Admittedly, this isn’t exactly a roundup of the last week (it was pretty bland anyway), but I thought with the Tuesday release of Ubisoft’s WATCH_DOGS that I would spend the weekly roundup on my initial thoughts on the game. With an early shift at work, I pre-loaded the game in the morning, got home from work completely shattered and went to have a nap when I got in anyway, then after a bite to eat in the evening decided to load it up to have a quick gander to write something up tomorrow.
Unfortunately, Uplay strikes yet again with problems for me to actually connect. I’ve had problems with the Uplay client in the past with Assassin’s Creed IV, Settlers 7, Anno 2070 and Far Cry 3, so when I realised that WATCH_DOGS was through Ubisoft I had my initial worries that a hyped up game such as itself would have troubles. With a pushed-back release, I thought that they’d be able to iron out any wrinkles and be able to prepare their servers for what would have been an avalanche of people attempting to access the Ubisoft servers to try and play their games that always insist on being always online. I don’t mind the concept of always having to be online, I’d be a hypocrite if I said I was against it with how much I enjoy Blizzard games, but don’t let authentication servers go awry when you’ve spent so much time and money in promoting the game in the first place. All it ends up doing is placing your game and your company in a bad light, because suddenly you’ve got hundreds of thousands of people who can’t access your game. I’d hate to be one of the people in charge of their support twitter page right now anyway, let alone their other support lines of communication – though brownie points for being active and providing some kind of updates to a solution that I can understand has no ETA.
So I thought I’d hit up some reviews on the game from those that could actually play. I’ve tried to avoid YouTube playthroughs as I didn’t want too much of the game spoiled (despite however much of the promotional material I’ve seen over the past year or so), but gaming critics seem to be overall impressed. Although there have been concerns as to whether or not it would just be a Grand Theft Auto rehash, but the stealthy open-world sandbox game appears to have held its own with the critics themselves. Checking out consumer gamer reviews on Steam on the other hand and there appears to be a constant barrage of reviews of the game not working properly on PC systems with AMD components, with constant crashes after 5 minutes of gameplay, cutscenes with just audio, freezes, high-end rigs with dismally low fps, and many other problems.
After ~1hr of waiting around though, I managed to get in! I have to admit, I’m quite happy I didn’t spend most of my day trying to get online, but with so many games having this kind of trouble with Uplay, you’d think Ubisoft would have learned by now how to handle their authentication services. Nevertheless, with another early start tomorrow morning I would have liked to get more chance to play this and share my own personal experience with you guys, but that might have to wait for next week’s roundup. For the time being though, it seems my Nvidia card seems to be holding up well, so whether or not it is just AMD that’s out of luck is another matter, and my first foray into this fictional hacking world is stable and solid! At least I’m assuming some of the screen tears in some cutscenes are intentional for the overall atmosphere for the game…