You would expect Ubisoft, creators of the Assassin’s Creed series, to be basking in glory after the biggest launch in the history of the series. But Assassin’s Creed Unity has turned out to be something of a nightmare for the renowned French developer. It all began with a rather suspicious review embargo, which was covered in Forbes, which meant that gamers wouldn’t get to see any reviews until after the game’s launch. It was a worrying sign which made the gaming press nervous and suspicious about the game’s quality.
And now that the game is out and the reviews are in, players have been reporting poor frame rates and all sorts of graphical issues. The fact that the game would struggle in the frame rate department was hinted at by Ubisoft’s decision to cap the Xbox One and PS4 versions at 30 frames per second, and by the absurdly high PC requirements. Logically, PC users have been complaining about frame rates, but the sad truth is that Assassin’s Creed Unity just does not run particularly well on consoles either. The PS4 version of the game can’t even manage 20 frames during certain stretches of the game, according to Kotaku.
What about the graphical glitches? These range from characters falling through the ground, being stuck in mid-air, to single body parts like heads disappearing. The game appears to have serious pop-in issues, with certain buildings not appearing at all until the protagonist Arno is right in front of them. The game also appears to crash with alarming regularity, according to Steam reviews.
All this is probably something of an embarrassment for Ubi, a French developer who has covered what is perhaps the most important historical period in the history of France in a video game, but didn’t deliver at launch.
Still, there are reasons to be optimistic about the future of the series. Assassin’s Creed Unity is a game of undeniable ambition, recreating 18th century Paris in a very detailed way and boasting the biggest crowds ever seen in an Assassin’s Creed game. Ubisoft will undoubtedly patch the game into shape, and those patient enough to wait will be able to enjoy Arno’s adventures without the distracting glitches that are plaguing the game at launch.
But right now, of the 3 major games that were coming out this fall, Assassin’s Creed Unity is the least desirable. Bioware’s Dragon Age: Inquisition has already garnered glowing reviews from the major gaming sites and is a solid recommendation. And Ubisoft’s own Far Cry 4 is due out on the 18th of November, and looks like it will prove to be a stunning open world game, and a worthy successor to Far Cry 3.
So for the time being at least, it is better to stay clear of Unity’s revolutionary Paris and its protagonist Arno, at least until Ubisoft sorts out the myriad issues plaguing the game.