Archive for the ‘Ubisoft’ Category

Epic’s store continues to absorb PC gaming exclusives large and small

May 13th, 2019
<em>Breakpoint</em> is the first Ubsioft game in recent memory to never be made available on Steam.

Enlarge / Breakpoint is the first Ubsioft game in recent memory to never be made available on Steam.

Gamers hoping to stick with Steam and avoid Epic's major effort to compete in PC game distribution will have to ignore two more major upcoming PC titles, at least for a little while.

The first newly announced exclusive, Ubisoft's Ghost Recon Breakpoint, doesn't come as much of a surprise. Following The Division 2's last-minute move to the Epic Games Store in January, Epic and Ubisoft announced in March that the publisher would be bringing "several major PC releases" to Epic's store instead of Steam. Since then, Ubisoft moved historical real-time strategy title Anno 1800 away from Steam to the Epic Games Store ahead of its April 16 launch.

For those two titles, Ubisoft was put in the awkward position of having to honor Steam pre-orders that were made before the store transition took place. Breakpoint will be the first Ubisoft title in recent memory to never be available on Steam, however. The game is currently available only via Epic and Ubisoft's own UPlay store.

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Posted in epic, Gaming & Culture, Steam, Ubisoft, Valve | Comments (0)

Reverse review bomb? AC: Unity draws praise for Notre Dame preservation

April 19th, 2019
The famous cathedral lives on in interactive digital form.

Enlarge / The famous cathedral lives on in interactive digital form.

At this point, we're actually a little tired of stories about "review bombing," where various put-upon groups of gamers gather together to leave a flood a negative user reviews, often for issues that have nothing to do with the game itself. But this week's flood of positive reviews for Ubisoft's Assassin's Creed Unity on Steam is a different (and much rarer) story altogether.

The impetus for this reverse review-bomb (Review rocket? Review scaffolding? Review hug?) came earlier this week after the tragic fire in Paris' Notre Dame cathedral. On Wednesday, Ubisoft announced it would be donating €500,000 to help rebuild the cathedral that's recreated as a central landmark in Assassin's Creed Unity. On top of that, the company is giving away free copies of the game on its UPlay platform through April 25 as a way to encourage further donations and in order "to give everyone the chance to experience the majesty and beauty of Notre-Dame the best way we know how."

"When we created Assassin's Creed Unity, we developed an even closer connection with this incredible city and its landmarks," the company wrote this week. "One of the most notable elements of the game was the extraordinary recreation of Notre-Dame... We hope, with this small gesture, we can provide everyone an opportunity to appreciate our virtual homage to this monumental piece of architecture."

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Posted in Assassin's creed, donations, Gaming & Culture, notre dame, Paris, Ubisoft, Unity, uplay | Comments (0)

I played 11 Assassin’s Creed games in 11 years, and Odyssey made them all worth it

March 24th, 2019

I've been a dedicated fan of the Assassin's Creed video game franchise for 11 years. It hasn't always been a happy relationship. While the early games captured my imagination and introduced me to whole new modes of gameplay, the series' middle years were laden with misfires, feature bloat, and other serious problems.

I often look at fans raging against the companies that make their favorite franchises—Bethesda or Blizzard are the two most common targets I see—and shake my head in bewilderment. "If you hate their work so much, why don't you just play something else and let everyone else enjoy their games? It's not like there's a shortage of great games to try," I say.

But as I looked back on more than a decade of playing Assassin's Creed games to write this article, I for the first time kind of understood loving something so much that its stumbles make you feel not just disappointed, but a little mad.

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Posted in Assassin's creed, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Features, Gaming & Culture, Ubisoft | Comments (0)

Mozilla to use machine learning to find code bugs before they ship

February 12th, 2019

Ubisoft's Commit-Assistant

In a bid to cut the number of coding errors made in its Firefox browser, Mozilla is deploying Clever-Commit, a machine-learning-driven coding assistant developed in conjunction with game developer Ubisoft.

Clever-Commit analyzes code changes as developers commit them to the Firefox codebase. It compares them to all the code it has seen before to see if they look similar to code that the system knows to be buggy. If the assistant thinks that a commit looks suspicious, it warns the developer. Presuming its analysis is correct, it means that the bug can be fixed before it gets committed into the source repository. Clever-Commit can even suggest fixes for the bugs that it finds. Initially, Mozilla plans to use Clever-Commit during code reviews, and in time this will expand to other phases of development, too. It works with all three of the languages that Mozilla uses for Firefox: C++, JavaScript, and Rust.

