Why are sandboxes boring or what makes Ubisoft games so controversial?

It’s no secret that most of Ubisoft’s open-world games rely on a variety of gameplay in the form of sandbox elements. Capture points, develop your property, roll on the map, study, in short, complete carte blanche. Is this so? Does this mechanic always work?

To begin with, let’s look at the original idea of ​​a sandbox, where the player is given a certain set of tools and allowed to use it in any situation. But the problem is that if one of the most convenient tools can be used to complete any stage of the game, the presence of others becomes unnecessary for him. If we talk about the correct implementation of the sandbox in the video game interpretation, as part of it, and not the basis, then we can recall “Deus Ex: Human Revolution”. In it, game designers give complete freedom of action, but limit it to the point that the player cannot notice it. And these frameworks are very easily explained by the logic of the game world, which allows the player to imperceptibly pushes the player to the best options for passing, and completely exclude the possibility of the widespread use of a universal gaming tool. More clearly, then the game offers several acceptable options for passing, in which you have to alternately use some of the game mechanics presented in it. This approach excludes the occurrence of routine in the game process.

What happens in this case in Ubisoft games? In them, restrictions are not built at all. The player can play the game in any way he wants. As a result, he chooses the least labor-intensive, universal version of the passage. If the game designer does not push the player to get into various game situations, then the player will not seek to create them. And this is exactly what Ubisoft games make the player lose interest in them. It turns out that in order to create interest in the sandbox, you need to embody restrictions in it, which can push the player to choose a variety of options for each game situation.

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Surprisingly, most people love the routine. This is the only explanation for the popularity of most session-based multiplayer games. And while the audience is supportive of her, then we are unlikely to see a really interesting story-driven game from Ubisoft. Adding a sandbox element in most cases does not diversify the gameplay, but simplifies the technique of creating large projects in a relatively short time. After all, most of what we see in new Ubisoft games is elements from the previous parts of their series.

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