If any one company is getting the lion’s share of attention in early January, it’s Ubisoft. Two releases in the Assassin’s Creed series are currently top of my list, not solely for the fact that I’m a fan but also because releases are slow at the moment. I’d prefer to talk about both of them here because releasing two columns on the series in one week is a little too much AC even for me.
Assassin’s Creed 4: Freedom Cry is a downloadable side story to the pirate game. You play as Captain Kenway’s quartermaster, Adewale. Ade is *spoilers* the first crewman to wholeheartedly embrace the Assassin calling and Freedom Cry follows him several years after he’s left Edward’s side.
This DLC is almost entirely story-based, so it’s fortunate that the story is such a strong one. While Edward’s amoral and self-centered lifestyle frequently made him unsympathetic, Ade has probably the most sympathetic goal of anyone in the series. If you’re squeamish about prickly social issues, steer clear: This game deals with slavery, and you will spend large parts of the game saving lives, as opposed to taking them.
I consider the story so good that I’m willing to overlook the blunted running time. At five hours, this add-on feels too abbreviated, especially since there isn’t much free-roaming fun to be had.
Assassin’s Creed: Liberation first came out as a PS Vita exclusive to accompany AC3. It stars Aveline de Grandpre, the series’ first female Assassin and the one whose mission Ade’s most closely resembles. Feisty Aveline is fighting for freedom and, yes, liberation in a world where she fits into no one category.
Unfortunately, I got all of the above from the game’s Wikipedia page. I never actually played it because there was no way I was buying a Vita for one game. Luckily for me, Ubisoft is now rereleasing an “HD” version of the game for PC, which is now available on Steam. I look forward to getting acquainted with the first playable female Assassin character.
In summary: Get Freedom Cry if you enjoyed AC4 but found the story lacking, and give Liberation a try if you are a longtime fan of the series.