Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Confession: I might be an Ubisoft fanboy

It just dawned on me last night, as I was wondering when my Gold Edition Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Wildlands key was going to show up from Green Man Gaming, while playing The Crew Completed Edition and Tom Clancy's The Division that I might....just might! an Ubisoft fanboy. Or Drone. Or slave. Whatever works.

I'm not sure how it happened.....somehow, Ubisoft managed to produce a lengthy series of games that all, without exception, have grabbed me in a way where I just happen to enjoy playing them pretty much in to perpetuity. My PC and PS4 are littered with Ubisoft titles: Rainbow 6: Siege, Far Cry 4, Far Cry Primal, and Assassins' Creed Syndicate on the PS4. The Division Gold Edition on both the PC and Xbox One. The Crew, Watch Dogs, Watch Dogs 2 and For Honor on the PC.

I've finished EVERY Assassin's Creed game released except for the 2D scrollers which annoy me and Syndicate, which I am plowing through.

I watched the AC movie unironically.

I love The Division so much that I have plowed through three character levelings in that game.

I'm currently playing The Crew and thinking about how it's more fun than World of Warcraft, and how it's basically like WoW if you could drive in to an auction house and knock everyone over. (Secret: it's not really that much like WoW, I just like the idea).

What the hell happened to me?!?!?!?

My theory is this: while many, many other games focus on a range of fantastical elements, the fantastical bits in Ubisoft games are tempered by an effort to ground the action in some version of "reality," and for some reason this approach really appeals to me. The Division, for example, is proving to be deeply more satisfying to me than poor Fallout 4, which while I enjoy it, the visceral "in the moment, this could happen in the near future" feel of The Division is much more immersive to me than the logic-straining alternate retro 50's future of Fallout. The Crew is am amusing nonsensical car adventure, and it's probably the least realistic of all the Ubisoft titles, but it still manages to be an open world adventure in a way no other car game has come close to (except Horizon 3, which is a whole other level of awesome).

Every Assassin's Creed game, assuming you buy in to the play mechanics, style of game, and "hidden weird history" themes, is a way to have a swashbuckling adventure that doesn't have to involve unrealistic magic and anime swords. Compare For Honor's fighting mechanics to....say....any Final Fantasy title. Nuff said.

Given that every Ubisoft title can take dozens or hundreds of hours to finish, I could technically just buy Ubisoft at this point and never lack for good gaming. I mean....even the Ubisoft Uplay app has been dramatically improved over the last few years. It used to be genuinely awful....these days it's just a mild annoyance, another Steam-wannabe that at least is slightly more functional than Origin.

Well, that was my revelation for the day.....

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