Say what you will about Ubisoft, their broken games, their shitty DRM, and the fact that in 2014 alone, they released 76 Assassin’s Creed games, but we’re still waiting for a Beyond Good and Evil sequel. Say all of that. Right, now take a breath, and admit that you have got to admire the huge, shining brass balls on Ubisoft to start promoting the new entry in the series – Assassin’s Creed: Victory.
Here are a few little bugs that affected Unity at launch. This is what happened when you paid £54.99 (FIFTY-FOUR, NINETY-NINE) for this game –
- The character would fall through the ground.
- If you joined a co-op session, in the game advertised as being all about playing with others (UNITY – it’s right there in the goddamn title), it could crash.
- Hiding in a hay cart would trap you in a hay cart.
- Literally access the main menu could fuck the game up
I’m not an expert on modern QA methods, but I’m fairly sure someone, somewhere, must’ve climbed into a hay cart and gone ‘oh shit, wait, I can’t get out. I will mark that as potentially problematic’. I get that bugs happen. I get that games like this are unbelievably complicated to make, to test, to fix. I get that. I also get that maybe you don’t motherfucking release games like that in the first place. You don’t make QA a fan’s job and make them pay for the privilege.
One of the things Ubi made a priority to fix, after tiny problems like “frame rate issues” (it’s cinematic, remember?), “graphical and collision issues” (falling through shit), and “matchmaking co-op issues” (that thing we sold the game on doesn’t work, sorry) was, and I quote – “Helix Credits issues” (microtransactions).
They fixed it so you can spend money, in-game, on the broken game you already paid a lot of money for. Whilst still having the game run like ass. An ass covered in nappy rash. Imagine the meeting where someone suggested they work on that fix. How is fixing microtransactions not the very last fucking thing you work on? Oh, and the suggestion to fix frame-rate issues? Turn the internet off. On your game you’re supposed to play with friends.
The latest update still hasn’t got the game to an acceptable level of performance; it still isn’t even reaching the performance level of Black Flag.
But Harry, you cry, that is so unfair. The game is running on new consoles, it’s going to take time to get to levels like that. Which is true. It should take time, there should be optimisation, but why should people be paying £54.99 to play what is blatantly an unfinished game?
The only way this shit is going to stop is if people stop shovelling up the dross Ubisoft is serving them. By buying on launch day, making your pointless pre-orders, you’re encouraging this. I haven’t bought an Assassin’s Creed game since Brotherhood, because I can’t be fucked with annual releases. I’m bored of Ubisoft Game. You’re not, which is cool, I buy Football Manager biennially, so I get it, but FM tends to work.
I’m aware that as we careen into 2015, the modern video game publisher isn’t going to just take a year off from an annual release, especially one as massive and sprawling as the Assassin’s Creed series. I know they’re rotating the games through their 800 global studios. I know shareholders and executives don’t give a shit about releasing buggy, laggy, broken pieces of shit and laugh at us as we buy them all. I know Ubisoft do release good, smaller games, wrapped up in shitty UPlay DRM. I know all this. But I also know that there is a very easy to solution to all of this.
Stop buying Ubisoft games. Read up on Ubisoft. Remember the amazing 2012 E3 demo of Watch Dogs and then go play Watch Dogs. Remember how they said they couldn’t make female characters to play as, because it was too much work. Remember that Ubisoft knew the game was broken when it released, they fucking knew, and they made it so reviewers couldn’t release the reviews until after it was released. This is all done on purpose, it is a conscious decision to fleece people, and people keep falling for it. For every cute experiment like Child of Light and Valiant Hearts, there’s going to be a Far Cry: More Outposts, an Assassin’s Creed: Vague Noun, and a bunch of micro and macrotransactions to get your blood pumping. Have at it, or stop bitching and stop buying.