Far Cry 3 Servers Down Already: Ubi, This Is A Mess

By John Walker on November 30th, 2012 at 9:26 am.

Update: Ubisoft have tweeted an apology, saying they’re working as fast as they can to get the servers back online.

So, like many others, I’m very excited to play Far Cry 3. After Jim’s review, and many similar elsewhere, I’ve been dying to play it and finally have the chance. Today is my day off, hooray! And so far I’ve been treated to a horrible, horrible time, and all at the hands of the technical mess that is Uplay and idiotic mechanical choices. And right now? Ubisoft’s servers are down. On launch day. You can still play in offline mode, but ho boy, this isn’t a good start.

Right now, this is what the game looks like:

I can’t move from this extraordinary vista, I’ve no way of interacting. My skill menu looks like this:

I don’t feel very skillful. And this is all because currently the Ubisoft servers are down.

I’ve seen the unskippable intro three times now. It’s good! The first time I saw it I was very impressed by the acting, and not uninterested in the action. The second time, a few minutes after the game had crashed on me and I was forced to watch it again, I wasn’t so impressed. It’s extremely long, and there’s absolutely no reason on Earth why it shouldn’t be skipped. The third time I was genuinely pissed off. The third time was because I’d deliberately quit out of the game after finishing watching the intro, chosen the oddly ambiguous “save” from the menu, and quit out to entirely rebuild my PC to see if I could get the glitching smoothed out. New Windows install on a brand new SSD, just for you, Far Cry 3. Then I had to watch the intro again. This was after trying to find the save location, via an appeal on Twitter, to learn it’s either:

C:\Program Files (x86)\Ubisoft\Ubisoft Game Launcher\savegames\0c7ddfbe-d92d-4270-8cf9-3493a81f0c2d\46\

or

C:\ProgramData\Orbit\46\

Read the damned rules, Ubisoft.

That took me until late last night. So this morning I figured, a day with Far Cry 3! Woo-hoo! Loaded Uplay, no problems, launched the game and it told me it couldn’t connect to the Ubisoft servers. I knew that the publisher had ditched their evil always-on DRM crap, so knew this wouldn’t any longer be a problem, and indeed the game launched just fine. Until the first time I tried to pull up a local menu. Going back to the game, you see the above. Go into the menus again, and the same. Quit? Not possible. So all that progress? Gone.

The way around this is to set Uplay to Offline Mode. But this isn’t something Uplay feels the need to alert you to before launching the game. Instead you’re forced to load a broken version, that lets you play for a while, then throws multiple tantrums. As I write, the windowed version of the game I had switched from because of its oddities has now entirely crashed, not letting me open nor close it. Task killing is the only option left.

So the question I’m left with is: What does Uplay offer me?

And the answer is nothing whatsoever. It’s an obstacle between me and my game. Even Steam lets you run a game directly from a shortcut. But here I have this unwieldy front-end, that insists on my clicking through it to launch the game, and meddles in the background throughout. It’s clearly trying to emulate Steam in a number of ways, just like Origin does, with its own options to switch to it while a game is running, and unwanted and unrequested attempts to cloud save my data. But in reality it takes away immediately practical things I want from my games, like to run them without having to fiddle with an unwanted extra piece of software that’s currently crippling the game, and to save to a local directory in clear, easy to transfer save files. That Far Cry 3′s servers are down this morning, on the day the game sodding well comes out, is beyond belief.

The good news is I can play the game. The bad news is I have to jump through so many pointless hoops to do so. I really do think Uplay was made with good intentions. Ubi saw the opportunities Steam offers, and wanted them for themselves – which is absolutely fair enough. No one should bow to Valve’s monopoly if they can create something that rivals it. They also wanted to create community-based features, and offer bonuses and gimmicks for players – it’s part of their desire to stop being the Big Evil and start rewarding legitimate customers rather than punishing them. But they’ve made such an arsed up mess of it, and it desperately needs to just go away.

