This article is not just pointing and laughing at the egg on Ubisoft’s face. It is actually a warning. I thought once they were going to try to turn themselves around and they were learning, but I was wrong. So HORRIBLY wrong. They learned all right, but not what we needed them to. Right now most people who bought Watch_Dogs at launch can tell you uPlay sucks, as they could not play online at all (and many still can’t). Their platform of choice was plagued by online issues as the uPlay servers all versions use were destroyed Diablo 3-style. But at least they could play single player games, right? RIGHT?
Sadly, this too, may have just been fucked up for everyone.
A few days ago, I found an article on Kotaku while randomly browsing that pointed to an issue the game just started having across all platforms where gamers randomly try to load up their saved games and the loading never finishes. Instead they freeze at 90%.
The page included a link to a forum complaint about it, and after reading several entries, I believe we can conclude the issue is again, uPlay. The issue appears to be that sometimes when loading a saved game, the system will be unable to proceed as the loading bar freezes at 90%. When this error happens it will ALWAYS happen when loading the saved game and the only choice the gamer has is to restart the game from the beginning and lose any progress they had made at all. It has gotten so bad that on the official thread just for this bug (which is about to break 200 pages as I type this), many gamers have resorted to either giving up and either uninstalling the game or returning it and only buying it used when this bug is fixed. In both cases, faith in Ubisoft has been lost… sometimes to anger and some sometimes to dismay. And the only relief in sight is a single PC gamer who has offered to send his saves at 22% done so at least people who want to still play after this mess can do so without restarting.
Looking through this forum, the only common denominator I can see is DLC. It seems like most people who hit this wall did so after either downloading DLC for the game for purchase or from the uPlay rewards program (which is available on the current gen platforms and PC. I know because I found it for download on the Nintendo Store for the WiiU.) This is not an absolute confirmation, but it seems common enough for me to suspect at least a big part of the issue is the game failing to communicate with the server to verify things in the saved game from the DLC are there legitimately, and the game’s loading process freezes while waiting.
“Well, they clearly don’t want our money, so don’t buy the DLC,” I can hear some of you saying already, but that’s a problem for two reasons: 1) You bought the game. You should be able to buy whatever you want that is there to add to that game, and 2) as mentioned above, not all DLC for this game costs money. Rather, this seems to me like an issue with Ubisoft’s network itself, and one that they really need to straighten out rather then bragging about how their game broke records for sales on a new IP like they are now. It leaves a very sour taste with the many gamers hitting this seriously game-ending bug.
My advice? I personally recommend not buying anything that uses uPlay on PC… ever. From this and past debacles, I have personally judged the service to be detrimental to the point of just not being worth it. With this in mind, I would also skip this title on PC without a second though. If you already have it, you may want to wait till (if) Ubisoft fixes their shit. On console, a good return policy for a broken game means you should be alright in case this bug hits you, but I would still hold back. After all, we now know this game has the potential to break on moment’s notice, and I just don’t feel right buying a game in that condition. When it sells for $60, that’s just adding insult to injury.
If you already own the game, as many of you do, well, you have it now. You have to choose how you feel about playing it or returning it for yourself. But in the very least, protect yourself and don’t take any DLC for this game. It can and likely will break it.
UPDATE: With almost 214 pages now, there are now stories of this happening WITHOUT adding DLC to the game. I’m not sure I can consider my original hypothesis a viable cause without information from Ubisoft at this point. I will see what I can dig up, but the company appears to be VERY tight lipped. At least other sites are covering it now. (Eurogamer was mentioned a few times in the last few pages of the thread.) Maybe they will be forced to talk before long.
UPDATE 2: Well it looks like this nightmare for many gamers is finally coming to a close. After letting their thread about this issue reach over 300 pages, Ubisoft has finally announced a patch to resolve this rather game-breaking issue, and they are promising it will “reconstruct corrupted save games,” reversing MOST of the damage caused by this bug. Based on the writing from Destructoid, PS4 players probably have the fix already there waiting for the next time they boot up the game, since the story broke on Destructoid 7 hours ago, and the timeline from Ubisoft was “in the next few hours.” As for the rest of us, well the schedual seems to be as follows:
- PS3: May have it now, as they just said the words were “available shortly”
- PC: Next few days
- Xbox One: Next week
- Xbox 360: Next week
Considering how much faith a bug like this can kill in a company, I have to admit, Im surprised at the order, but it’s good to see a major selling game get fixed so more people who bought it can enjoy it.
- Kotaku: Watch Dogs Bug Leaves Some Players Unable to Load Saves
- Ubisoft Forums Thread: OFFICAL – Game stuck on loading screen
- Ubisoft Press Release Article: All Eyes on Watch Dogs™: New Industry Sales Record For Launch of a New IP
- Ubisoft Forums Thread: Watch Dogs Patch (6/18/14)
- Destructoid: Watch Dogs Patch Releasing Shortly on All Consoles and PC Versions