So despite the fact that its been out on Vita for some time (and probably because so few people have actually played it), Ubisoft are bringing Assassin's Creed: Liberation to your home consoles in early 2014.
Seemingly a download only option (at the minute, anyway) for 360 and PS3, this isn't just a straight port from the Vita - on talking with the development team, you're going to be looking at an almost completely new build.
Thankfully, their lives were made somewhat easier by the fact that the original was actually created using the tools used for AC2
, meaning that the basics were pretty much in place before team at Ubisoft Sofia started the process of turning it into something more than a a handheld stealth-em-up.
The entire Vita game will be there in Liberation HD
, but with some extra stuff thrown in to lure gamers who may have overlooked this edition of the franchise.
First up, the team have given everything the graphical tweaks you'd demand when bringing a game to the home consoles. Everything has been given a HD makeover, with textures and backgrounds improved from the already very pretty indeed original.
A whole new animation engine has been pulled together too, ensuring that the cutscenes work as smoothly as possible - there's even been some additional sound work done, something that I felt the AC
series has always done really rather well at.
Not everything is a technical enhancement, though; in a bid to give you a bit more value for money, fifteen new missions will be included in the final release that weren't seen on Vita.
By way of a trade-off, certain sections requiring the touch screen will be absent in the HD reissue.
The story remains essentially the same, though - Aveline, our heroic main character, cuts her way through soldiers aplenty while charming the officers in her alternate guise as The Lady.
The game allows you to approach problems in different ways depending on what persona you choose to adopt; the Slave, for example, will lurk in the shadows , shying away from the attention of any guards by pretending to be busy with work.
The Lady, meanwhile, will hide in plain sight, relying on her reputation and bribery in order to gain access to restricted areas. Finally, the Assassin is all about the rooftop raiding that the series has developed a reputation for, but in the end, the objective is (generally) all about the killing.
Of course, it'll be interesting to see how a game that was first released back in 2012 will fare, even with some shiny new AI and a new coat of hi-def paint. Bringing the game to a (much) wider audience is to be applauded - after all, it's more of a good thing, but without a full retail release will it capture the attention of gamers caught up in the excitement of a new generation of consoles? We'll see in early 2014.