Ubisoft is continuing to patch Assassins Creed: Unity after players complained about some frankly ludicrous bugs. The problems of drawn more attention to controversy over the publisher’s unusual review policy for the game.
The game suffers from three main categories of problems. The first is difficulty getting connected to game servers for multiplay, something that plagued both GTA V and Sim City upon their launches.
The second problem is frame rate issues and crashes on both console and PC versions of the game, which — contrary to at least one Ubisoft comment — appear not to be specific to individual processors.
It’s the third set of problems that’s the most embarrassing however. Players have reported all sorts of character collision detection issues, with everything from characters stuck running in place to somehow winding up stuck in a fireplace. There have even been cases of faces disappearing but features such as eyes and teeth left floating in air.
At the time of writing, Ubisoft’s site — which includes a live update blog on the fixes — was unreachable. However, it’s seems the company has adopted a strategy of an initial patch (released on launch day) to fix some animation problems, a second patch in the works that’s designed to fix a couple more animation glitches plus the online connection problems, and then leaving the frame rate and collision detection issues until a later update.
What makes the situation worse is that Ubisoft put games journalists under an embargo that lasted until nine hours after the game went on sale. Ubisoft has argued that this is necessary as it ensures the online version of the game has enough “real” players to allow reviewers a fair representation of the experience.
The problem here is that many journalists found themselves in a position where the game was already on sale and they knew it had serious problems, but were unable to publish a review to warn readers unless they opted to break the embargo. Doing that would likely affect their ability to get advanced review copies of future games.
The problems with Unity have also raised questions about whether Ubisoft is releasing too many games in short succession and spreading development and testing teams too thinly.
Editor’s note: I also stumbled on this hilarious glitch this morning, so instead of writing a separate post for it, I’ll just add it here:
(Screenshot credit: BBC)