Being a big Assassin’s Creed fan, I was disappointed when it was announced that Liberation was going to be a Vita exclusive. It sounded interesting, with its new protagonist and disguise system, but I didn’t want to buy a Vita just to play it. So I was pleased to hear that Liberation was going to be remade for the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC.

The game follows Aveline de Grandpré, a young woman living in 18th century New Orleans, a few years into her career as an Assassin. Her father is a well-off French merchant, her mother a former slave. Aveline’s mixed heritage puts her in an odd position within society, allowing her to blend in amongst slaves and noblewomen alike. Using this to her advantage, Aveline embarks on a mission to free as many slaves as possible, as well as uncover a Templar plot.

She’s an endearing protagonist, intelligent and humorous. The fact that she begins the game a fully-trained Assassin is also good news, as the player isn’t subjected to long, dull tutorials. However, the game does feel rather short, with some later sequences containing only a couple of missions. Considering the game costs half as much as a “full” Assassin’s Creed game, this isn’t surprising, but it’s still underwhelming.

One of the most frustrating things about the game’s short length is that there are many parts of the story that are begging to be expanded upon. For example, Aveline’s relationship with her mentor Agaté becomes increasingly strained over the course of the game, but the significance of this is undermined by how little the player sees of their original relationship. The in-game database mentions that he saved her life when she was young, and it seems odd that this wasn’t even given a simple cutscene, especially given that the game opens with a flashback to her childhood.

Liberation mostly takes place within New Orleans and its nearby Bayou. The city is home to most of the shops where Aveline can purchase weapons and clothing from. There are also “dressing chambers” scattered around the city, which Aveline can purchase and use to change her persona (more on that later). The Bayou is more sparsely populated than the city, and can be explored through the tree-tops or with a canoe. It is home to hostile wildlife, which can be fought off through quicktime events. Throughout the world’s maps there are various treasure chests, collectibles, and side missions available for the player. Looking for these usually rewards the player with new shops or special outfits to purchase.

In terms of gameplay, Liberation plays much like the main games of the franchise. It provides all the running, climbing, and stabbing that players have come to expect from the series. Oddly some of the controls and mechanics differ from Black Flag, which was released a mere three months ago. The blow-pipe (a weapon the Vita Liberation introduced to the franchise), for instance, is controlled completely differently, which was jarring after only having just played Black Flag.

Eagle Vision, the ability Assassins use to highlight enemies, allies, and subjects of interest, has also been reduced in power. In Black Flag, players could use it to spot potential hiding places such as bushes. In Liberation, this function is gone. This made some of the night-time Bayou missions more frustrating, as it was difficult to differentiate between hiding spots and scenery.

Liberation’s biggest innovation is its persona system, in which the player can switch between three identities – Assassin, Lady, and Slave – by changing clothes. The Assassin persona is the best of the three, giving Aveline access to the full range of weapons, as well as a full health bar. It also allows her to climb and free-run. The downside is that guards notice her more quickly, making stealth in some areas much more difficult. The Lady person cannot climb or free-run, and has less weaponry and health. However, she can easily bypass guards by bribing and charming them, and she is rarely treated with suspicion. The Slave persona is as agile as the Assassin, but again with less health. Climbing in the Slave persona also accumulates notoriety more quickly, and it doesn’t take long for the city to be plastered in wanted posters. Like the Lady, the Slave persona is better suited to stealth, and has access to fewer weapons.

The addition, these personas do add some variety to gameplay, allowing the player to implement different degrees of stealth. Unfortunately, the game tends to force you into specific personas for most of the missions. It would have been more interesting had more of the missions allowed the player to take alternate paths depending on what persona they were in, and would have added to the game’s replay value.

The graphics of Liberation are good, but not great. Again, the game suffers from being released post-Black Flag, as it is visually a step backwards. This is particularly evident in cutscenes, where characters’ faces sometimes looked strangely blank. The game also fails to fully escape its handheld roots as important information is often provided through text boxes rather than dialogue and animation. Early in the game it is also evident that an escort mission from the original was choppily removed. I also experienced some minor glitches, such as markers failing to appear on the map, and animals attacking Aveline mid-mission. Nothing major, but frustrating nonetheless.

