My 1st Dressing Chamber

Assassins Creed III Liberation • PlayStation Vita

I knew going in that AC3L had a female assassin, but scoring this for my first trophy is a little emasculating. I’ve sunk nearly an hour of gameplay into Aveline’s romp through New Orleans, and still, this is the trophy they give me!

The dressing rooms are a welcome change to the AC franchise, and work much better than the console’s ‘dye pouches.’ Aveline has, from what I can tell, three outfits or ‘personas’, including the ‘Lady’ (which most of the opening game is in), the ‘Slave’ and the ‘Assassin.’ A quick tap on the screen changes you into one of the three outfits, and you suddenly have a different set of skills!

This is a good addition to the AC franchise. The gameplay is much better than AC3 on the console and is reminiscent of the original journeys with Altair or Ezio. The soundtrack is great, and the story, so far, is one of the best in the series.

Obtaining a copy of AC3L was a pain though. Having visited my local EB Games (or Gamestop for the US), I found a lonely copy on the shelf at the rough price of $65! I have a real issue with Vita games being pricey, so I asked my friendly store clerk to check the price who confirmed that the RRP on the packet was correct, but they had a preowned version for around $25!

“Sold!” I said, and set the clerk to hunting the second hand copy. After scouring the drawers, she couldn’t find it, but she assured me that it was probably ‘out the back’. After a painstaking couple of minutes, she came back with the bad news that the computer and the ‘real world’ count didn’t match, and they didn’t have a copy! No discussion about a discounted new copy, no further assistance. Nothing. I left the store very cranky and giving serious consideration to cancelling my Watch_Dogs and Call of Duty pre-orders (I still might!).

Jumping onto the computer, I found a $20 copy on OzGameShop.com for a download code, so I locked that in and scored my code a few hours later. If bricks-and-mortar stores want to differentiate themselves with online retail by offering the greater customer service, then they need to start actually offering some! I always prefer a physical copy, particularly when it took me nearly three days to get the soft copy onto my Vita, but when I get a faster, cheaper and more friendly response from a computer, then I’m going to lock that in!

I’ll keep chipping away at AC3L with Aveline over the next few weeks. After all, it’s taken an eternity to get to her!

Criss Cross

Assassins Creed III • PlayStation 3

Now that I’ve got my gaming life back, I’ve returned to one of the Assassins Creed series and what I believe to be the final in the Desmond Miles trilogy (I can’t confirm that – I’m still only in the early stages of the game). This morning’s trophy was for the first in the ‘modern day’ chapters, which saw Desmond, essentially, climb a building under construction in New York and then … jump off it.

I’ve been a big fan of AC since I first stepped into Altair’s shoes six years ago, yet I couldn’t really connect with Ezio during AC2 and the subsequent expansions. A bit frustrating, given Ubisoft dedicated so much time to the Ezio story, but I am finding the same equal lack of connection with Conner in AC3 – the difference is that I don’t have another two titles with the Conner story to wade through.

The upgraded engine makes AC3 a much ‘richer’ (?) game to play, and the fantastic opening with Haytham is a lead that future game storytelling should take. I have another ‘three’ title sitting in my to-do list in Far Cry 3, so there should be a bit of variety in my gameplay coming up … interspliced with a bit of Grand Theft Auto V, of course.