Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Unity had mixed reviews upon launch, but after the Notre-Dame fire, things have been changing around.
For each of the Assassin’s Creed games, Ubisoft takes incredibly detailed 3D maps of various landmarks to provide some insanely realistic city maps. I’ve used my personal knowledge of Rome, Venice, and Florence to navigate around in both Assassin’s Creed II and Brotherhood, and have known people who did the reverse – they were able to navigate around European cities all thanks to playing AC games. So it was little surprise when Ubisoft offered up their 3D maps of Notre Dame from Unity for the rebuilding effort on the Parisian cathedral.
In order to promote awareness of the rebuilding and to show solidarity with the people of Paris, Ubisoft Quebec has made Assassin’s Creed Unity free on PC.
Which has led to a turnaround in the game’s reputation. Thanks to the trend called “Review Bombing” where people negatively (or in this case, positively) review a game based on outside factors, Assassin’s Creed Unity‘s scores on various storefronts has seen a massive upsurge.
According to GameInformer:
In the past 24 hours, people have posted numerous reviews praising Ubisoft for giving the game away for free and for trying to commemorate the historical building. One review reads “I played the game after Ubisoft had fixed all its issues. That being said the positivity brought by this game in light of the tragic event with the Notre Dame cathedral, makes me proud to have played this game.”
Another review says “I hope this game will be able to help the repairation [sic] of Notre-Dame de Paris.. Although its not a good game for everybody (seems like) but Ubisoft paid much efforts on this.”
While it isn’t certain that the reviews will stay up on the Unity store page – after all, review bombing is against Valve’s review policy – this is the first case of positive review bombing. And that’s actually kind of awesome.