New Orleans and Louisiana Bayou between 1765 and 1777.

Like previous Assassin Creed protagonists this rebellious heroine could parkour the freeroaming environment, use social stealth, and utilize a crafty counter-based combat system to get the upper hand in close encounters. 

Although Liberation reuses majority of animations from Assassin's Creed III, Aveline has several unique animations. This includes the ability to dual-wield weapons like the new Blowpipe, as well as swords, knives, pistols and two hidden blades. 

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As previously stated, Liberation focuses on the intriguing life story of an 18th century creole assassin living in colonial America during the end of the French and Indian War, within Louisiana when it was occupied by the Spanish. 

 Aveline De Grandpré's end goal sees her effortlessly working to free the enslaved from their oppressors, while eradicating Templar presence in New Orleans by any means necessary. 

Aveline's story covers twelve years of her life, and takes place during the events of Assassin's Creed III. While Majority of the game takes place in the city of New Orleans and the mystical bayou which encircles it.

As the daughter of a wealthy French merchant and enslaved African woman, Aveline grew up privileged and was raised by her affluent stepmother, when her real mother vanished without a trace in 1757. 

Since a young girl Aveline noticed the social divide present within the society she lived and was filled with a burning passion to end this injustice. After her valiant effort to rescue a slave from bondage, she crosses paths with the assassin Agaté.

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Agaté is so impressed with her fight for the cause that he takes the young woman under his wing and trains her to become an official member of the Brotherhood, a freedom fighters organization of formidable assassins. 

Although Agaté and Aveline didn't always see eye to eye, he was ultimately like the father she never had until the very end.

Most notably, Liberation includes several events from America's shrewd history in it's plot including the tragic mulattos, the back to Africa moment, education during the Slave period and miscegenation laws in the USA. 

Meanwhile several historical characters are also portrayed in the game including the likes of  Jean-Jacques Blaise d'Abbadie, Antonio de Ulloa, François Mackandal, and Gilbert Antoine de Saint-Maxent.

Why Assassin's Creed Liberation the most underrated game in the series?

Despite it's courageous plot, fun gameplay and great lead character, Assassin's Creed Liberation is one of the lowest rated Assassin's Creed games and was torn to shreds by critics with each rerelease.

Of course AC Liberation is by no means perfect, not a single game released is, however Liberation is a better game than critics would have you believe. 

Whenever the Assassin's Creed franchise is discussed, Liberation and it's protagonist are rarely brought up. A good example of this is when Liberation HD was rereleased as part of Assassin's Creed III Remastered in 2019, it fell under the radar.

Though to be fair, maybe if Ubisoft had released Liberation as a mainline game on a home video game console from the beginning, rather than having it sit in the shadows of Assassin's Creed III then it may have picked up more steam.

Which is a shame because Liberation HD is a marvellous game with loads of content and an exciting premise, despite being rough around the edges.

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At the start of the game, a young Aveline stumbles upon a slave market and mistakes a white woman for her mother. Later, she is infiltrating plantations to gather information from enslaved folk.

She incites slave uprisings. She takes on an overseer, disarming him of his whip and satisfyingly uses it on other slave drivers.

 No game has dealt with slavery so close and personal in the New World prior to the release of  Assassin's Creed Freedom Cry which came out a year later, and the title of these games make their  metaphor literal. 

Liberation lets Aveline adopt three different personas that give her unique abilities and limits.

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The "Lady", who wears an elegant dress and behaves like the affluent free woman she actually is, can trick men by wooing them and is less likely rouse the suspicion of guards — however she is unable to climb buildings and can barely fight.

The "Slave" which is the most liberating and down to earth persona has Aveline disguise herself as a person in bondage, and she can use this outfit to infiltrate areas under cover of labour. 

Finally, the Assassin outfit is Aveline's default attire and gives her access to a full range of weapons. She also has complete control of freerunning, though at the same time she is made permanently notorious.

Assassin's Creed Liberation is an underrated gem on PS4 or whatever platform it released on. There's never a dull moment and controlling this badass woman who is manhandling several enemies, wrestling with a freaking crocodile in the Bayou or charming and leading victims to their death is why Liberation will always be the most underrated Assassin's Creed game.

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