The major video game publishers are all known for certain signature games. Electronic Arts is known for its Madden NFL, The Sims, and Battlefield games. Activision Blizzard publishes Call of Duty, World of Warcraft, and Overwatch. Tt Games is linked to the various LEGO video games we see coming out. But my focus for today’s post is going to be on the publisher known as Ubisoft.
Founded in 1986, the French video game company has established itself among the top gaming publishers in its nearly 35-year run. The games that bear the names Assassin’s Creed, Tom Clancy’s The Division, Tom Clancy’s Rainbow Six, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon, Rayman, Watch Dogs, Prince of Persia, Far Cry, Just Dance, and The Crew are all published by Ubisoft. When I was thinking about the significance to the publisher to me as a gamer, there was one thought that came to mind. Many of the games that Ubisoft has published over the years have been games that I hold in the highest regard. For years, I didn’t know that the company was responsible for making these games available to the gaming public. But knowing that Ubisoft is responsible, I am very grateful for its existence.
When I play games published by Ubisoft, the two things that sum out my experience are fun and expansive. Whether I’m playing Tom Clancy’s The Division II, Far Cry 5, Watch Dogs 2, or Rayman Legends, I have an enjoyable time. I actually have to choose to stop playing the game because I find myself drawn in for long periods of time. It’s easy to lose track of time when I am traversing Washington D.C. in The Division II. With Far Cry 5 and the others before it, traveling the huge map and having all sorts of fun random encounters with man and beast is a blast. Utilizing the hacking tools afforded to the main character, Marcus Holloway, in Watch Dogs 2 is a treat. I can go on and on but the Ubisoft published games fulfill the number one need of gaming: FUN.
Not only are the games entertaining, but they also have amazingly expansive worlds. The maps in the Far Cry games are enormous. The same is true for titles such as Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Wildlands and any of the Assassin’s Creed games. Just like The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and Fallout 4, the games open up a world to the player that just invites you in for an extended stay. There is just so much to do and see. You don’t have to roam the entire map in order to finish the games but I appreciate that the extra space is there for gamers who are more natural explorers. I can say without absolute certainty that when I purchase a game published by Ubisoft, I believe that I always get my money’s worth.
Even as a major publisher, I appreciate that Ubisoft is willing to publish games that are unique and not the status quo. The Watch Dog series represents the first time I’ve seen hacking used as a primary gameplay mechanic in a title with a huge budget and a high amount of polish. This was a big gamble because the first game alone cost more than $70 million to make. But it paid off as there were many more people than just me that thought the games were really good.
Watch Dogs 2 stands as my favorite Ubisoft published game of all time. I can remember pre-ordering it months in advance and I was one of those who attended the midnight release at my local GameStop to be able to play it as early as possible. The game was just an incredible piece of work. Compared to the first game, hacking abilities were expanded, the cast had more of a youthful feel, and the lively city of San Francisco depicted in the game was a nice change from the gloomy portrayal of Chicago in the first Watch Dogs. Marcus Holloway was a terrific lead character that fit perfectly with what the game was looking to accomplish.
Even though I wish the two games had offline versions, The Division and The Division 2 are the best online looter shooters that I have ever played. I had been interested in the series for years but I made the mistake of assuming that it was only multiplayer because it always required the player to be online. When I did further research last fall, I found that the games actually could be played as a single player if so desired. Due to the first game having so many mixed reviews, I purchased The Division 2 during the holiday season. Even though I know the game servers will eventually be shut down, the sale was so good and the game is such a strong title that I was willing to still buy it. The Division 2 is one of those games that when I finally played it, I wondered why I had waited so long to do so. There is so much to do and explore in a version of Washington D.C. that is badly overrun with crime in the future. Ubisoft recently released the original The Division for free on PC so now I have both games. I have found the first game to be very well done as well despite the negative reviews. Of all the Tom Clancy games (including Splinter Cell, Rainbow Vegas, Rainbow Six Siege, Ghost Recon series), The Division games are my preferred choices.
I can’t say enough good things about the Far Cry series. Reviewers many times knock the games for adhering to the same basic formula with each new release but the games are a hoot to play. The ongoing premise is the main character somehow ending up in a predicament where he has to help the natives fight back against tyranny. Along the way, the games introduce fun characters and provide missions that help keep things moving. There are also huge worlds to explore and lots of crazy activities gamers can do as a free roamer. Watching wild animals appear out of nowhere and attack enemies is highly entertaining. The game lets the player decide how he or she wants to experience the games and I appreciate that. Far Cry 5 also has a fun Arcade Mode where you can create, as well as download and play custom scenario creations outside of the main game. As an overall package, Far Cry 5 is my current favorite in the series.
Assassin’s Creed is an outstanding video game series. I know a lot of work and thought are put into these games and they are very well made. The premise of the game is very intriguing and the fact that the series covers so many eras in history is incredible. Ancient civilizations, revolutions, pirates, and the Renaissance are all touched on in the series. At their best, the Assassin’s Creed games play well within a solid story and you can pull off some amazing feats. I do wish the side missions had more substance to them as they can at times be uninspiring and repetitive. I could just focus on the main missions, but the game is made for players to explore outside of the main activities and resources are gained through that exploration. The series has recently taken a more action role-playing approach. Assassin’s Creed Odyssey was evaluated very favorably so the new direction seems to be a hit.
For a change of pace, I really enjoyed the aesthetics of Rayman Legends. The platformer is a feast for the eyes and contains a good amount of content to keep you busy for a while. Nobody can say that Rayman Legends does not look unique or interesting. The game also incorporates stages from previous Rayman games. Rayman Legends is a highly regarded alternative to other titles such as Super Mario Bros. and Crash Bandicoot. Unlike the Mario games, it’s also available to every major gaming platform. So it is very easy to obtain. Lastly, compared to the other Ubisoft games mentioned throughout this post, Rayman Legends is much more kid-friendly.
Ubisoft does a wonderful job of providing the canvas and then allowing the players to paint their own masterpieces within their game worlds. I really enjoy the bulk of their gaming library, which offers an outstanding variety of titles. Their games can make you forget about time and immerse you like no other. I’m looking forward to Watch Dogs: Legion later this month and also may eventually check out Assassin’s Creed Valhalla down the road. The company has a winning formula in the games it publishes and provides gamers like me with hours of amusement.