Well, my February ended with a genuinely unpleasant experience. My little corner of the US had 19 inches of snow dumped on us in just over 24 hours, and the result was thousands of people out of power and a completely overloaded local utility company. It took five days before our lights came back on, and there were some very chilly times in there.
But, that’s scarcely relevant to what I wanted to talk about today. I just needed to vent a little, and I’ve accomplished that. What I really wanted to talk about was how I appear to be turning into an Ubisoft fanboy and how weird that is.
I took a quick look through my backlog progress page, and it turns out that I didn’t play any Ubi games from 2014-2017. Before that point, I’d consumed a regular diet of Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia and Tom Clancy’s “Go To Exotic Places And Shoot Bad People” games, but I fell quite out of love with the publisher after forcing myself to get through Assassin’s Creed III.
Last year, I played six Ubi games, and I just wrapped up the main storyline of The Division for my first Ubi game of THIS year. (Side note: The Division looks crazy good on the Xbonks in 4k) I also bought “Ghost Recon: We Are Sorry That We Insulted Bolivia” on a friend’s recommendation and have several other Ubi games on the “play these soonish” stack. They just keep turning out comfort-food games, where you have a massive map full of things to accomplish and a lot of leeway in how you get them done, and their games tend to get comfortable discounts after they’ve been out for a while. Ghost Recon was fifteen bucks, and I picked up the Ezio collection for ten a few months back as well.
That’s not the thing that inspired me to rave about them, though. Rather, it stems from their “Ubisoft Club” program, which is a loyalty program where you earn Ubisoft Coins by playing their games and can then spend these coins on cosmetics and minor in-game boosts. (And assorted PC extras, like wallpapers and soundtracks. Purely fluff, but for “free” they’re not bad.)
Anyway, they recently changed the Ubisoft coins to expire two years after earning them, so I logged on to their club site to spend some of the older ones. Then I noticed that I hadn’t actually launched several of their games, so they weren’t appearing in my list of games and I couldn’t spend coins on rewards for them.
What followed was a few minutes of starting games and making sure they registered in the Ubisoft Club app before getting back to spending coins, and that lead to a very pleasant little surprise:
The Ezio collection is, of course, a much prettier version of the three 15th-century-based Assassin’s Creed games, all of which I’d played through on PS3. I’d spent quite a few Ubisoft coins unlocking stuff at the time, but I absolutely did not expect those unlocks to carry over to the remastered versions of the games nearly a decade later.
I may be easily impressed – I AM easily impressed – but that just made me want to give them credit for a loyalty program Done Right.
Of course, it meant that I had to find other things to spend my expiring coins on. 🙂 That took a little while to sort out.
“Ubisoft Game #257” has become a running joke these days, but sometimes you’re just in the mood to run across a big map hoovering up icons, and few people do it better than Ubi.
Exactly! I wouldn’t want every game to turn into a huge open world thing with a ton of map clutter, but like you say sometimes you’re just in the mood.
I’m a big fan of “how long to beat” and I find that the numbers there are actually pretty reliable – except I always have to multiply them by a factor of about three for Ubi games, just because I have a tendency to get sucked into hunting down all of the chests/audio logs/random collectible MacGuffins. Frequently padded by “well, I have a half hour free, let’s knock out a couple more icons” of course. 🙂
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Yeah, HLTB is a very helpful site. I often use it when planning out what I’m likely to cover in the next few months. It’s not an exact science, obviously (particularly for new games), but it gives me a rough idea of what I’m letting myself in for!
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