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- "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."
- ―Aveline de Grandpré, Assassin's Creed III: Liberation Features Trailer (North America).
Assassin's Creed III: Liberation is a video game released in 2012 for the PlayStation Vita, developed by Ubisoft Sofia. It was released alongside Assassin's Creed III on 30 October 2012. A high definition rework of the game with additional missions, entitled Assassin's Creed: Liberation HD, was released on 14 January 2014 for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, and 15 January for PC.
Assassin's Creed III: Liberation did not feature Desmond Miles, but rather an unknown individual, due to the game being a product released by Abstergo Industries to the public. Liberation was created and used by Abstergo as a propaganda tool to depict a grey area side of the conflict between the Assassins and Templars, through censoring out negative acts by the Templars and depicting only the positive points of their influence, along with the misguided and disorganized Assassin Order.
However, Liberation was breached early on by Erudito, a hacking collective operating in opposition to Abstergo. Erudito gave players the opportunity to view uncensored memories that Abstergo had originally covered up, revealing to them the truth about the Assassins and Templars.
Liberation was set in and around the city of New Orleans and the Louisiana Bayou, with the swamp itself hosting many wild animals and dangerous threats, such as alligators and smugglers. This made navigating through trees a safer alternative for traveling through the area.
Both Liberation and Assassin's Creed III operated on the same game engine, meaning gameplay in Liberation is very similar to Assassin's Creed III in terms of climbing and combat. Many of the new features that were present in Assassin's Creed III were available to Aveline, such as double-counters and combo kills, as well as the ability to freerun through trees.
Liberation also included multiplayer "specifically tailored to the Vita experience," and utilized cross-goods between itself and Assassin's Creed III on the PlayStation 3, with synchronizing the pair granting Aveline the use of Connor's tomahawk, and allowed the player to play from Connor's perspective during a mission in New York. Accompanying this, pre-order content featured a "Mysteries of the Bayou" pack, including an exclusive hat, an Animi Avatar, a dagger and an upgrade in ammunition. In an exclusive edition (excluding pre-order content), the game was also bundled with a special "Crystal White PS Vita Wi-Fi."
Liberation also included a new mechanic in the form of chain-kill, which allowed Aveline to take out multiple opponents after interacting with the Vita's touch screen, amongst other features such as stroking the touch-screen up or down to row faster or slower while in canoes. Accompanying this, Aveline was able to enter an outfit shop to dress in disguises, which provided advantages and disadvantages for each of the costumes available.
Assassin's Creed III: Liberation took place in Louisiana near the end of the French and Indian War, where France's defeat resulted in the city of New Orleans being taken over by the Spanish government. The citizens were upset over the transition from French to Spanish control and Spain's new occupation within the city. However, in 1765, the French governor Jean-Jacques Blaise d'Abbadie formed a negotiation with Templar Rafael Joaquín de Ferrer to remain as governor of New Orleans. This plot was later uncovered by the Assassin Aveline de Grandpré, who infiltrated the governor's mansion and assassinated him.
Following this, de Ferrer made another deal with a man named Baptiste, who was hoping to defect from the Assassins to the Templar Order. Baptiste took on the identity of the recently deceased François Mackandal, as a ruse to attract followers to his cause. His plan was to poison New Orleans' nobles and take control of smuggling operations within the Louisiana Bayou, although his sole purpose was actually to force Agaté, Assassin and mentor to Aveline, out of hiding in the bayou. His plot failed however, as Aveline tracked Baptiste down, killed his followers and assassinated the false Mackandal.
In 1766, the Templar Antonio de Ulloa arrived in New Orleans, to serve as the Spanish governor. However, he left control of the area to French officials and allowed the French flag to remain over the city. Two years afterwards, he made strict trade restrictions and set up a covert slave-trading operation to transport slaves to a Templar worksite in Mexico. This act flared up a rebellion from French officials and the citizens of New Orleans.
Subsequently, Agaté ordered Aveline to assassinate de Ulloa to eradicate Templar presence in New Orleans. Aveline ambushed de Ulloa's carriage and confronted the governor, who told her that slaves had been taken to Chichén Itzá. However, Aveline spared his life and let de Ulloa leave the city, in return for a lens used to decode Templar documents and a map leading her to the Templar worksite in Chichén Itzá. Aveline's act of mercy destroyed any trust Agaté had in his student, as she had disobeyed his explicit orders.
Against her mentor's wishes, Aveline disguised herself as a slave bound for Mexico and made her way to the Templar worksite at Chichén Itzá. Whilst there, she came across a defiant slave who mentioned that Jeanne, a woman similar in description to Aveline's mother, was stationed in Chichén Itzá. Aveline investigated thoroughly and uncovered a page from Jeanne's diary and a map that lead to an artifact located inside a nearby cenote. Upon exploring this cave system, she came across an ancient chamber filled with ruins from the First Civilization, along with a fragment of the artifact she was searching for, a device known as the Prophecy Disk.
Shortly after Aveline had acquired the artifact, de Ferrer, who was supervising the Templar worksite at Chichén Itzá, broke through into the chamber. However, Aveline overpowered his soldiers and killed him, before escaping through the mines he had entered through. At the end of the tunnels, she found her mother.
