Assassin’s Creed Unity was released last week to great fanfare among the gaming community. This is that cool looking, co-op assassin game set in the French Revolution that we saw at E3 2014.
Assassin’s Creed Unity was released onto the Xbox One, Playstation 4, and PC. However, users of all three systems are reporting serious problems with the game. While the story, setting, and gameplay are pretty good, the game is facing some major technical problems.
Next-gen consoles are struggling to handle the insane performance requirements of Assassin’s Creed Unity. On PC, however, the game is nearly unplayable on anything less than a $2000 rig.
These and other problems have sent angry PC gamers to their keyboards. Frustrated, they’re pounding out countless negative reviews online. Here are the top 5 reasons why PC gamers are currently hating Assassin’s Creed Unity:
5) Microtransactions and a “pay to win” system
Assassin’s Creed Unity has a deep microtransaction system where players can pay to purchase weapons, armor, and accessories. But this microtransaction system is pretty ridiculous. Check out the screenshot below:
As you can see, $20 will purchase 400 “Helix Credits”, while $100 will purchase 20,000 Helix Credits. That’s not a horrible thing to do, although it is a bit sleazy. Once you’ve got those Helix Credits, you can spend them on better equipment to make the game easier in both singleplayer and multiplayer.
I get it: game developers have to make money from their games. They’re not running a charity, they’re running a profit-seeking business. Plenty of games have done microtransactions the right way. Assassin’s Creed Unity, however, does not.
PC gamers are mad. Why? Well, picture this situation: you’ve played Unity for 60 hours, working hard to unlock all the added bonuses and trick out your character in the best possible gear. In co-op, you get matched up with someone who’s wearing a similar outfit and you nod approvingly – until you realize that the other player could have simply paid $20 to purchase all that gear you worked so hard to achieve.
4) Frequent crashes to desktop
One of a PC gamer’s biggest frustrations is having a game crash to desktop (“CTD”) in the middle of gameplay. It’s an awful experience I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
Okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration. But the point is, Assassin’s Creed Unity crashes. And it crashes a lot. Unless you’re one of those lucky players who seems to have a magical crash proof rig with the perfectly-chosen components, you may get up to 3 or 4 serious crashes every hour while playing Assassin’s Creed Unity.
The fact is: Ubisoft didn’t bother testing their game on PC. At least, they appear not to have tested it extensively. That’s led to major crashing problems across the PC gaming community.
3) It’s the same Assassin’s Creed gameplay we’ve had since 2007
There’s been a new Assassin’s Creed game every year since 2007. The settings have changed, but the core gameplay remains the same.
You run across buildings and use a mixture of stealth and brute force to take out various enemies. There’s something about Templars and an ancient battle between assassins and the world, but most people have lost track of the storyline along the way.
One of the neat things about Assassin’s Creed Black Flag was that it took us to a new setting with new gameplay elements. You could sail a pirate ship across the high seas!
With Assassin’s Creed Unity, we’re taken to a different setting but we have the same basic gameplay elements. And some PC gamers are tired of paying $60 for the same thing over and over again.
2) Other miscellaneous bugs
No game is free of bugs and glitches. At least, I’ve never played one. That being said, Assassin’s Creed Unity has an above average number of bugs.
Combat is glitchy. Sometimes, you’ll press the “attack” button and kill someone who’s ten feet away – with a full execution animation and everything. Using the parkour system is a little better, but you’ll still encounter awkward glitches when running and jumping between surfaces.
Oh, and don’t even get me started on co-op. You’ll be lucky if you enjoy more than few minutes of uninterrupted co-op gameplay with a buddy before encountering some game-breaking problem. The biggest issue with co-op is joining a game in the first place – it’s nearly impossible to do without encountering “connection problem” messages and similar issues.
From awkward character animations to problematic textures and other problems, there are a bunch of weird glitches in Assassin’s Creed Unity. These glitches are seen on both PC and consoles, so it’s not exclusively a PC problem. But it’s still annoying.
1) Insane performance requirements
The GTX 980 is a top-of-the-line $600 graphics card. It’s powerful enough to run most modern games maxed out on its own. Buying two GTX 980 cards is overkill, but it guarantees you’ll be able to run just about any game in the world perfectly.
Except Assassin’s Creed Unity.
PC gaming enthusiast TotalBiscuit recently published a video showing Assassin’s Creed Unity running on his dual SLI GTX 980 setup. That’s two GTX 980s running at the same time for maximum performance.
Even that beefy rig wasn’t capable of running Assassin’s Creed Unity maxed out. Graphic settings had to be turned down. And I’m not talking about the small graphics settings you don’t really notice. I’m talking about things like antialiasing being disabled just for the game to break past 15 frames per second.
Most PC gamers don’t have the luxury of running twin GTX 980 video cards. So unless you’re among the top tier of PC gamers, you can expect to experience some significant performance lag – or low graphics settings – while playing Assassin’s Creed Unity.
Conclusion – Is it really that bad?
The technical issues in Assassin’s Creed Unity are bad. They’re really bad. The game is unplayable in its current state for many users – even users with really nice rigs and top-tier video cards.
But you’ll notice the title of this post says “are hating”. I don’t say they “hate”. Because many of the problems in Assassin’s Creed Unity can be fixed.
The only question is whether or not Ubisoft charges a $20 DLC price for PC gamers to download those fixes.