Robots forgo hostile human takeover and settle for subjugating us by making addictive video games instead.
Ubisoft, has found a winning formula for their video games. We all know this. And they are sticking to it like a bear on honey. For one thing, almost any game from them will have an absolutely gargantuan map. That and an absolute ton of copy-pasted assets. These same games also follow a pretty simple formula. From Ghost Recon Wildlands, to FarCry, to Assassins Creed, your goal in the game is very simple. You open your map screen, there’s a bunch of things to do. You click on one of the things, and then you go there to do the thing. Then the game rewards you for doing the thing. Then it gives you some things and then unlocking more things to click on and go to.
This “carrot on a stick” form of game design is utter genius. Many gamers, present company included, are perfectly content with these time-devouring opulent offerings. Ubisoft has never been more confident that they have a winning formula until now. Just look at their recent offerings. The Crew 2 is a game with a map that is vaguely the size of the entire USA. They loaded it up with a bunch of pinpoints full of races for different types of vehicles everywhere.
So it begins…
That’s why Ubisoft was proud to announce this in a recent PAX East interview. They want to take the design of their games to the next level. Starting production in May, Ubisoft New Jersey will start on their next Assassin’s Creed title. But this is no ordinary dev team, as Ubisoft New Jersey runs completely run by automation. That’s right, the dev is actually a smart AI called U.B.I.S.O.F.T. (Which is short for Universal Binary Interface Siumulator of Future Technology). Several UBISOFTs will be operating day and night to crank out the next edition of your favorite title.
Ubisoft producer Marc-Alexis Côté mused on this exciting event. “We already know how to make a game that everyone will want to play. We have it down to such a science, that we soon won’t need developers anymore. The UBISOFT AI is perfectly capable of replicating our formula. It has already designed the entire map of the next game. It’s 8 times the size of Odyssey”. When asked if this would decrease morale among the human developers of Ubisoft he was resolute. “Well, the elimination of jobs by robots is just part and parcel of living in a society.”
Right now, nobody, not even Ubisoft themselves, know what the plot of the next game will be. Not even the location. The robo-team at Ubisoft NJ will be performing its own internal company showcase. “Everything is so easy to make. Our AI team will be doing all tasks for this project. The script and the main character will be made by our robot friends. We’ve also asked them what they are going to do for voice talent. They said they’ll either hire somebody on their own, or they might even do the acting themselves! Isn’t that neat? They are so smart they literally don’t need any humans to help them make this game work.”
By the way, this interview? It was also performed by the UBISOFT AI. They used their network database of every Ubisoft E3 show ever. After, they constructed a hologram of Aicha Tyler to ask all these questions. The likeness was completely uncanny, including her saying really awkward things that made the entire audience uncomfortable. Digi-Tyler asked Marc if they even knew the title of the game, he admitted something interesting. “We aren’t sure what they are calling this new project yet. But they’ve already presented several working titles based on the titles of other games on the market. It will still be called Assassin’s Creed, but the subtitle is either going to be: Redemption, Revolution, Sisterhood, and Revelations IV.”
Right now the UBISOFT is downloading all the assets used from every Assassins Creed game ever made and will be making slight modifications to them so they look newer. Another arm of the AI has already started distributing random pins on their map where they will eventually add quests to. Expect to hear more about this at E3 this year. The current one.
In case the slow dip into insanity wasn’t enough to tell you, this article is SATIRE. Seriously, Ubisoft New Jersey? C’mon, you know better than that. A simulation of Aicha Tyler? Really? Actually no that would be pretty cool.
It’s easy to pass on the photography element of The Crew 2. Because who cares when you have all of this road to explore? Well, the photographs that the game wants you to take are worth 2,000 followers, and that’s a great way if you need to level up to the next status. You also get an achievement for taking any photo that isn’t on the list. Literally anything.
The Crew 2 is an arcade racing game developed by Ivory Towers and published by Ubisoft. This game features a whole slew of wildly different changes to the franchise. It was originally a shared world multiplayer racing with drop-in drop-out prompts. Now, as of launch, it has zero multiplayer, and the other cars in the game are just ghosts of other player’s races. The plot has also changed, with the original being a gritty tale of revenge and taking down a violent criminal organization from the inside (that somehow includes racing). Now, you are an up and coming racing enthusiast who’s trying to get followers on social media. The racing structure has changed, originally focusing on races where you have to ram an enemy car until it is destroyed. Now, you don’t do that either. But you do get to play various different forms of racing by sea, air, and land. Basically, you become the Navy SEAL of racing.
As you may have heard, The Crew 2 has one of the largest maps out of all racing games ever. It could even compete with non-racing games in terms of square footage. I dare say it’s larger than Skyrim. On the Xbox One S, there are a few minor graphical glitches. There are also a handful of moments of frame drop here and there. But the game is One X Enhanced and HDR and one can only assume it looks stellar on that. Texture quality inside the city can sometimes be lacking. However, a lot of the lighting effects at night look spectacular and the rain looks as authentic as it can get. Overall, it’s decent looking with a chance to look better. This is a situation where the quantity trumps the quality. Sure, certain buildings, trees, and other scenery are copy and pasted. With several dozen cities to explore, there’s still plenty of variety as you hope from location to location. What I’m saying is it looks ‘good enough’ to earn that 2. Only in the sense of scope, and the fact that I know this looks better on more powerful platforms.
