View Full Version : As far as online connectivity goes, Ubi's "seamlessness" is overrated (opinion time)

12-28-2014, 11:37 AM
The word "seamless" was used so damn much in Unity's marketing it became a meme of its own within the fanbase. Most of it panned out pretty well; building interiors, diagonal freerunning, and lack of loading time between districts were all good. But the one part of Unity where the seamlessness really gets in the way is the co-op.

The concept of your SP game transferring "seamlessly" into the online world is the reason we got the whole female co-op avatar controversy. It's the reason SP gear is obnoxiously locked behind co-op play requirements. And it's presumably the reason why we can only have one damn save file. Seriously, this last bit is killing Ubisoft games for me; I've got a brother and I had to delete my W_D file for him to play through the story. W_D, ACU, and (I think) FC4 are all guilty of this, and it's annoying as hell. It's pretty much an industry standard to allow at least three slots.

And really, by my estimation, there's not much of a payoff for those sacrifices. If the game was really able to make me feel as though I was playing a mission as Arno and his Assassin allies, then sure, it would boost immersion, but it doesn't. It feels like I'm playing as a nameless avatar with three other nameless avatars. The fact that there are random masked Assassins around the actual city map who hand these missions to you does not make the multiplayer modes feel any less disconnected from the main game. You still walk up to them, navigate a menu, and get teleported to wherever you need to be for the mission, exactly like a standard matchmaking session in any other game.

So, where am I going with this?

I get that only having one playable character for everyone means less work on the part of the devs. Understandable. But the much-vaunted seamless online interconnectivity of all current Ubisoft games is just a cornucopia of marketing buzzwords. It isn't really unifying SP and MP in any meaningful ways, just a handful of superficial cosmetic trappings that are supposed to make the game feel more cohesive. But IMO, it's actually much, much better for SP and MP to remain their own individual things.

Look at any SP/MP game renowned for its popular online modes. I'm talking COD, GTA, and Battlefield type games. Why are they popular? Probably in part because they let you play what modes you want and ignore everything else. Are you more of a story gamer who doesn't like the chaotic frenzy of the online world? Cool, go play SP. Are you more of a competitive, social gamer who doesn't give a hoot about the narrative? Cool, MP is fully unlocked in the main menu from the get-go. Care for a bit of both? That's cool too, jump back and forth at your leisure.

Ubi's model doesn't let you do this. Are you an SP player interested in unlocking all of the content to complete Arno's personal arsenal for use exclusively offline? Screw you, go play Club Competition. Are you an MP player who wants the most expensive gear to boost their performance with their friends? Screw you, go renovate the Cafe-Theatre so you can have a good enough income to afford it. It's a very poor design model that seems engineered to pressure players into doing EVERYTHING, instead of just focusing on the parts they like and dislike.

My brother and I both love Red Dead Redemption. But I've played through it's story mode numerous times and I'm only like Level 8 in its multiplayer, while he's like Prestige 5 Level 100 and I don't think he's even completed the Mexico chapter of the story. Ubisoft needs to follow in the footsteps of its gaming industry peers and be confident enough in its content to provide all players in their target audience with something they'll like, instead of trying to get everyone to play everything.

I really think they should go back to the roots of their MP for designing the next game's co-op. Make it a wholly separate mode and give us a wide array of avatars from many races and sexes, or just let us make our own. I didn't hear anybody complaining about the previous games' dozens of Animi Avatars, and there was actually a pretty robust progression and customization system in play for each of them. The difference was, it was all self-contained within MP and didn't intertwine itself with the offline modes. Ideally, the next game's co-op will feature the same great blackbox mission design as Unity's, except it'll be its own mode with its own avatars and its own progression and customization. That one simple change solves a TON of problems Ubisoft games are having right now (e.g. single save files, exclusion of women, and annoying interconnected unlockable systems).

And Jesus, this was a long post, if you read it all give yourself a cookie ;)

12-28-2014, 11:42 AM

12-28-2014, 12:01 PM

12-28-2014, 12:36 PM

12-28-2014, 08:26 PM
Too lazy to find a gif to post so...


12-28-2014, 08:31 PM
Damnit, wish I had a clapping gif. Oh well.

12-28-2014, 09:07 PM
I am the only who prefer this way ? the past games multiplayer is horrible boring and repetitive people only plays because of the achievements/trophy,the lack of female can be changed with the multiple protagonists perspective that I said in another tread.

now you free to do this: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/1/17/Christ_at_the_Cross_-_Cristo_en_la_Cruz.jpg

12-28-2014, 09:12 PM
Great write-up.

This was obviously a decision at the sales/marketing level; I can't imagine the developers themselves being happy with this mess.

12-28-2014, 09:14 PM
now you free to do this:

Do what? Arrive at the scene of your crucifixion like Joseph of Arimathea?
That's pretty arrogant, mate.

12-28-2014, 09:16 PM
This thread is totally seamless

12-28-2014, 09:43 PM
This thread is totally seamless

I seamlessly transitioned from doing nothing to clapping

12-28-2014, 09:56 PM
Seamlessness intensifies here

12-28-2014, 10:01 PM
I actually don't have a problem with Arno being the one to join the co-op missions.

It allows players to free roam in your open world.

But i agree regarding the online limitations

I wouldnt mind integrating co-op into the main story actually.

like drop in drop out.

that way you dont have to wait on other players watching a long cutscene.

probably because i still want that connor/aveline/eseosa/arno vs shay and blonde chick co-op game to happen

12-30-2014, 01:29 AM
Great write-up.

This was obviously a decision at the sales/marketing level; I can't imagine the developers themselves being happy with this mess.

Sadly, yes, because EVERY Ubisoft game is using the same model. It seems to be more about building a consistent company brand rather than for legitimate creative purposes. Unfortunately the only company brand Ubisoft is putting out to the public now is "the company that releases sloppy, rushed, unfinished games."