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View Full Version : Assassin's Creed: Syndicate - the crummy result of sweatshop programming



PimpernickleBag
11-20-2015, 07:50 PM
I don't want to spend too much time dwelling on all the good and bad things about this new game, but the downward direction in quality I've seen with the last 2 Assasin's Creed releases are simply the result of sweatshop coding environments that are set up once a company decides they are going to release a product on a set date, regardless of how "finished" they can make it before that day.

I just finished the main story of the game over a few weeks, and the number of glitches I've encountered including complete game stoppers are too numerous to list. But here are a few bulleted ones...

- cut scenes with missing characters. One scene had a floating gun bobbing around the screen, yet the character who's supposedly holding onto it was nowhere to be seen.

terrible graphical quality compared to Unity (for performance reasions they say), but if they dumbed down the rendering for performance it didn't help. The game is MUCH choppier than Unity was on my Xbox One. Whenever you synchronize at a high point, it is flat out the choppiest animation I've ever seen on the Xbox One. I'd rather NOT see detail "10 miles off in the distance" if it means the frame rate has to slow down to 10fps to render it, dropping frames along the way.

- there were NUMEROUS mission ending glitches especially with kidnapping missions. One time I had to carry a dead body, and the body disappeared while I was carrying it, yet still showed my character carrying the body. I replayed the mission 5 times and it happened each time.

*The game FREEZES and quits to the main menu at least once a day, sometimes more. The audio and video freeze and the game quits after a few seconds of some terrible audio. This happens all the time.

*There were several other bugs but I am not going to try and remember all of them. Every single time I played the game I was angry that I spent so much money on getting it as a new release vs. waiting for it to be in the dollar bin at the game store.

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Compared to Unity, or any other AC game actually the dialogue was TERRIBLE. In Unity I was amazed at the variety in dialogue with random people on the street, crowds etc. Syndicate is so terribly repetitive that I wanted to turn off the sound sometimes. It was as bad as the FIRST Assassin's Creed Game at times. HUGE step backward there from the more recent games.

Ubisoft it is truly time for you folks to work on the controls for these games. The basics are nice, but the execution in some places is terrible. You still get stuck on ledges you can't jump from, get stuck in tons of places you sometimes need to restart the game to get yourself out of, keep hitting the climb button but have to run around in a circle to get him/her to climb or do what you intended. AC3 was a step forward from previous games but it hasn't evolved since then, other than the "Batman Zipline Thing." I'd work on making the controls more accurate and smooth vs. introducing more gadgets.


Yes, making a virtual city is hard that's why GTA takes 5 years between releases. They obviously care more about QA than Ubisoft. I know they had issues with the Multiplayer etc but playing GTA 5 was a MUCH more enjoyable experience than ANY Assassin's Creed game has ever been honestly. If Assassin's creed vanished for a few years, and came back with a knockout game the likes of a jump in quality the GTA games get when they release I think Ubisoft would sell more games and the wait would be well worth it. Most tech shops these days are short sighted and go for the quick dollar rather than playing the long game anymore.

Most software development teams I've worked with just write terrible, sloppy code that is over-rushed and has no quality control. Bugs just pile up and never get fixed because "time to market" trumps "quality" in today's world.

More evidence of the rush job these games have become: The story has been more or less thrown in the trash.

What happened to letting the user play both the present-day story AND historical story? We went from a nice game play that made sense and made me want to learn more about the story to that stupid first-person "Abstergo" office that made no sense, to now, we just watch a movie filmed from a "drone or something" showing some stupid cut scene at the end that really makes one feel like they just wasted 3 weeks of their life to learn pretty much NOTHING new to advance the overall story of the series. It is like they slowed down the story and blanded it down so they could just release garbage games every year on-time and not have some complicated story to worry about continuity and things like that.

The story has gone from compelling down to being less interesting than the "story" in a Call of Duty release.

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I only feel compelled to post this because the newest game is SO BAD.

There are great qualities about it and I will most likely continue getting the AC games but I'm DEFINITELY done with buying these games when they come out *on "day 1" and I really don't care about the "DLC" either. I will be now looking for a $10 copy in the used disc bin at the local game emporium or waiting for it to come out on Games with Gold next time. The developers aren't making any money off me unless the game becomes a reason to buy.

These sweatshop development companies have outsourced their QA and testing departments to the customers who pay full price on day 1. And they won't fix any of the things people complain about because they are already halfway into the next game they plan on releasing and don't give a crap about fixing their old garbage.

Wolfmeister1010
11-20-2015, 08:28 PM
Funnily enough, Other than some of the bug issues you noted (can't speak for everyone, although they didn't happen to me) I disagree with every single one of your points.

