The character of Aveline seemed natural as a female.
Significant is the fact that Aveline isn't actually related to Desmond--the hapless 21st century nerd who carries the genetic memory of dozens of assassins. As such, Ubisoft appears to be leaving that element out of the story, and instead positioning Liberation as a kind of portable Animus--the machine that makes it possible to relive all of these stories. The implication, it would seem, is that the player is actually related somehow to Aveline. It may be a minor point, but it does suggest that Ubisoft thinks of the Vita as being much more than a tiny, underpowered PlayStation 3. The game, it should be mentioned, looks pretty impressive. It's a mark step up from Uncharted, which itself was enough to turn heads back when the Vita was first announced. A trip through the swamp feels appropriately dank, smelly, and well, green--particularly when a handsomely animated crocodile wanders up to say hello. When it comes time to raid a camp full of soldiers, Aveline feels just as capable of slitting throats as her console counterpart. Walk up behind a foe, press the appropriate button, and watch Aveline go for the jugular. Simple. Now, lest you think that Liberation is out to mimic the form and function of Assassin's Creed III, Ubisoft has had to make a few compromises to accommodate the fact that their game is more apt to be played on the subway at home. Farrese explains: "The missions are a little shorter, which is good if you're on the subway. It has fewer cinematics than Assassin's Creed II, but we do use cinematics, and some walk and talk moments to explain the story. I'd say the story is a little sharper because we have less time to tell it, so we needed to be maybe a little briefer with the dialogue." He continues: "I don't think you really feel it when you actually play the game because the main path takes about 12 to 15 hours. We didn't want to compromise on storytelling or character development, so we had to find a good balance between the two, but I think it worked out well in the end." Some time with the actual game is enough to set one's mind at ease about Liberation being a slapdash Assassin's Creed III knockoff--at least for the time being. It's an interesting opportunity for both Ubisoft and Sony. For Ubisoft, Liberation has the potential to be a unique offshoot of a huge franchise. For Sony, it's a chance to show that Vita is capable of supporting the types of experiences that justify the heavy price tags attached to the games. It's still a tricky proposition though. It's a big, complicated game--certainly not the kind of pick up-and-play experience that works well on portable system. Will the cutscenes feel tiresome when riding the bus? Will the action translate? Assassin's Creed III: Liberation offers some positive signs that those elements will in fact hold up on the Vita, but we still have a way to go before the final release. Farrese, for his part, is willing to admit that he was worried at first: "I have to tell you that I was skeptical before I saw what the game looked like. I was really worried that the team wouldn't be able to deliver the quality that we wanted. But I have to say that they did an amazing job." He finishes confidently: "I wish they could do more games like that on the Vita. I think we should push this further."