Should Critics Re-Review Assassin’s Creed Unity?

The game was riddled with problems when it first arrived, but Ubisoft has responded, so...

The game was riddled with problems when it first arrived, but Ubisoft has responded, so…

In the modern age of gaming, the product initially released to store shelves isn’t necessarily complete. Because developers can continue to refine and hone via patches and updates, games can be significantly improved upon post-launch. That being said, nobody likes to see shoddy products and don’t forget that consumers pay good money for ’em, too.

Take the recent unpleasantness surrounding Assassin’s Creed Unity, for example. As just about every critic pointed out, the game suffered from significant issues, many of which hampered gameplay. From a chugging frame rate to a myriad of control and technical problems, the game’s flaws stole the limelight. Sadly, this also meant the immense scope and ambition of the game – undeniable, as far as many critics and gamers are concerned – got lost in the backlash.

Now, however, Ubisoft has responded. They’ve provided three patches for the troubled game and these updates ultimately provided over 300 fixes and improvements. Hence, it’s fair to say that Unity is now a very different game from a technical standpoint. And chances are, it will continue to get better as the developers keep repairing and upgrading. Much like online-centric games, which often run into problems right after launch (examples include Driveclub and the first release of Final Fantasy XIV), the game has taken positive strides.

If the game is much better in a few months time, the early round of review scores isn't accurate, right?

If the game is much better in a few months time, the early round of review scores isn’t accurate, right?

Don’t forget about Destiny, another game that will be very different in one year’s time. The question is this: Do these games deserve follow-up reviews? On the one hand, the answer appears to be a huge resounding “yes.” If a game is leaps and bounds better than it was when it first released, and the only review scores reflect the launch product, is that really fair? We’re talking about fluid products now, not fixed products. As such, maybe it’s in the consumer’s best interest to find updated reviews for certain games.

On the other hand, you don’t want to send the wrong message. Maybe doing this sets a bad precedent; it tells developers that it’s okay to release a shoddy game. “Don’t worry, once you fix it, we’ll review it again and alter our score.” Yeah, that could pose problems as well. And yet, one can’t help but wonder if it’s absolutely necessary. Perhaps critics could take the new score and the old score and give the consumer the average…?

There’s no easy solution to the problem, that’s for sure. There was a time when what came out of the box was what you got. That’s it. Therefore, the review score you see is set in stone because the game is set in stone. It’s just not that way anymore and it’s causing a difficult conundrum for gamers and critics alike.

5 thoughts on “Should Critics Re-Review Assassin’s Creed Unity?”

Yes, they should absolutely issue new reviews. Or at least updated reviews.

If the game is going to be better from here on out until the end of time, and the only scores available reflect the game when it was worse (for a grand total of a month), that’s not fair at all.

I see what you’re saying but I’m afraid of the precedent they talk about in the article…

I think I agree. The way you put it makes sense and really, it’s not fair at all.

No second reviews. Journalists put out plenty of headlines concerning those updates so it’s not like gamers aren’t aware.

Yeah, I’d have to agree. If you do just a few minutes of homework, you’d know the game has changed significantly thanks to a few crucial updates.

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