by Charles Webb, 26 November 2013
There’s something thrilling about the apocalyptic bug one YouTube user found while playing Ubisoft’s open world stealth game “Assassin’s Creed IV Black Flag.”
The bug, recorded by gamer Whacken Blight sees the physics of the game break, in one of those grand pieces of jankiness that comes with open world titles. As near as I can understand, the physics governing the behavior of the water deteriorates in some fundamental way, sending the player’s in-game boat, the pirate vessel The Jackdaw and its crew into a gaping maw.
And then it gets really weird.
Many gamers know the true promise of an open world game – those typically big budget releases which promise nearly endless player agency – is often how thoroughly they can go off the rails when some line of code fails, or the physics are somehow upended. It’s those ways in which we’re allowed to peek behind the curtain and see how truly fluid, artificial, and easily demolished these carefully-crafted worlds are that sometimes offer the greatest thrill when playing.