At the time it was their failings in their creation of the PC versions of Raven Shield and the mission pack Athena Sword. We also played Ghost Recon at the time, but now that its 2007 we've got GRAW and GRAW2 and all that funky modern consolesque shiznaz.
So with the release of GRAW2 for PC comes the usual ubisoft laziness. Is that too harsh? Maybe its incompetence then. Either way, its institutional at Ubisoft because as this blog will show, they've been churning out bug-ridden PC games for years.
Strap yourselves in, here we go.
GRAW 2Mitchell is back, and surely this time he's bug free? Ubisoft have been doing these games for years now! Of course not. This game has bugs and whimsical patches just like everything else Ubisoft ever do on the PC. So, the game itself is relatively bug free. But not completely, oh no. We couldn't have that.
- During co-op multiplayer, when someone (re)spawns, be they Tango or player, they may (at random) be spawned on the wrong team, and will hence start shooting at their buddies with wild abandon.
- Of course, Aegea PhysX is present once again in all its previous glory. And of course, it handles errors with all its previous aplomb, that is to say none.
However, there is of course a bigger problem. It's the year 2007 right? So, you'd expect that multiplayer via the interwebnet would just work? I mean even the console peons have managed it. Oh no. Let us count the woes:
- Approximately 20 million ports need to be forwarded if you want to set up a server. (Compare this to say, 1, for a well-made modern game)
- uPNP, while evil, was supposed to be a way for peons to get around having to know what TCP and UDP ports were - in GRAW 1, uPNP worked. In GRAW 2, it simply doesn't. (Or rather, it looks like it creates a uPNP entry for the game port, but not for the master server polling port?)
- A clanny couldn't join an internet game that two other clannies had joined successfully - just timed out ad infinitum.
- If you're playing the SP campaign co-op, then you have up to 10 missions to play, right? So you have 10 mission briefings, during which you'd expect people to be able to join, if there are free slots right? Not so. If you don't join before the first mission, you can't join at all.
- player names locked in LAN games (nearly forgot this one. It took until patch 1.05 before players could change player names. WHY? IS? THIS? NOT? TESTED? It's laziness, that's what it is)
It just beggars belief that in this day and age, having paid money for a game, it's easier to set up Hamachi and play via a VPN than to go through a games inbuilt hosting/server browser.
GRAWYes, the better-on-Xbox game that came out in 2006 was a resurgence in Ubisoft laziness/incompetence. We were reminded of how dumb we were to buy a game that ultimately punishes you.
- Won't work with virtual cd software (See Blog 1028)
- can't select your screen resolution (But it does if you edit an XML file! Lazy shits. See Blog 1028)
- You will install Aegea PhysX. (You will install it and you will enjoy it. It will sit in your system tray so that you can enjoy the incredible real world physics of a carelessly discarded cans of coke kicked around Zoccalo Plaza by your team of elite operatives in the heat of battle)
- "Mitchell! Mitchell! We got a Captain down in Zoccalo Plaza..." (if they even tested this game they'd realise that this is tedious after the second or third time, let alone tenth or twentieth)
- Cameras on a UAV cannot be controlled! (That's right. The US Department of Defense spends millions of dollars on floating trashcan UAVs but you have to cross your fingers that the flying trashcan UAV will actually look in the direction you want it to. Like I dunno, ooooh, in the direction of the frickin' bad guys. It just can't look right now ok? It's looking at that pile of planks. It'll look at your patrolling terrorist by accident if you're very very lucky)
Rainbow Six Raven Shield and Athena SwordFirst of all, the really bad stuff that Ubi did all the time, without fail, because they presumably just didn't prioritise it.
- Patching Athena Sword (This was a nightmare that sapped your will to live. Its a mission pack. But it doesn't like the patch that you're already running on Raven Shield. So you've got to reinstall that. Then you patch Athena Sword, and it does stuff. Then you have to patch it again. And then again. And I think it was again? Ubisoft just didn't care about the end user)
- the virtual cd fiasco (if you had daemontools or similar virtualcd device driver running, the game would just not start, possibly silently)
- "please enter your cd key" (The best bug of them all. This lasted for months because Ubisoft just hadn't done any adequate testing of online play. You installed the game, went through PATCH HELL, then every time you tried to play online it would forget your CD key and you had to get the box and type in WTFU-FCKI-NG-AZZ-H0L3S every time. And no, this wasn't fixed until about 5 patches later)
- playing online with ubisoft.com (It hurt a lot. It was awful)
- no linux server (they just couldn't be bothered, so the game was never as readily available as a Quake/HL server, and its one of many reasons why the online experience died quickly)
- "please insert the correct CD-ROM and restart the application" (You've paid for the game, installed the game, patched the game, installed the mission pack, patched the mission pack, but that's not good enough for Ubisoft. You are the end user and you will pay for your incompetence)
Next, our old list of things that should work when you buy the game. You'd think. But no, this is Ubisoft, so several patches later and they still don't work.
- The chasecam doesn't lean (watch your teammate look and fire through a wall)
- Autopatcher doesn't autopatch (that's right, it didn't work)
- Two subway maps (was this map mismatches? it may have been. I forget the intricacies of Ubi at work)
- Crates! (maps full of templated warehouses full of motherfucking crates. Under guard by terrorists. Sigh)
- watched your handcuffed arse (so playing online, you'd get handcuffed, and then that's it, you spend the rest of the game looking at your arse, in handcuffs. Can't complain about the level of thought that went into testing that eh?)
- thermal scopes that don't see heat sources, oops! (yes, that's right, when they finally implemented a thermal scope in the series, it was such a bad implementation that hot things weren't hot. Like fires. Or cars. Or in fact, anything except people)
- L85/SA80 doesn't actually have a burst mode (Yes, that's a Googleable fact. Just implement every single rifle with a burst fire mode like an M16 rifle okay Ubi? No-one will notice in this sort of game I'm sure)