I had been a huge fan of Ubisoft in my early days as a casual gamer who played Prince of Persia’s campaign all day long without tiring, same applying to the amazing Far Cry series. Then, as I got a bit more serious about gaming, looking at games with a critical approach and not just playing games for fun, one cannot miss putting Ubisoft in their blacklist of publishers. For me, Ubisoft has been one of the forerunner in creating a huge hype in their showcases but delivering lackluster games and optimization, something that has been mainstream in the overly rated Assassin’s Creed series. But then, there was the revolution in the form of Watch Dogs.
I waited for Watch Dogs like all open-world fanboys and fangirls, as we all seemed to have found everything what we have been looking for since ages. For me, I looked up to the game as something all set to revolutionize open-world gaming and ushering a new age for this enormous genre that was in the monopoly of Rockstar Games back in the day, and arguable still be the dictator of the terms of it in this day too. The hacking aspect of the game, where we could hack well almost every damn thing in the surrounding was simply mind-blowing as it was and arguably still is one of the most interactive worlds that I have explored. But then came its release and the mix of thoughts that follow, leaning more to a rather negative review.
However, it ran its own share of positives in the form of stellar hacking features, something that still runs strong within this era, an amazingly detailed and interactive environment which beautifully complimented the hacking element, and the lovable side characters which somehow side-lined the iconic Aiden Pierce, who I find to be a pop-icon even in this day. Delivering a sub-standard optimization; a pointless main story, something the game could have literally done away with; and literally the worst car and gun mechanics a game would ever create were the negative side of this game, with me not being able to imply just how bad the latter part was. It is however as you progress in the game when you realize how well you just ended up wasting your money on it.
We now have well-learnt the fact that Watch Dogs 2 is in development and there is so much to learn for it. Creative director Jonathan Morin himself publicly stated that the original game was flawed and the team needed to take risks with any potential sequels. This could have been considered a start to a reformed Ubisoft, however it went just as the saying goes. You can’t teach an old dog new tricks (or whatever is it). You simply lose faith on every turn.
Something that I have been espousing for a long time is that publishers need to learn from CD Projekt Red and Rockstar Games on how to respect the gamer, for you are because of them. In making DRM free games and delivering games all-round in its being rather than just focusing on its main carry that I would consider to be story and in spending a complete year in delaying a highly anticipated game to achieve a game light years ahead of its time in terms of optimization instead of simply cashing on the hype, these devs have won my heart.
The question remaining would be, is Ubisoft ready to achieve such legendary status in the hearts of gaming journalists? If so, where do they begin? In my opinion, they badly screwed up when they announced that you won’t be able to play as the mammoth unless you buy the Collector’s Edition in Far Cry Primal, so let’s move on ahead to their best option. Watch Dogs 2. Here lies a mine of gold for them to right many or their wrong committed by them, as a publisher and as a game itself. Offering a ton of potential in this sequel about which we so far know to be only in production, there I however but only a glimmer of hope in this idea. Having started the year on the wrong foot with people being expected to buy The Division’s beta, the future seems rather bleak for this legacy publisher.
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