Uplay Is Useless

Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate is a 2015 game, but Valhalla was a 2020 release and is still nailed to that dead platform. Anyway, UPlay was dead on arrival, even in 2015 it should’ve been obvious that this was never going to be a Steam competitor. And Uplay doesn’t even have the courtesy to be merely useless, it’s actively harmful to the gaming experience. I’m on a cruise to Alaska celebrating my father’s retirement (two years late because Covid), which has generally been quite lovely and most of the games I downloaded onto an old laptop for the trip have worked fine and ultimately I’m not spending that much time on video games while on a cruise ship, but I don’t want the buffer to run too thin while I’m out here and certainly the thing that’s most stood out in terms of video games is that the only video game that has given me any trouble despite patchy ship wifi and so forth has been the Ubisoft game I brought.

You see, I have two Ubisoft accounts, the main one, and the backup I use to submit support tickets for when I can’t get into the main one, because Uplay is finnicky. For example, two-factor authentication stopped functioning for no reason at one point, leaving me unable to log in. I wasn’t even at sea, that was during the drive up when wifi still worked fine. In any case, I accidentally logged into the backup account, opened up Syndicate, and was presented with a new game. So then I log off, wrestle with Uplay’s login for a while longer, and get into the main account, only to find that the backup account’s new game data has now overwritten the one, single save file you get across all devices and, apparently, any number of Uplay accounts. Luckily, I’m not super invested in the story or anything, I don’t ultimately care that much so long as I get to run around London stabbing people, and it’s not like I’m on a deadline to beat this game, but it does mean I have to replay the stupid tutorial introduction missions again.

I might be able to retrieve my old save file from my old computer and get Uplay to recognize that, and maybe by the time I get home I’ll feel like wrestling with Uplay to make that happen, but I don’t know if I’m going to bother, just play the new save file to completion instead. Certainly this has cemented my decision to use Syndicate as the breakpoint where I stop bothering with Assassin’s Creed games. I was starting to think “y’know, people really seemed to enjoy Origins and Valhalla, and those settings might be played out in a way the French Revolution and Renaissance Italy are not, but the Caribbean is pretty played out and it was still fun to play the Caribbean but also you are a parkour ninja.” But this experience has hammered a nail into that coffin. No thank you, no more Ubisoft games, I’ve probably got too many already, really. I’ve still got a bunch of Far Crys in my backlog that I’ll still play, because I already bought them and these games are fun to zone out to podcasts with, when Uplay isn’t getting in the way.

I guess I could review the cruise itself, but it’s not like I go on three of these a year. I don’t think I really have the depth of experience to say anything about it besides “cruises are fun” and also surprisingly affordable, so if you can take a week off and can manage to save $1,000-$2,000, maybe consider taking one. The ship’s crawling with boomers, but they’re much more polite than you’d expect, I think partly because I’m not staff and partly because they’re grateful someone under 50 is around to make the place look less like an unusually ritzy waiting room for the morgue.

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