Assassin's Creed 4 will have single player content locked behind an online pass. This could be bad news for gamers who want to play AC4 offline.
One of the new aspects of Ubisoft's latest addition to the Assassin's Creed series that appeals to new gamers is the opportunity to play as a pirate and sail the Caribbean. While you're out sailing the Bounding Main, you have the option of boarding other ships, killing their captains, and commandeering the crew, something gamers have been looking forward to for quite some time.
Unfortunately, Ubisoft demands that you pay for an online pass just to access that option in the game. This could also mean that Assassin's Creed 4 uses your internet connection regularly to make sure you're running your own copy.
It appears that the DRM controls Microsoft is planning to bring to the Xbox One are already being used by Ubisoft on current generation consoles. Your copy of Assassin's Creed 4 will be tied to your Uplay account, and this account will be specific to the game.
Ubisoft has done this before with other games. In Assassin's Creed 2 for consoles, you couldn't access the secret family tomb without signing in to your Uplay account. The rest of the game was fine, but that particular area was off-limits if you weren't signed in online.
The requirement to sign in to a Uplay account also means that you can't use your copy of the game on a friend's console and expect to have the full functionality. Could Ubisoft be preparing us for that fateful day when Microsoft finally brings back their DRM policies?
We can probably blame that infamous Xbox One petition on Change.org for this one. One gamer created a petition asking Microsoft to bring back their initial idea, claiming it was already being used on Steam, and Sony gamers signed on the proverbial dotted line. As a result, Microsoft actually thinks we want the Xbox One to restrict used games.
Even though Assassin's Creed 4 gamers love playing as a pirate, that doesn't mean they want to be subjected to the same anti-piracy restrictions originally announced for Xbox One. The necessity of an online pass to access some of the key single player content in the game will no doubt turn off many gamers.
Will Ubisoft's insistence on an online pass to access some of the more interesting aspects of Assassin's Creed 4 be enough to keep you from buying their game? Could this simply be preparing us for the return of the Xbox One's original used games policy?