Update, 3:15 PM: After publishing our article, Ubisoft pushed a patch to remove Watchdogs 2‘s temporary, super-loud fireworks all the way. It will take you about 11 GB of download to undo what Ubisoft calls an “annoying bug that sneaked into our Independence Day event and made the sound effects of the fireworks all over the map.”
I haven’t played Ubisoft’s Watchdogs 2 in a while? The developers apparently want to torture you for the next week if you consider doing this, all in the name of the US-of-A.
Usually, seasonal events in video games are good news. Christmas themed quests, gifts and trinkets are common in MMOs like Wow and life sims like Animal Crossing.
Ubisoft’s 2016 game Watchdogs 2 doesn’t fall into either category, but perhaps the company thought a little seasonal surprise would get the hipster-hacker quest for the open world back on its feet. However, the choice of patriotic gear hasn’t garnered much positive feedback: a bombastic fireworks show that plays every “night” in the game (starting every 24 minutes in real time and lasting about 8 minutes).
The main problem is that Ubisoft has not balanced this set of repetitive sounds for surround sound systems. Credit goes to NeoGAF user Vlaphor for this unappealing description:
The smaller fireworks that go off sound like someone crumpling wrapping paper right next to my ears, and the larger fireworks sound like someone pressing the bass pedal on a drum set, including next to my ears.
It only affects the rear/side channels of my 5.1 setup, so it feels like I have a constant dome of fireworks around me.
Distance is not taken into account, so the fireworks will sound the same wherever you are.
There are only a few samples, so the fireworks start to sound identical almost immediately.
Finally, the fireworks go off non-stop. It’s not some kind of metered firecrackers, it’s thousands of the same firecrackers, going off constantly for about 1/3 of every in-game day. It’s a mix of some of the most annoying sounds available, running on an almost constant loop, and there’s no way to turn it off.
More complaints can be found by searching various internet and social media channels. Ubisoft has responded to some complaints with: this short, useless sentence: “Thanks for the feedback!” Ubisoft’s patch notes confirm that players must endure this patriotic “treat” until it expires on July 10.