Atrocious. The Crew 2 could have kept things really simple when they decided to knock of the Forza Horizon formula for progression and advancement. But the FH series uses the race festival as a framing device for the game. Ivory Towers instead chose to add 4 ongoing in-game narratives where you are actively trying to compete to race against the leader of the 4 clubs. Which would have also been fine but the problem was the script. It sounds like it was written by a 40-year-old who watched teen dramas from the 90s and went ahead with it. The lengths the game goes through to try and so “so totally cool” are all pure cringe. You have banter before races that are annoying, cutscenes where the club leader spouts bullshit posturing. It got a point where I actively decided to switch the in-game spoken language to Spanish, but that didn’t work because it still sounded obnoxious. Ignore the plot at all costs.
Even though the script for the game is pretty poor, the voice actors who performed in the game clearly gave it their all. They committed to their roles and handled it the best they could. The car selection is very limited in this game. But in doing so, the range of different car sounds are noticeable and accurate. There’s a variation of sound when you’re in a chase cam, hood cam, or dash cam. I also have to stop and appreciate the licensed soundtrack. I listen to almost every genre of music, but I tend to sleep on country music. But the country channel in-game has some bangin’ tunes. That combined with doing the rally races are a perfect combo. The same goes for several other channels. The rock music selections are great for car races and the EDM channel goes great with boats.
The biggest glowing problem with The Crew 2 is its frankly blatant use of rubber band AI. That’s right, in this day and age where we can have some pretty realistic AI opponents, this game opts out. It’s frustrating that a game with such fun driving mechanics is held back by this. It’s very obvious that when you’re in first place, the cars behind you will catch up no matter how big the split time is. When an AI driver is behind you, they will pass you by instantly. It’s almost as if they are being dragged around you by hand and ignoring the game physics. But not every race is like that. You also only have to place top 3 in the races to win the event, which satiates some of the pain. The cars also practically stop and wait for you if you crash. There’s still so much to do though and the whole package will keep you entertained for a very long time. If you divide up your experience between races and free roaming, you will have a good time. If you are only focused on completing the races, it may be a bit harder to like it. Either way, the variation of events you can participate in is broad enough to keep everything fresh. If you are sick of racing, you can go offroading, boating, and flying. Also, there’s a monster truck section and that in and of itself deserves mention. The monster truck events are a bit on the lame side. But driving around the map in that brick house of a ‘car’ is all the more fun.
This game is fun despite a lot of its flaws. As said before, the map is huge and offers hours and hours of exploration. But if you don’t feel like driving to the next race, there are options. You can just teleport there either by the map screen or the menu screen, and you’ll be right at the entrance in mere seconds. The very short loading times in this big game are rather impressive. You can finish a race in New York and then fast travel to another race in San Francisco in less than 10 seconds. When you enter an event, you also have practically no waiting time. You enter a gate, drive slowly through it, then head to your starting position and the race starts instantaneously. I understand this is being used to high loading times, but it’s a very good example on how to hide loading the right way. Do whatever you want in this sandbox, or compete in an event, and you’re guaranteed to have a good time.
Ubisoft are on the correct path to success in the market of racing games. With just a bit more refinement, The Crew 2 could even be a viable competitor with the Forza series of games. Microsoft can no longer rest on their laurels, this game is here to challenge the Xbox’s only good exclusive (right now). If you like just cruising around aimlessly, this is the game for you. If you like racing, it’s also a good choice for you, but more so the cruising.
Everyone keeps saying that Payback takes huge inspiration from the new Fast and Furious films, but if you dial time all the way back to the original releases including 2 Fast 2 Furious (still one of best sequel names ever, shut up it’s brilliant) and Need for Speed has ALWAYS been on the same wavelength of the series. However more recently they ditched that in favor of trying to make better racers vs cops modes and zero’d in on that. Even the new 2016 self titled sequel had a hard time breaking the mold. But the continued success of the newest generation of Fast and Furious films have given rise to a better Need for Speed experience.
As far as reviews go, many reviewers weren’t too into it, but Vega disagrees.
Hey everyone, the new Need for Speed reboot just came out, and so far reviews are spectacular. What could be a better way to celebrate by talking about the last game and its competitor? I was recently able to obtain both Need for Speed Rivals: Complete Edition and The Crew: Non-Complete Edition for a pretty decent price. It’s been close to a year since Crew came out, and much much longer since NFS:R launched. Both of these games feature a sort of MMO-lite element similar to Destiny where you get to play on a map that’s occupied by other players you may or may not encounter, and may or may not bother interacting with. How do they hold up to newcomers? Is their multiplayer community still thriving? Let’s start off with the old one.
Need for Speed: Rivals is dogshit, first of all. I don’t know how or why the NFS franchise fell from grace so hard, but this game is an exemplar of all the bad design decisions of recent titles. The racing physics are sloppy and unfun to start with, and nothing really feels fast like it should be. The second problem is that it has the crash physics from the Burnout games, which works out fantastic… in the Burnout games. Having my car crash from tapping a nearby fence post and then facing the wrong direction when I respawn is not fun. Also on top of the not-fun list is the absurd difficulty curve.