Overall, Liberation HD is an enjoyable, if flawed experience. The protagonist and persona system are interesting, and many of the gameplay elements players enjoy from the main series are still present. However, the game doesn’t live up to its potential, and I’d only recommend it to people who want to see more of the Assassin’s Creed universe while they wait for the next game’s announcement.

Assassin’s Creed: Liberation HD is available via Steam, the Playstation Network, and Xbox Live Arcade. This review is based on the Xbox 360 version.

The film adaptation of Wicked is currently in production and Stephen Schwartz revealed at Comic Con that the film will feature plenty of new songs!

Warm up those vocal pipes and get your best “Defying Gravity” cape dry cleaned, the Wicked film is gearing up for production at long last! The Broadway hit, currently in its 13th year, has had audiences clamoring for a filmed production since Idina Menzel Kristin Chenoweth brought Elphba and Glinda to life. Now, that dream is becoming a reality, but probably not with the original cast.

At the CW3PR’s 8th Annual Behind-The-Music: Crime, Death and Resurrection Panel at Comic Con, Stephen Schwartz the man behind the music of Wicked appeared to announce that the film will feature songs both old and new. The “old” of course includes songs from the stage production such as “Defying Gravity,” “Popular,” and most likely, “One Fine Day.” But it also includes songs that were written and cut from the production before its Broadway opening.

Winnie Holzman will be writing the screenplay as she also wrote the book to the stage show based on Gregory Maguire’s novel. Stephen Daldry (Billy Elliot) is attached to direct.

You can watch Schwartz’s announcement from the panel below!

Now its time to start some casting speculations! It is my hope that the casting director sticks with strong Broadway talent to carry the roles. The musical has enough of a following to garner a strong viewership, but it also wouldn’t hurt to throw Menzel and Chenoweth in for a cameo or two!

Wicked is expected to hit theaters in December 2019.

U! S! A! U! S! A! A new Fantastic Beasts poster debuting at San Diego Comic-Con has American pride peppered into the design, giving us a hint at the film’s plot.

The film’s official social media channels unveiled Fantastic Beasts’ SDCC poster on Friday morning, just a day before the movie hosts a panel at the conference with the cast and crew. Presumably these posters will be handed out on the show floor, and/or at the Fantastic Beasts event.

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There’s a lot to unpack in this poster, which features Newt and a brightly lit “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them” sign.

Newt is looking over his shoulder in the middle, holding a wand in one hand and a suitcase (with a beast trying to get out!) in the other. Supporting characters Graves, Jacob, Queenie, and Tina appear in the wings. Also here: Our very first looks at two female characters. We believe the one in the bottom left is Mary Lou, played by Samantha Morton. The guy on the right is Credence played by Ezra Miller.

So what’s with the American flags? They’re not only to remind fans that the movie is set in New York — We believe they’re teasing an election of some sort. The last Fantastic Beasts trailer briefly depicted a political event (See a screenshot below). We’re guessing an election will be taking place over the course of the movie with possible ramifications for the well-being of the North American Wizarding World.

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Fantastic Beasts opens this November. Return to Hypable on Saturday to check out our coverage of everything that happens during the movie’s panel!

Have a round, or two, with Lin-Manuel Miranda when he steps in to tell the story of Alexander Hamilton on Drunk History.

Comedy Central is keeping Lin-Manuel Miranda connected to Hamilton for a little while longer by setting the scribe up on the next season of Drunk History to spin another verse about the founding father. The show will concentrate on the rivalry between Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton duel that resulted in SPOILER Hamilton’s death.

Hamilton was the first subject that the series took on in season one. With the rising success of the Broadway hit, fans clamored for Lin-Manuel Miranda to give Alexander Hamilton a reprise on the series.

Miranda is not throwing away his shot at telling another version of Hamilton’s decision to throw away his on the shores of New Jersey in 1804. Even though Miranda stepped away from the show on July 9, we expect to see him sticking close to the production for quite a while, especially as the show begins performances across the nation.

Miranda was not the only guest announced for Drunk History‘s fourth season. Joining him will be Aubrey Plaza, Ben Folds, Billie Joe Armstrong, Busy Phillips, Dave Grohl, Ed Helms, Elizabeth Olsen, Josh Charles, Mae Whitman, Michael Cera, Rachel Bilson, and Tony Hale, to name a few.

Raise a glass!


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Drunk History returns for its fourth season on Tuesday, Sept. 27 at 10:30 p.m. ET on Comedy Central.