Steam Users Flood Assassin's Creed Unity With Positive Reviews Following Ubisoft's Notre-Dame Efforts

Typically, when thumbs-down ratings pour in and Steam’s chart-based review-bomb-detection alarms start ringing, it means a developer’s done something to earn users’ ire on a massive scale. Assassin’s Creed Unity, however, is experiencing the opposite: A positive review bomb.

Earlier this week, Ubisoft contributed €500,000, or about $785,000), to the Notre-Dame restoration effort in the wake of a fire that severely damaged the historic cathedral. The publisher also made Assassin’s Creed Unity, which features a recreation of Notre-Dame, free to download on PC for a week.

As a result, Steam users have plastered the game’s review section with positive reviews containing messages of support for Notre-Dame. Since April 17, Unity has received nearly 800 new reviews, the vast majority of them positive.

“Thanks Ubisoft & Assassin’s Creed Unity for giving us an opportunity to appreciate what Notre Dame used to be,” reads one review. “God bless France.”

“I hope this game will be able to help the repair of Notre-Dame de Paris,” reads another.

“THANKS UPLAY FOR ITS CONTRIBUTIONS TO PROTECTION OF NOTRE-DAME DE IN ANOTHER WAY,” reads a third in all-caps, because Steam reviews. “AND IT’S ALSO A STRIKE TO PEOPLE THAT WE MAY NEED TO KEEP DIGITAL DATA OF SOME HISTORICAL SITES. LEST IT DISAPPEAR ONE DAY.”

Some people are even joking about the prospect of Notre-Dame being restored using Unity’s digital recreation.

“Builder A: Are we really going to build a tomb under the pool?” said a Steam reviewer. “Builder B: Yeah, I think so. That’s what Ubi’s drawing says anyway.”

At this point, the Notre-Dame reconstruction effort has pulled in over $1.4 billion, much of which has come from wealthy donors.

Despite broad appreciation for the international show of solidarity, the unprecedented influx of contributions has also prompted questions about why wealthy companies and billionaires haven’t chipped in on this scale to assist with humanitarian crises and other major incidents — especially ones such as the Flint water crisis where victims are people instead of, well, old buildings.

Still, there’s something to be said for the preservation of beloved monuments and spaces, even if it’s digital. If nothing else, Assassin’s Creed Unity — a 2014 game few people were talking about any more before this week — has made that abundantly clear.

Theoretically, some reviews that are just messages of support for Notre-Dame could be considered “off-topic” by Valve’s new anti-review bomb standards, but I have hunch they’ll be given a pass in this case.


Comments

    This really is the same problem as a regular review bomb. at this stage it might be better if Valve implement a review structure. something to prevent a few sentences spam.

    A review really needs to be a review of the game and not a reflection of the developer. feelings change and people looking at a game review should be able to find the quality of the game and not a hundred messages thanking the developers for something unrelated or bashing them either.

    And people do have a point the Notre-Dame being rebuilt is going to happen regardless of company input. they'd rebuild no matter what. putting some effort with other humanitarian relief work would help brighten the world a little bit and most church goers would agree that helping the unfortunate is more important than focusing on a building. people are worth more.

      And for every penny donated to building the church means less funds required from the church itself to rebuild which in turn it can continue to pour into the usual charity relief and services the church itself would not be able to continue until its rebuilt..

      So I find the whole argument of they should have donated to charity a bit disingenuous.

        Bollocks. I think the Catholic church has a lil' bit more money than you think, mate.

          They are literally a private bank with their fingers in every industry and financial institution, not to mention the building and its contents were heavily insured meaning this travesty is a pretty substantial financial win for them.

        I'm saying it shouldn't be the focus. as a landmark monument you honestly think the government isn't going to help?

        The Vatican itself is worth anywhere between 15 - 30 billion, they've never declared openly what their actual worth it. On top of that, there's the suspected wealth of accumulated artefacts, holdings, properties and individual wealth world wide, putting it at possibly the wealthiest religious organisation out there.

        It's disingenuous to say:

        every penny donated to building the church means less funds required from the church itself to rebuild which in turn it can continue to pour into the usual charity relief and services the church itself would not be able to continue until its rebuilt..

        As there's zero evidence that the money would have been earmarked to directly to any charity in anycase. The Catholic Church while itself not owning Notre Dame, is given free use of it and agreed to its upkeep by the French Government, so it's surprising to see they haven't elected to cover a portion of the costs, or that the insurance isn't doing so? Noone's really saying the rich can't donate their money (which of course, will be written off on tax anyhow... after all, why wouldn't you), but I guess in a world where homelessness is on the rise, pollution is reaching critical mass, violence is in epidemic levels, rainforests are almost gone (goodbye oxygen...), a church burning down and garnering a billion dollars to repair it?

        It just seems almost, a joke in a way. Like I said, yes they can do what they want with their money, but it doesn't free them from criticism as well?

          The building and contents were indeed insured by the government.
          I did find it weird that it was already established as an accident when the investigators haven't even been able to start yet due to safety concerns.

          I'm not saying it isn't, just that it's weird.

          Well said, good sir (as always, you clever bugger). Way back in 1988 I went to the World Expo in QLD with my parents... And witnessed my small, sweet, inoffensive appearing mother being escorted out of the Catholic exhibit by security while yelling "Why dont you sell all your treasures and relics to feed and house the poor, you filthy paedo bastards!" I'd never seen her act like that before. Turns out an Uncle I never got to meet commited suicide after being a border at a Catholic school. Putting aside all that horrible business for another time, she totally has a point about the relics and whatnot. For 9 year old me it was a mix of shock, pride and embarrassment, that day. But yeah, just what they had on display in that one pavilion was a stupifying, literal embarrassment of riches. One of those moments in life that really opened my eyes. Like I just leveled up and put my points into Int. and Wis.

