9/12/2021, 20:26

Far Cry 6, Stealth, and the Homogenization of Ubisoft Titles

Is Ubisoft becoming the Muzak of the gaming industry?

Far Cry 6 is due out in less than a month, and this time around, we’ve had plenty of looks at the gameplay to get some ideas about how it’ll play out (thanks to them allowing some remote play for various industry reviewers and streamers).

The stealth of Far Cry 6 is obviously of importance to GGN and the readership; Far Cry 5 was a fairly weak entry in the stealth gaming world, but then again, the Far Cry series has always had just a “tacked on” approach to stealth mechanics.

Interestingly enough, though, there is at least one unique aspect to stealth in Far Cry 6: Just because you’ve alerted one person doesn’t mean everybody in the area knows exactly where you are.

In fact, after watching multiple streams, after being discovered by one person, and even making a lot of noise, others in the area still took time to “discover” you (that fancy little detection meter slowly filling up, a common sequence in most stealth games).

This does make stealth more approachable and viable, but then I thought a little harder, and realized.. This isn’t a feature for Far Cry’s stealth, but a feature of the next Ubisoft game in general.

Homogenization has become Ubisoft’s new bread and butter. Sure, they do create new and unique mechanics for specific games, but ultimately, an Ubisoft game is almost always interchangeable with another. Just change the setting and storyline, and.. Well, you’ve got another Ubisoft game.

Assassin’s Creed, The Division, Ghost Recon, and now Far Cry all have a gear score system.

All have RPG mechanics.

All have special abilities.

All are open world.

All have weapon/gear modification systems.




All have basic stealth (in the case of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla, they actually stepped DOWN the stealth). In fact, after the failure of much-too-fast detection speeds in AC Valhalla, I would wager that Far Cry’s recent stealth changes are purely a response to it. Hell, even Heartland, a Free-to-Play Division series game in development, appears to have stealth mechanics based on an early leak.

I’ll admit that I’m being a little reductionist, but even Watch Dog Legion has the bulk of the above to deal with.

It’s no secret that Ubisoft, as a large entity in the industry, has a desire to make lots and lots of money. Countless writers have covered their approach to making games that appeal to a wider audience.. Hence why we don’t have a new Splinter Cell yet, and games like Rainbow Six (and the new crossover title that I won’t even mention) have become part of the competitive gaming, almost generic twitch-shooter world.

It’s understandable, in a sense, for Ubisoft to want to hedge their bets and make games that follow a mold they perceive as successful. Hell, they may even be right in that perception.

It doesn’t change the fact that many gamers are leaving behind the series they used to love (Assassin’s Creed, Ghost Recon, etc) to play games by smaller developers who were inspired by the original legacy (Ghost of Tsushima and Ground Branch, respectively).

In fact, Ubisoft’s general community outreach has become rather.. Lacking. In the Ghost Recon community, there has been mostly radio silence for some time now. You’ll frequently hear “We’re going to do better”, but that lasts at most a couple weeks before it’s back to radio silence again.

Granted, the communities around these series can be quite toxic; with all the changes and sameness among Ubisoft titles now, there is a distinct amount of alienation that can be understood.

I don’t blame the developers, of course. Developers can only develop what they are paid to develop.

I don’t even blame the leadership, really.. It’s their company. If they want to go in another direction, that’s fine. They can do what they like.

Now I have to decide if I even want to drop the $60 for the standard edition of Far Cry 6 just so I can review it, knowing that it may very well disappoint me.

If GGN was a larger publisher (by the way, happy 1st birthday, belated), maybe I would be able to get a review copy, or even have some influence.

Instead, we also see the larger publications towing the line. I bet you I can even predict the core concept of the reviews from the IGNs and PC Gamers of the world:

“It’s another Far Cry game, but better because of X unique features and a beautiful world”

The problem is, “X unique features” aren’t actually unique; they are just cribbed from other Ubisoft titles because they seemed to work in them.

Next thing you know we’ll have Watch Dog’s hacking mechanics in Ghost Recon Breakpoint and weird animal companions you can recruit in Assassin’s Creed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Apply Filter