This generation of consoles and games seems to have been characterised by bugs, glitches and disappointments. It started with Battlefield 4, which was almost unplayable online for months. Then we faced the shockingly overhyped Watch_Dogs, which failed to impress or leave a positive mark. Recently we’ve had the dreadful launch of Drive Club, which seems to have pulled a Battlefield, only a little worse, and then, the icing on the cake, the glitch filled online play of COD: Advanced Warfare and the matchmaking problems of Halo: The Master Chief Collection. Then, to top it all off; the cherry on this cake of fail – Assassin’s Creed: Unity, which is so far off of a completed game that the only thing that unifies it is the fact that it’s buggy for everyone.
Of course, we have had some decent games. Destiny had a pretty seamless launch, as did the offerings from EA in FIFA 15 and Madden 15. But, when it comes to ‘next-gen’ games, we’ve been left a little disheartened. Unity was supposed to be Ubisoft’s real offering into this generation, with the game having been designed purely for this generation of console. Instead, what we’ve been left with is an unfinished game. What does that say for this generation of consoles so far? What’s more, what does that say about Ubisoft, and their willingness to dish out unfinished products to their fan base? Not much, really.
Obviously, these buggy games aren’t exactly Sony or Microsoft’s fault – but they haven’t really painted themselves in glory, thus far. Microsoft’s Xbox One was facing criticism before it was even released and, since its release, fans have been having issues with their disk drives and the Kinect – to name just a few issues. Sony are just as bad, with the PSN occasionally deciding to commit hari-kari, usually at the most inopportune times. Overall, this generation of games consoles and the games that have come with them have been less than seamless.
But, my biggest problem is probably with Assassin’s Creed: Unity. For me, it encapsulates the occasional fuck ups of this generation so far – it’s the face of the Buggy Generation (or lack of face, what with all of these terrifying images of faceless characters floating around the internet). It was supposed to be a game changer, it was supposed to be a ‘masterpiece’, but, instead, it’s just a bit embarrassing. From what I’ve played so far, there’s nothing much new about it. Whilst the co-op is a great concept, and one that could give new life to the game once I’ve completed it, Unity is nothing special. Yeah, the graphics are good. Yeah, the world is a bit richer and more ‘alive’. But is it that much different to ‘Black Flag’? Or the majority of other AC games, for that matter? It’s still the exact same concept, just this time there are less boats and more French people.
The fact that Ubisoft rushed the game out with these bugs is just as much a comment on themselves as it is a comment on the series. It just kind of feels like they don’t particularly care anymore. It’s as though they know that people will pick the game up, no matter what the content is or how poorly it has been finished. Maybe they don’t care anymore. Maybe that’s the problem. I mean, they must have known about the bugs, they’re pretty damn obvious. It makes me wonder why they still put it out – but then I’m not a game publisher or developer, so I’m sure they must have had their reasons.
So yeah, it’s been a rough start for this generation. The seas have been less than smooth. Still, there is plenty of hope. I think there has been an equal amount of good to counteract the bad, and there are some fantastic games destined for the next few months. I’m hoping that the good can shine through this Christmas and in 2015, by which time we’ll have forgotten about all of these bugs and glitches, and we’ll be sinking our teeth into some fantastic games… hopefully.