No more locked chests!
Possibly most emblematic of what was fundamentally problematic about Assassin’s Creed Unity, and how Ubisoft approaches games at this point, was not the glitches that it suffered from, representative of a cynically rushed launch- it was the companion app that players were encouraged to download alongside the game.
Companion apps are nothing new- indeed, most major non Nintendo AAA releases receive companion apps of some sort these days. But never has a companion app been as intrusive to a player’s experience and enjoyment of a game as the Unity companion app was, which was necessary to unlock certain chests available in the game. These chests admittedly did not count towards the in game progress tracker, meaning you could ignore them, and still feasibly achieve 100% completion- but for players who like to thoroughly complete their games, it represented a cynical, contemptuous slap in the face.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, thankfully, will not suffer from this problem. There will be absolutely no companion app for the game at all.
“There will not be a companion app,” Ubisoft told Eurogamer. “For Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, the team wanted to focus all their efforts on the core experience.”
On the whole, it does appear as though Ubisoft is responding directly to the criticisms leveled at, and mistakes made with, Assassin’s Creed Unity. Whether it makes new mistakes along the way, or whether it ends up delivering a polished product of the kind that the series was originally known for, remains to be seen.