The tool builds on work by Ubisoft La Forge, Ubisoft's research lab. Last year, Ubisoft presented the Commit-Assistant, based on research called CLEVER, a system for finding bugs and suggesting fixes. That system found some 60-70 percent of buggy commits, though it also had a false positive rate of 30 percent. Even though this false positive rate is quite high, users of this system nonetheless felt that it was worthwhile, thanks to the time saved when it did correctly identify a bug.

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Posted in bugs, C#, development, machine learning, Mozilla, Programming, Tech, Ubisoft | Comments (0)

Ubisoft goes Steam-less, embraces Epic Games Store for The Division 2

January 9th, 2019
The soldier here is Ubisoft. The Capitol building is Steam. Epic is... the turret?

Enlarge / The soldier here is Ubisoft. The Capitol building is Steam. Epic is... the turret?

The Epic Games Store's relatively new effort to take on Valve's Steam juggernaut received a major shot in the arm today. That's because Ubisoft has announced that the PC version of The Division 2 will not be sold on Steam and will instead be available only through the Epic Games Store and Ubisoft's own UPlay service.

Though The Division 2 previously had an info page listed on Steam, Ubisoft confirmed to numerous press outlets that "we have no plans currently on releasing Tom Clancy’s The Division 2 on Steam.” Epic Games also said in a statement that it "will also partner [with Ubisoft] on additional select titles to be announced during the coming year." Epic said it will "work to integrate key components of Ubisoft’'s Uplay and Epic’'s online services to provide gamers from both ecosystems with more seamless social features and interoperability."

Ubisoft titles previously released on Steam, including the first Division game, will remain on the service for now. Certain future games, including Far Cry: New Dawn, are also still planned for Steam release, Ubisoft told Variety.

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Posted in epic, Gaming & Culture, Steam, Ubisoft, Valve | Comments (0)

Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle is a great introduction to tactical RPGs

August 28th, 2017

Enlarge

It’s a bit odd that Mario’s first completely fresh appearance on the Nintendo Switch isn’t a traditional run-and-jump platform game but a novel foray into the tactical RPG genre. It’s even odder that Mario has to share that debut with Ubisoft’s incredibly annoying (yet ostensibly popular) Rabbids. Oddest of all, Nintendo’s iconic mascot largely takes a back seat to those over-the-top, screaming humanoid rabbits in the game.

Sure, Mario might get top billing in Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle. All told, though, it feels like Mario and crew were thrown into an existing Ubisoft game midway through the process. The game’s plot, to the extent that it exists, uses a stolen “SupaMerge” device that literally fuses crazified Rabbids with well-known Mario antagonists like Donkey Kong and Piranha Plants, while merging “good” Rabbids with good guys like Mario, Luigi, and Peach to create completely new unholy abominations. There’s also an intelligent Roomba named Beep-o that explains all this with a lot of wordy exposition that the other characters’ wordless vamping for the camera can’t really convey.

While Mario staples like coins and mushrooms make appearances, Ubisoft’s characters and design aesthetic seem to win out most of the time. Heck, the Mario characters can’t even jump without help from an ally, which is practically treasonous in a Mario game. This isn’t really a knock against a title that maintains strong (if silly) visual and gameplay themes throughout. Just don’t go in expecting a Mushroom Kingdom adventure in the vein of the Paper Mario or the Mario and Luigi games.

Take your positions

Anyone familiar with the positional battles in a game like XCOM, Fire Emblem, or Final Fantasy Tactics will recognize the same essential DNA in Kingdom Battle. While there are some perfunctory and simplistic coin-collecting and block-pushing puzzles forced in between the fights, the bulk of the game involves taking turns moving characters around a grid-based map so they’re in place to attack the enemy while avoiding the incoming counter attacks.

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Posted in Gaming & Culture, Mario, Nintendo, rabbids, Switch, Ubisoft | Comments (0)

Ubisoft yanks keys for online games purchased via unauthorised parties

January 28th, 2015

Far Cry 4 and other games disappeared over the weekend, leaving a trail of ex-Ubisoft fans in their wake, stripped of games Ubisoft thinks were “fraudulently” bought on third-party sites.

Posted in digital rights, DRM, Far Cry, Featured, gaming, Ubisoft | Comments (0)