I thought the dialogue was much more appropriate to the setting and quite charming. The way enemies have different sound cues such as whistling is very welcome.

I said it before and I'll say it again, even if I am in the minority, but I think Syndicate actually looks overall better than Syndicate. Mind you, I am playing on PC, but from my time so far the LoD range is a bit better than Unity, texture quality and texture filtering are MILES better than Unity, weather system has been improved, very keen use of atmospheric fog even if it is used in part to mask draw distances, lighting is MUCH more realistic and smooth on character models (Unity's was weirdly splotchy), particle effects are better in general (although they had to decrease chimney smoke quality from Unity due to the fact their are probably 5 times the amount of chimneys emitting smoke in Syndicate than there were in Unity)

Story is much better than Unity's in my opinion. Much more streamlined and coherent, way more likable characters.



I feel like people use the "hurrr batman zipline" point when they don't really know what else to criticize.

joelsantos24
11-20-2015, 08:32 PM
First, I should say I generally agree with your stance on Ubisoft and the overall (and compelling) decline in the quality of AC. Second, I should also admit that I haven't encountered most of the errors that you just reported. Until now, I only found the quality of the cutscenes to have decreased significantly from Unity, and I even found a weird glitch on the characters' faces, while they were talking. Apart from that, I have nothing else to report, yet.

PimpernickleBag
11-20-2015, 08:49 PM
If I completely hated the game I'd have stopped playing it. There are definitely redeeming qualities and things I like about the game.

The zipline is quite welcome and the general height of buildings has increased so that helps out a lot.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/oct/23/assassins-creed-syndicate-review-failure

There is a link to a review I just read that I can more or less agree with. Both the good and bad points it talks about.

I work in software development so I'm familiar with the drop in quality large projects see when the atmosphere turns into an overtime riddled death-march sweatshop where employees aren't respected and therefore could care less about the quality of their work. And combine that with management that only cares about making the release date, as those posters were printed a year before the game is due to be released.

You can skim through glassdoor.com for Ubisoft and see plenty of developers outright calling the development environment a sweatshop. They also say this about all the companies making AAA games, including Rockstar. However you can really see what 5 years does when you see how great GTA V was compared to IV* and how great IV was compared to what came before during the PS2 era.

It's hard to control QA when you have THOUSANDS of people contributing to a project all at once. And making an entire city in "VR" is a daunting challenge.

But turning it into a churn and burn sweatshop routine where they put out a game every year, right before Christmas it's more shameful than what Michael Bay did to the Transformers with those god awful movies LMFAO.

johnnypolidano
11-20-2015, 09:36 PM
More evidence of the rush job these games have become: The story has been more or less thrown in the trash.

What happened to letting the user play both the present-day story AND historical story? We went from a nice game play that made sense and made me want to learn more about the story to that stupid first-person "Abstergo" office that made no sense, to now, we just watch a movie filmed from a "drone or something" showing some stupid cut scene at the end that really makes one feel like they just wasted 3 weeks of their life to learn pretty much NOTHING new to advance the overall story of the series. It is like they slowed down the story and blanded it down so they could just release garbage games every year on-time and not have some complicated story to worry about continuity and things like that.

The story has gone from compelling down to being less interesting than the "story" in a Call of Duty release.

Although I've only experienced one of the glitches you mentioned (floating weapon with no person holding it during a cut scene), glitches like that don't really bother me as much as the noticeable decline in an engrossing story line and the lack of playable, quality material. AC Black Flag was a the last AC game that a really had anything decent to add in relation to the modern day story line, and even that left a lot to be desired. I'll admit that I liked the historical protagonist of this game more then the previous, but it was always the modern day cliff hangers at the end of the game that drove me to (A) complete the game as quickly as possible to progress the story and (B) purchase the next game as soon as it came out. I can honestly say that I no longer have that drive to do eit

cawatrooper9
11-20-2015, 11:28 PM
So, is the only reason this isn't in any of the other multitude of "anti-annualization" threads the fact that this uses the word "sweatshop"?

crusader_prophet
11-21-2015, 01:41 AM
It is terrible to experience a broken product after having paid the full price for it and the faith that you had put into it when purchasing it. I have not completed the game yet because of time constraints mostly combined with a lack of interest along the way. However, I have done plenty of side missions and activities that has pushed me to 48% sync. Based on that amount of exposure , I can agree with most of your points but have to disagree with few and be indifferent about fewer.

