Let me make something clear: given how ambitious the Assassin's Creed series is, I can excuse the bugs and other problems brought on by the PS Vita's powerful, but still relatively limited, hardware. But add to those the game's narrative issues and mechanics that force you into certain roles and actions—even when they don't make sense—and Liberation is stopped short of true excellence.

That said, I still had a ton of fun with Liberation at certain points, and there's a lot of content in this small package. Nothing approaching the complexity of side quests and diversions in AC 3 proper, but a rudimentary online multiplayer mode (claim nodes on a digital globe) and a Drugwars-like shipping game proved entertaining enough distractions.

And playing as a black woman in a country driven by slavery is certainly an illuminating experience. Whether by design or not—it wasn't always clear—citizens would often attack in packs if I so much as bumped into a male NPC. Groups of them wait in alleyways to grope and harass Aveline. It's really quite unnerving.

I respect Ubisoft for undertaking risky projects like Liberation, and even if it doesn't go down as a system-seller for the PS Vita, you've got to admire its ambition.

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