Ubisoft's Hollow Words Are Getting Old - o_JMan240_o Blog - www.GameInformer.com
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Ubisoft's Hollow Words Are Getting Old

It took me roughly five hours to go from barely knowing how to use Blender, an open source modeling software, to making a face based on an image of Giant Bomb's Brad Shoemaker. So excuse me while I stifle a bit of a laugh at the idea of nine studios filled with far more talented individuals being unable to manage making female character models in a timely manner. It wasn't until I read the tweets of Jonathan Cooper, an ex-Ubisoft developer, via GameSpot that I really started feeling like I've had enough of the empty comments Ubisoft throws around as counterpoints to criticism though.

No one really had a problem with Ubisoft until they launched Uplay and implemented always-on DRM for their PC games. It took a while for them to step back, but the rejoice over a lack of always-on DRM didn't stop Ubisoft from tying players into their horribly unreliable systems. At no point has the incompetence of Uplay been more evident than the disastrous launch of "Watch Dogs". In their decision to force players into Uplay, Ubisoft has seemingly failed to realize people give Steam a pass because it almost always works, and they've done little more than shrug instead of addressing the original problem with their DRM system.

Ubisoft's support for PC in general is just bad across the board as well, and games launch in horribly unoptimized states with alarming frequency. Yet, through all the missteps and breakdowns Ubisoft has continued to insist they are dedicated to supporting every platform, a sentiment ringing extremely hollow for those who play PC versions of their games anywhere near launch.

When "Far Cry 3" was rightfully criticized for leaning heavily on the white savior in a foreign land trope, with Jason Brody carving an openly murderous path across a tropical island, the only response Ubisoft mustered was a tepid dismissal of any potential criticism as a failure on the part of the audience. If there was anything to the "Alice In Wonderland" reference at the start of the game, or any deeper meaning in the idea of Jason Brody as an unreliable narrator as writer Jeffrey Yohalem suggested, it hasn't been found by a world of extremely smart and insightful people.

While the criticism of "Far Cry 4's" box art as racist has proven a bit off-base, there's really no reason it should have released without the context of the trailer - one glance is enough to know releasing it alone was a bad idea. Pairing with the controversy is the apparent appearance of Jason Brody, or at the very least a very similar character, in the player's role during the "Far Cry 4" cinematic reveal trailer. Of course, there's too little information to know how the game will shape up or their narrative focus at this point, but there is enough to worry about how short Ubisoft's previous attempts to weave deeper meaning into problematic things have fallen.

Finally, there's both the switch Ubisoft pulled between the premier of "Watch Dogs" and its launch as well as the game's equally problematic writing. To keep things short, while not openly and gleefully racist or sexist, "Watch Dogs" has been criticized for ignorance in how it handles both topics. Even if the writing didn't stumble, the "Watch Dogs" that recently released makes the gameplay shown off at last year's E3 look like a target render. It's a good looking game, but not as much as people were led to believe. Ubisoft is hardly the only company falling into the trap of goosing their visuals more than they should, but it's just icing on the cake of bad will at this point.

With the nonsense they've been spouting about "Assassin's Creed" I've finally come to the point where I really can't stand it anymore. I don't dislike Ubisoft or their games, but their constant attempts at loud, self-aware statements only prove how unaware they are of where they actually stand. They're out in front of everyone shouting about how they want to do something different, but the failed attempts seem even worse than if they hadn't tried because Ubisoft doesn't seem to want to acknowledge anything they do wrong. They tackle the topics, insist they're committed to players on all platforms, but they do so in the same way a guy from an early '00s college campus might play an acoustic guitar.

The ability is there but any sincerity in the process of creation doesn't work its way out of the noise.

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