I want to double click the Far Cry 3 icon on my desktop, and see the game load. It’s a single-player game, and it requires no online features whatsoever for how I’m trying to play it. But right now, doing that makes for a broken game, and a pissed off John on his day off.

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205 Comments »

  1. sophof says:

    This is so common because it doesn’t make sense to buy an expensive server park only for the launch day traffic. Yay for progress and economics!

  2. Adjuchas says:

    I used to think that requiring a patch to play right out of the box was a trend to reduce piracy (not that it worked if that was the case), now it just seems plain lazy. I understand that there are certain pressures applied to these companies to protect the product, but what’s more important? The shareholders or the opinion of the customer? Ubisoft’s name is mud these days because of it’s antics, which is a shame because this looks and sounds like a decent game.

  3. TheEn4cer says:

    this is why i don’t buy ubisoft games anymore… or EA games, or games with GFWL.

    • captain nemo says:

      My thoughts exactly. If I pay money for a game, I want to be able to play it with no trouble. Period.
      Ubisoft’s track record in this basic aspect is appalling.

      And next up …. Ubisoft PR-bot will be quoted as “we are listening to customer feedback”

  4. Shooop says:

    I’m absolutely shocked.

  5. Sparkasaurusmex says:

    crackers have fixed all the problems in this article. Since you’ve purchased the game you have to get the crack for a good gaming experience. Ubisoft isn’t going to fix this (remove uplay from Farcry 3) but “modders” already have.

  6. revan says:

    Solved this problem by using cracked files from the pirated copy of the game the moment I installed my copy of the game. No uplay, no tedium. Just click on the game executable and voila! Game runs flawlessly. If I was Ubisoft exec, I’d ask myself how the fact that pirated game runs better than the original reflects on my company and sales?

  7. Creeping Death says:

    The intro is unskippable on PC? Really? I know for a fact it can be skipped on 360 so that’s really weird.

  8. LockjawNightvision says:

    What’s this? None of the usual whinging about two release dates when it happens to come out in Britain first? :)

  9. ScubaMonster says:

    People are still gullible enough to buy Ubisoft games on PC?

  10. SelfEsteemFund says:

    bahahahaha, didn’t purchase :D After all the hassle I had with the AnusCreed games & no mention of forced uplay installation I’m completely avoiding all Ubisoft products from now on.

    And nothing of value was lost..

  11. Sheps says:

    Yet again Ubisoft makes another valid point to just pirate their over the top DRM handcuffed games.

    It’s so disappointing that there some really amazingly talented games designers and they’re stuck under the Ubisoft. God why you destroy THQ and no destroy Ubisoft?

  12. cyzada says:

    The servers were overloaded/broken for Far Cry 2s launch(NA) as well. They’ll sort this out in time for our release, I’m glad we didn’t get it first this time. I hope they get you people up and slaying soon.

  13. Triangulon says:

    This is so disappointing.I was really looking forwards to this, particularly after I enjoyed Far Cry 2 so much. Alas, I shall not be buying for the time being, unless the U Play front end is removed.

  14. Beelzebud says:

    Stop buying their games. That is the only way they’ll get the message. As long as gamers keep buying their shit, they’re going to keep selling it to you.

  15. The Sombrero Kid says:

    Genuinly sorry to say I told you so :( another brilliant ubisoft game i will never play

  16. Amathas says:

    So how is that whole ‘getting it 4 days before the US’ working for you all, hmm?

  17. Ghoul Monkey says:

    I am really confused… So the game is BACK to pre-order then? This is fascinating…

  18. AoXo says:

    I played and finished Far Cry 3 in three days without any bugs (that I remember), glitches, crashes or server issues. Don’t know what to say besides it’s a great game.

  19. TheTourist314 says:

    Whatever happened to No Oceans? I don’t get to have this game until tomorrow over in the US.

  20. Qsaws says:

    i can’t play that’s great… what was i thinking when i’ve bought a game ? was i thinking that a paid games would be great ? that i will be able to play online and not only offline like a cracked game ? man i was stupid i can’t do any of these now

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