Recently I wrote about UbiSoft’s upcoming video game called Tom Clancy’s: Ghost Recon Wildlands.This game looks like the type of game that I would greatly enjoy playing but for some reason I ended up being totally appointed with the game before it even released. This is a bad thing to do and if I didn’t knew better I would say I acted on unfounded suspicion, but is it truly the case? Can anybody familiar with UbiSoft’s marketing plan truly say that it was unfounded suspicion or perhaps paranoia? I have plenty of reasons to believe that this game is going to fail when it comes out and this is not simply because I dislike UbiSoft as a company no, because I truly don’t even though I have no more respect left for them either. This is because of the fact that every single UbiSoft title was drastically downgraded and underwent some serious graphical and gameplay changes since it was shown to the public at first on E3 (or similar major gaming event) in the final product was notably inferior to the one that we initially got excited over. I will try and refresh your memory with a couple of games that underwent UbiSoft’s downgrade treatment.
Watch Dogs is a fine example of how UbiSoft downgrades their games after the initial public showcase before they are sold as a final version. When the game was first shown I remember thinking how it has to be one of the best looking games to date, and I was probably right because the footage shown over at E3 was beefed up to a maximum for the promotional sake.
Upon its release, the game underwent drastic changes. Everything looked washed out and even its art direction was slightly changed. GPU intensive features like alpha effects, lightning or reflection looked much worse in the final version of the game not to mention that features like a light that illuminated raindrops as they pass by were completely cut out from the final game.
In the trailer it was obvious how wind could knock over trash on the street like bottles and had some impact on the world overall but of course, this never made it in the final version of the game. Not even those fairly obvious gusts of wind that swept the streets ever so often were nowhere to be found later on when we purchased the game.
NPC characters also got their fair share of nerf’s. Significant reduction of background characters as well as changes in their appearance and behavior is what was bestowed upon them for the final release.
All those beautiful dynamic shadows and all the advanced ambient occlusion affects were simply cut out from the final product leaving us with a game that looks nothing like what we’ve been shown in the demo. It was all like. Every scene, and every street was pretty much like the previous one. The interiors also suffered a huge downgrade. Remember the entrance to the club from the E3 trailer with all those smoke effects? I was very excited for those four they could truly make wonderful ambient effects in certain areas but, just like everything else so far it turned out that they were completely removed from the game.
The list can go on and on since this game suffered tremendously from UbiSoft’s downgrade treatment and if you ask me it was never meant to be a game that it became. I honestly think this was supposed to be a sequel to Assassins Creed set in present days and that they decided to drop the idea and make a standalone game instead, but that’s not the topic at hand, let’s move on to the next game…
Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six Siege
Being a part of Tom Clancy’s games, Rainbow Six Siege is probably the main reason why I’m skeptical when it comes to UbiSoft’s product downgrades, not just when it comes to graphics but also gameplay aspects. Despite being downgraded, Siege is still a great tactical shooter but I can’t help but think how what we got is just a fraction of a beautiful experience that was originally intended for players to have while playing Rainbow Six Siege.
Graphical downgrading aside because, at this point know even expects UbiSoft games to look exactly like those that were shown during E3, sad but true. What I’m mostly disappointed about and quite frankly offended is how they are selling a different game than they’ve marketed. With Watch Dogs, was mostly graphics but with Siege it’s hell of a lot more.
They have changed the way this game plays. From the E3 footage we were shown how breached charge can easily destroy floors. I’m not saying that it’s impossible to destroy floors and go through those holes you make but the difference between the marketed and sold product is in these limitations. In the E3 preview it was made as if though it wouldn’t matter where the charge was placed in the floor would get destroyed no matter what however, in the actual game there are only specific places that you can do this. This would even actually makes sense if you were given a blueprint of the building and saw where the flooring was thicker or made out of different material maybe yet, once breached you can clearly see that it’s all supposedly made out of the same material. So why then can’t I just breach floor in a room on whatever spot I’d like to?
The way hostages react is also significantly changed and while this is not actually a big thing to grief over, it still doesn’t change the fact that we were marketed something that turned out to be something else. For me personally, it is immersion breaking to see hostage not reacting to a potential rescue in situations like these but compared to other things that UbiSoft has pulled out on its fans, I consider this a minor slip.
This list could go on and on and I could bash UbiSoft for another ten pages but, I will be doing that, at least not for now. We’re all perfectly aware how they do their business and how they treat their fans and for some reason we’re still hoping that with this next release everything will suddenly change? Quite frankly I don’t think it’s going to change anytime soon. This is a very bittersweet fact for me to accept simply because I honestly think their games have great potential and great themes yet they deliberately choose to throw it all away for the sake of a few extra bucks when in fact they could make ten times more only if they listened and respected their customers and their wishes.