Glitches
I have encountered similar cut scenes with floating weapons and the characters stuck at the entrance. Getting stuck in places and restarting the game. Losing mission pointers in the middle and restarting missions.

Dialogues
I thought the dialogues and Jacob's voice acting was cliche and over-dramatic. However, Evie's dialogues and voice acting was superb. But, in general i think the tone of the dialogues was appropriate to the settings. But when compared to Unity, it is better even if not the best in the franchise.

Graphics
No doubt graphics has been considerably downgraded compared to Unity. The streets are emptier and less lively. I have also encountered fps issues even in the main title screen (and my PS4 HDD only has Destiny and AC4 installed). Character animations are awkward (except the finishers) and the graphical fidelity in general is lesser than what Unity was for me on PS4.

Story/Narrative
I think the story so far to me is simpler and more interesting than Unity's and easy to follow. Modern Day, I have not gone far enough to comment. But what I have seen so far has not impressed me. Narrative is much better than Unity because it is streamlined and more coherently put together through gameplay. Is it the best so far in franchise? No.

Gameplay
The changes are subtle and does not impress me. I like - whistling is back, eagle vision cannot be used when running, specific command to enter buildings, however lack of complete realization of stealth in a stealth game annoys me. Fact that dodging, jumping, underwater swimming, fast walking and other little gameplay mechanics are taken away, makes me feel that this game has taken few steps back. Tons of buttons on the PS4 controller are left unused and I wonder how many more mechanics could have been in the game had they fully utilized the button combos.

In summary, Syndicate is another incremental two steps forward and one step backward in AC Universe. It is a simple and fun game, but not enough charm to captivate me and think about it hours after I play a mission. It has yet to thrill me unlike a simple mission like DaVinci's flying machine mission in Brotherhood.

Wolfmeister1010
11-21-2015, 02:44 AM
No doubt graphics has been considerably downgraded compared to Unity.



I disagree. Immensely. I can't speak for PS4, but on the PC version at least it looks better than Unity in my opinion. Sharper textures, better LoD, brilliant lighting as opposed to Unity's splotchy high contrast, washed out lighting.

VestigialLlama4
11-21-2015, 03:07 AM
So, is the only reason this isn't in any of the other multitude of "anti-annualization" threads the fact that this uses the word "sweatshop"?

Pretty much and I am quite sure Ubisoft studios would be offended at being called that. Sheesh...

crusader_prophet
11-21-2015, 03:25 AM
I disagree. Immensely. I can't speak for PS4, but on the PC version at least it looks better than Unity in my opinion. Sharper textures, better LoD, brilliant lighting as opposed to Unity's splotchy high contrast, washed out lighting.

Hmm, I don't know then, to me on PS4 in addition to being less smooth and coarser rendering compared to unity, it also feels like less representative of London's atmosphere and weather. It might be completely different in PC.

SixKeys
11-21-2015, 04:33 AM
The only really glaring glitch I've experienced so far was that in the scene where Jacob and Evie meet Alexander Graham Bell and he has to fix a weapon for them, the weapon is actually missing from the cut scene, so he's just fixing empty air. It was more funny than irritating, though. A more annoying one was when I tried to jump off the train and Jacob got stuck inside the wall. I had to fast travel to get loose. But those were day 1 glitches, they may have already been patched. Compared to Unity there are far fewer bugs, no NPCs morphing all the time and such, no disappearing/reappearing guards etc. I agree with the sentiment that Ubi needs to slow down with the release cycle of these games, but at least they did a good job polishing ACS.

Meowrynn
11-21-2015, 06:27 AM
PS4 user here. My experience so far is fantastic, the only glitch I have encountered is during one particular cutscene where jacob and evie are invisible the rest is just great. there is definitely a leap graphically compared to unity, yes the NPCs have been lessened but the number of carriages,world events and mayhem you can unleash in the streets of London makes up for that. I don't know why the hell do you think its better than unity? In syndicate you can create an all out war between the police, blighters and the rooks plus the number of carriages in the scene makes this experience so awesome whilst in Unity you can't. Just stabbity stab you way through. Also you can't compare GTA on AC because they are totally different games. the only thing they have in common is they are both open world third person. Remember AC's core is simulation kind of world, your just reliving memories unlike GTA.

ModernWaffle
11-21-2015, 08:42 AM
If I completely hated the game I'd have stopped playing it. There are definitely redeeming qualities and things I like about the game.

The zipline is quite welcome and the general height of buildings has increased so that helps out a lot.

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/oct/23/assassins-creed-syndicate-review-failure

There is a link to a review I just read that I can more or less agree with. Both the good and bad points it talks about.