          Yeah I recall the Youth Day thing held in Sydney back in 2008. Cost the tax payer some $129 million (with the Church kicking in a mere $10m), and then because the weather was cold, the Catholic church put out a call for Sydneysiders to provide clothes and blankets for their suffering youth who had rocked up without cold weather gear, despite it being held in the middle of winter.
          The Catholic Church is very wealthy and it is so, because of its ability to avoid paying out for anything if they can persuade the politicians that the ordinary bloke should do it.

    Disregard...

    Last edited 20/04/19 12:21 pm

    I'm really sick of hearing people bitch about wealthy people and companies contributing to the reconstruction effort, it's their fucking money and they can do whatever the hell they want with it.

    There are a lot of bigger issues going on in the world and nothing is stopping anyone from helping or giving THIER money to help

      Agreed... seriously why in the world end such a positive article with a stupid downer.

      Fun fact a lot of rich people donate through out the year to multiple charities mostly because its a good way to get some tax deductions but also since these are usually regular contributions you dont hear about it either unless its for very specific events.. like say notre dame.

      There are a lot of bigger issues going on in the world and nothing is stopping anyone from helping or giving THIER money to help

      There are indeed a lot bigger things in the world going on, I guess that's exactly the point a lot of people have? I guess they see all that money and think "While rebuilding a church is nice... imagine how much that money could've helped restoration efforts of forests, reefs, farming areas, homeless people, spousal abuse programs" etc etc.

      People *do* donate, but there's a huge difference between someone donating 30 bucks a month or 50 bucks a month and a handful of people being able to raise over a billion in a week to repair a church now isn't there :)

        It's still their money and if the want to donate to rebuild a church they can, It doesn't matter how people think the money could be better spent/donated it's not their money.

        People bitching that the money should go elsewhere probably don't do anything themselves or blindly throw money at organisations that don't go jack.

        My point is I wouldn't want anyone telling me how to spend my money or what organisations to support so I don't do the same.

          Indeed, it is their money to donate, as I even pointed out above, but people are definitely allowed to point out the issues as they have with the rush to donate towards a religious building as opposed to donating to something that could potentially be far more impacting. It won't change their minds, it won't make the money *go* there, but people are definitely allowed to voice their opinions. Denigrating valid opinions by calling it 'bitching', to be frank is juvenile when the fact is a lot of the arguments pointing out why the money would be potentially better spent elsewhere, have been incredibly sound. A lot of the comments that the Church itself should at least be assisting with the cost of the repairs have been well founded too, that's not bitching, that's highly logical.

          It's also facetious to simply point out 'they should give their own money', as endlessly, it's been pointed out that the poor to middle classes do indeed donate more on average than the rich do. On average, it's roughly 2 - 3% of their yearly wage goes towards various charities, donations and handouts.

          It's a legitimate concern to point out some peoples rush to donate over a billion to restore bricks and mortar, but not a billion to restore rain forests that could prolong the lifespan of the human race itself in its entirety. But, and validly so, like you said it's also their choice to put their money where they like. But spiritual satisfaction isn't going to help that much when we're staring down the point of no return for our oxygen levels, which apparently is coming a *lot* sooner than we'd like to admit.

          Philanthropy is a thing in life, as we know, it doesn't require a few hundred million or even a dollar, it simply requires the will and the desire to do good without the apparent benefit of return. Relics are fantastic, and as a History teacher myself, I believe in cherishing the past, but if we have no future, what's the point of clinging to the past?

          Fyi, it's worth noting that conversation is the right way to look at something like this situation and not necessarily agree with it. However, the protests occurring at the moment with the 'yellow jackets' causing acts of violence is something I vehemently don't agree with. What those people don't take into account is the fact they're causing their country to spend money to tidy up, repair and control their actions. Money that like you yourself said, could go elsewhere, but instead will now be sent handling their actions.

            When it comes to government I'm totally on board with criticism (bitching) of how money is spent, when it comes to private citizens or companies I'm not.

            I also see it as more than just a religious building.

      Yeah I mean it's not like they can't then just write off the donations on tax, essentially forcing taxpayers to cover the cost of the reconstruction anyway.

        But I mean wouldn't they just do that anyway, for the causes that other people deem more worthwhile.

    Negative or positive, review bombing is dumbass behaviour by dumbass people.

    The game actually deserves praise, it's probably one of my favorite games in the series.

    Origins and Odyssey are great with their open worlds but they feel barely populated. Unity gave us a giant city filled with people and had a real sense of life to it, and sneaking around along rooftops is what makes Assassins Creed great.

      Barely populated? Oddessy always impressed me with the amount of goings-on in the cities, kids playing workers, traders and the sort, never thought they were too sparse. Mind you I haven't played Unity, are the cities much more populated or something?

        Unity had a crowd/mob mechanic that allowed for huge gatherings during missions and other events.
        It was impressive but not really needed for later titles where focus seems to be more on giving the NPC's a greater range of actions.

      So Unity is really worth playing then? I never touched it at release because it was plagued with issues on PC, and eventually I sort of just forgot about it.

      But impressions I've heard on the game largely only ever ranged from 'awful' to 'just alright'.

      And while I don't agree that Origins and Odyssey felt underpopulated, that could simply be down to personal taste/perspective.

        Unity is a lot better *now* that its been balanced and patched over the years. But the populations still consist of Person A copied 30 times on screen, Persion B copied 20 times, Person C copied 40 times etc. Odyssey seemed to rely less on that and seemed to have some sort of random generator going on for public figure creation?

    Odyssey and Origins had a lot going on, but Unity had massive crowds of people.

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