Aveline is a French Assassin, with wealthy father and step-mother as her family members. Unknown to her father's knowledge, she has been doing missions for the Assassin brotherhood continuously, as well as helping the slaves from their captivity.
The game's story is moderately good, and lack enough depth for me to study the actual history further compared to other Assassin's Creed games like Assassin's Creed II and Assassin's Creed III. Also, there is not much plot twists in the story to make me interested. Characters are fitting with their roles, but not memorable enough. The main exception is Aveline, where I really like her role in this game very much and how she can change her personality when donning different attires in the game.
The gameplay is mostly similar to Assassin's Creed III, with some differences. You can use your Hidden Blades to assassinate enemies, your regular weapons like machete or sword to fight off enemies in battle, or use guns to shoot enemies from afar. You may also use other weapons such as your blowpipe with poison darts or smoke bombs. There are variety of mission sections, and some of them require you to use the PS Vita's functions such as the touch screen and the rear pad to progress.
What makes this game unique is the Disguise feature and the Notoriety system. Aveline can swap between three personas to play during missions, with different pros and cons. The Lady persona allows Aveline to charm certain men for easy access, or bribe certain guards to allow you in. However, the Lady persona causes Aveline to carry less weapons, as well as unable to freerun or climb buildings and walls. The Slave persona allows Aveline to sneak in restricted areas and blend in with slaves to hide herself. She can freerun and uses some of her close-ranged weapons like the machete, but has lower health than the Assassin persona. The Assassin persona is best used in many missions, as Aveline has the highest amount of health and weapons in this persona. However, she always has one level of Notoriety, making guards chasing her when they see her. Each persona has their own levels of Notoriety, and can be lowered down by tearing off posters or by bribing magistrates. You can change Aveline's persona at any Dressing Rooms in the game's map, which can be purchased.
There are 2 primary locations in this game, which is the city area (New Orleans) and the swamp area (Bayou). As there is no Fast Travel from Viewpoints to another, you need to run or walk to the end of the either maps to Fast Travel to another location. Some of the game's missions take place at Chichen Itza.
Freerun controls similarly to Assassin's Creed III, and you can climb walls, ledges, or buildings for navigation or escaping from guards. Combat controls are also similar to that game, where you can counter and kill enemies, use an enemy as a human shield, or etc. However, there is noticeable input lag when countering enemy attacks in this game, so beware of it. You may also use Eagle Vision to find out your targets, enemies, or objects of interests.
Mission objectives can vary from killing a target, search for clues via Eagle Vision, or etc. As in previous Assassin's Creed games, the missions may have optional objectives for you to complete to get 100% Synchronization on that particular Memory (a.k.a mission). There are no real penalties or rewards of doing so, other than getting Trophies.
There are collectibles in the game to be collected, such as Mayan Relics as well as sidequests like Bayou Fever missions or Free Slaves missions. Money in this game can be obtained by looting enemies, opening treasure chests, or buy/sell cargo via the Trading system.
The online multiplayer mode is simple. Choose a faction of either Assassins or Templars, then compete against the other faction throughout the world. You must choose a Home Node first, then compete with other factions on different Nodes in the world. Fight against other agents in different Nodes to gain experience points and obtain more agents. There is no real reward in playing the multiplayer mode other getting two multiplayer related Trophies.
Although this is a good effort of an Assassin's Creed game on a handheld console, the controls are not exactly reliable compared to Assassin's Creed III control. The PS Vita features used in the game such as the rear pad are not reliable, and doesn't respond to well. One of puzzle in the requires you to tilt the handheld console to control the ball's movements, but it is very difficult to do so unless you lay down the handheld console on a flat surface to tilt and control the ball's movements. The Trading system is unnecessary and poorly implemented, and the online multiplayer mode is boring to play without any real incentives. Overall, a mixed opinion on the gameplay area.
For a portable Assassin's Creed game, it looks good. However, the game has issues such as gamebreaking glitches, freezing, bugs, as well as poor framerate performance in it.
Voice acting is pretty acceptable, with Aveline's voice actor being the most memorable one. The soundtrack is pretty good and atmospheric, but I still prefer Assassin's Creed III's soundtrack for being much more memorable.
Unlike other Assassin's Creed games, this game does not have much replay value. You can collect all collectibles in the game, complete sidequests such as Bayou Fever missions, Free Slaves missions, and etc. The multiplayer mode is an option as well, but it is very boring compared to previous Assassin's Creed games and Assassin's Creed III's multiplayer mode. Ubisoft should have ditched the multiplayer mode instead and include more singleplayer content.
In conclusion, this game is pretty decent, but not good enough to establish itself as a standout Assassin's Creed game. Story is pretty mediocre, problematic gameplay controls, poor framerate, bugs and glitches, and uninteresting multiplayer mode brought down this game hard. At the very least, this game is still better than the first Assassin's Creed game despite major control issues.
Pros and Cons
- Aveline is a good and intriguing protagonist.
- Good graphics for a handheld game.
- Disguise and Notoriety features are the best features in this game.
- Good gameplay if you ignore the control issues.
- Good soundtrack.
- Fitting voice acting.
- Lots of collectibles.
- Has two endings.
- Cliffhanger ending.
- Story is not extremely interesting.
- PS Vita features such as the rearpad and gyroscopes do not work properly.
- Bugs, glitches and freezing issues.
- Poor framerate performance.
- Online multiplayer mode is boring.
- Not much replay value.