I work in software development so I'm familiar with the drop in quality large projects see when the atmosphere turns into an overtime riddled death-march sweatshop where employees aren't respected and therefore could care less about the quality of their work. And combine that with management that only cares about making the release date, as those posters were printed a year before the game is due to be released.


I actually share a lot of your sentiments - plus much of what's bought up in the linked review. Syndicate is half and half to me, love parts of the game, detest other bits. It's a really fun game, but I can't help but find myself wanting to jump back to previous games in the series whilst playing it. It feels like it's incomplete - the first AC game where I became immediately bored after the main campaign was finished - and a lot of features in past games that should be in have been entirely omitted.

However, some things to consider: Firstly, given the pretext of Unity's launch fiasco I think it's expected that this year's release would be more 'safe', with a stronger focus on fixing technical problems and making a deviation to the direction Unity was taking (i.e. 'revolutionising' the franchise). This leads on to my second point, they've still yet to completely grasp the potential of next-gen but Syndicate's progress does infer to me that they're getting there. Lastly, Syndicate's reception would help the franchise in the long term, despite its faults many have praised the game for returning more back to the normal AC formula but other reviews have pointed out that its still far from the quality we got of the past-gen games - I think both views are quite valid in this case and I'm hoping this will make Ubisoft less arrogant in their approach to the AC franchise as they realise that the current project model they're using for the games have some major issues.

Fair to say Ubisoft as a company doesn't fully appreciate the need for quality, but I think it's actually an incredibly impressive feat by the developers to produce a AAA game every year and to say they don't care about their work might be too quick an assumption, and to me just looking at the London they've created shows dedicated effort on their part.



But turning it into a churn and burn sweatshop routine where they put out a game every year, right before Christmas it's more shameful than what Michael Bay did to the Transformers with those god awful movies LMFAO.

Lol ;) I wouldn't directly compare AC to Michael Bay's transformers but I agree, those movies are terrible if you're looking at them from a critical viewpoint.

jellejackhammer
11-21-2015, 12:09 PM
Although I've only experienced one of the glitches you mentioned (floating weapon with no person holding it during a cut scene), glitches like that don't really bother me as much as the noticeable decline in an engrossing story line and the lack of playable, quality material. AC Black Flag was a the last AC game that a really had anything decent to add in relation to the modern day story line, and even that left a lot to be desired. I'll admit that I liked the historical protagonist of this game more then the previous, but it was always the modern day cliff hangers at the end of the game that drove me to (A) complete the game as quickly as possible to progress the story and (B) purchase the next game as soon as it came out. I can honestly say that I no longer have that drive to do eit

BUT the MD did move forward with the Clone thing and there was a cliffhanger with violet being a instrument and having the shrould,Rebecca gets shot and we don't know if she Will survive.the Reason people don't see that is because it was't playeble, but other then that it was rather good.and please read your database when you collect helixglitches because it delivers a Nice insight of the the should,dr grammatica and violet...

D.I.D.
11-21-2015, 07:42 PM
The only really glaring glitch I've experienced so far was that in the scene where Jacob and Evie meet Alexander Graham Bell and he has to fix a weapon for them, the weapon is actually missing from the cut scene, so he's just fixing empty air.

Was it definitely empty air? He's holding the weapon in the crook of his elbow because his left hand is injured. The hand is set in a position that's a bit like he's grasping something, and occasionally when making reference to his injury he flexes the fingers a little bit. If you missed what he was saying, then it's possible you didn't see the weapon as it's mostly hidden from view by his arm and the folds of his clothes.

HDinHB
11-21-2015, 08:06 PM
Was it definitely empty air? He's holding the weapon in the crook of his elbow because his left hand is injured. The hand is set in a position that's a bit like he's grasping something, and occasionally when making reference to his injury he flexes the fingers a little bit. If you missed what he was saying, then it's possible you didn't see the weapon as it's mostly hidden from view by his arm and the folds of his clothes.

As in:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwQ-s-JGdrc

Megas_Doux
11-21-2015, 09:47 PM
I've not been around here lately due to work+college duties plus my overall dislike from what I saw from Syndicate in the earlier demos....But -PC player here- so far I REALLY like the game from the story, gameplay and performance standpoints.

In fact, talking about the latter, this is probably the most polished AC game since ACB; 0 framerate drops, no game breaking bugs and all of that while playing on ULTRA settings and hitting 60fps 95% of the time.

SixKeys
11-21-2015, 09:49 PM
As in:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwQ-s-JGdrc

It was definitely missing, though I can see what you mean. It was already missing when Jacob handed it over, or rather didn't hand over.