Jeanne, however, realized that her daughter was an Assassin and believed that Agaté had sent Aveline to kill her. She fled, though not before warning Aveline that the Prophecy Disk should never reach Agaté.
After two years of absence, Aveline returned to New Orleans to find that Spanish control was strong. After speaking to Gérald Blanc, Aveline's fellow Assassin and trusted friend, she learnt that someone was bribing Spanish soldiers. Upon investigating, Aveline discovered that a man by the name of Vázquez was using Spanish soldiers to seize control of the bayou.
It was Vázquez's plot to take control of the bayou's smuggling operations, which would eventually lead him to discover the location of Agaté. Believing Vázquez to be the head Templar of Louisiana, the "Company Man" de Ferrer had mentioned in Chichen Itza, Aveline immediately hurried to Agaté's hut to warn him of the threat posed by Vázquez's soldiers. Agaté told her to use the power of voodoo to spook the Spanish soldiers into abandoning their mission. Using her blowpipe, Aveline poisoned several of Vázquez's soldiers, causing the rest to believe they were cursed, and flee the bayou as a result.
Soon after, Aveline returned to Chichén Itzá and made peace with her mother, who directed her to a canoe inside another cenote; Aveline then navigated her way through the cenote and retrieved the final piece of the Prophecy Disk. On her return, she offered to bring her mother back to New Orleans, but Jeanne decided to stay behind to take care of the community, which had now been rid of Templar influence.
To this, Aveline returned to New Orleans, continuously working to free slaves in the city. Her stepmother, Madeleine de L'Isle, became aware of her work and asked her to help a slave named George escape north. Aveline found a safe passage through the bayou for George to leave through. Whilst escorting him through the swamp, she met with her smuggler allies Élise Lafleur and Roussillon, helping them to deliver supples to American Patriots who were fighting in the American Revolutionary War.
Vázquez attempted to stop Aveline and her allies by sending Spanish soldiers their way, but failed; Aveline defeated Vázquez's guards and ensured George and the supplies reached their destination.
After returning to the city, Aveline dressed herself as a lady and attended a governor's ball, in the hopes that Vázquez himself would be there. Upon speaking with several guests, she located Vázquez and asked him to dance. Using her charm, Aveline lured him to quiet corner and assassinated him. However, to her surprise, Vázquez revealed that he was not the Company Man. Following this, Aveline learned that her father, who had been ill for some time, had passed away.
Aveline was weary and felt defeated, but was determined to uncover the identity of the Company Man and root out the head of the Templars in Louisiana. She spoke to Gérald, who told her that a Templar working for the Company Man had been found on the New York frontier. Aveline headed north in 1777, learning that the Templar was called Officer Davidson, a Loyalist soldier. Upon arriving, she met Connor, a Kanien'kehá:ka Assassin fighting the Templars in the British Colonies to the north.
Aveline and Connor made their way through the frontier to a fort where Officer Davidson was located. While Connor distracted the guards, Aveline slipped inside the fort. There, she confronted Officer Davidson, shocked to learn that he was actually George, the escaped slave she had helped flee north. He attempted to escape, but Aveline managed to shoot his carriage and prevent his departure. From him, Aveline finally discovered the identity of the Company Man: Madeleine de L'Isle, her stepmother.
Upon returning to Louisiana, Aveline hurried to her family's mansion and confronted her stepmother, who did not deny her accusations. Madeleine revealed to Aveline that she had secretly manipulated her life, preparing her for induction into the Templar Order, with the belief they shared a common goal.
Afterwards, Aveline traveled to the bayou and met with Agaté, informing him of Madeleine's identity as the Company Man. Agaté was unable to accept his failure and believing that Aveline had sided with the Templars, attacked her. Aveline overpowered him and attempted to convince him to leave Louisiana for his own safety, but Agaté could not live with the humiliation and instead chose to dive to his death. On realizing this, Aveline quickly attempted to save him, but only managed to grasp his necklace which tore away from his neck.
Following her mentor's death, Aveline saw her situation as an opportunity to infiltrate the Templars and eradicate it from within. Upon returning to New Orleans, she made her way to the Saint Louis Cathedral and handed Agaté's necklace to Madeleine, symbolising her new allegiance. Following this, she was inducted into the Templar Order by her stepmother. Aveline then gave her the two halves of the Prophecy Disk, which Madeleine placed on an altar and connected the halves into a whole.
However, she could not make sense of the scrambled messages within and became frustrated, giving Aveline the perfect moment to strike. She successfully eliminated all of the Templars inside the cathedral and assassinated Madeleine, reclaiming the Prophecy Disk.
Now alone inside the cathedral, Aveline stepped up to the altar where the Prophecy Disk had been placed. She connected the locket she wore around her neck – which once belonged to her mother – to the artifact, causing it to display a holographic recording that detailed a message from the time of the First Civilization. This message recounted the election of Eve as the leader of the rebellion during the Human-Isu War.
- The HD version was announced as a result of a petition on Ubi Forums by Aveline's fans, who wished for a PC port of Liberation, as well as an Aveline DLC for PC.
- The HD port makes Liberation the first game to be initially released as an exclusive and then ported to other consoles.
- Liberation marks the first game in the series where both the main protagonist and antagonist are female.