For several days after the launch of the new Xbox Series X and S, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla supported the consoles’ best new feature, Quick Resume. Today, that no longer appears to be the case, another sign that something is awry with what was supposed to be a key next-gen Xbox perk.
For those who don’t know, Quick Resume is a feature new to the Xbox Series X and S and new to console gaming in general. Basically, your system can keep multiple games suspended at once, allowing you to hop between them at will. You don’t have to sit through startup load screens or anything. You’ll pick up in each one exactly where you left off, usually in a matter of seconds. Quick Resume works entirely in the background, so you don’t have to toggle on a setting or dive headlong into the console’s menus. It’ll just do its thing—well, when it works.
In our early testing of Quick Resume prior to the launch of the new Xboxes, we found that a lot of games supported the feature. Then, Microsoft notified us that the discovery of a bug tied to the feature required a system update that would then require games to be updated individually to support the service again some time after launch. When the Series S and X debuted on November 10 we noted that Assassin’s Creed Valhalla was among the games that supported the feature without issue. And how cool it was. Bouncing between various, smaller indie games is one thing. Leaping into a massive Ubisoft “map” game—skipping those leaden load screens and picking up your axe exactly where you left it—was a huge indicator that, yes, wow, the Xbox Series S and X really are really next-gen machines.
Over the weekend, however, some of us on staff noticed that Valhalla started booting up from scratch every time. No warning. No “Quick Resume” badge on the splash screen. It just stopped resuming quickly. (Kotaku has reached out to Ubisoft for comment.)
We’re not alone. A search for “quick resume valhalla” (or other permutations) on social media turns up complaints, dating as far back as November 15, about Assassin’s Creed Valhalla seemingly and inexplicably falling off the Quick Resume roster. Many of these people say Valhalla used to work with Quick Resume and then just stopped. One user weighed the possibility of filing a bug report. When folks don’t know if they’ve come across a bug or just business as usual, your messaging could probably do with an improvement.
Look: Quick Resume is an extremely cool feature, and not just on paper. Just this morning, I was able to get it working for Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 1+2, Wizard of Legend, Gears Tactics, Ori and the Will of the Wisps, Forza Horizon 4, and Tell Me Why. There aren’t apparent generational limitations—whether it’s an Xbox One or Xbox Series “optimized” titles—as to which games will and won’t work. Though Quick Resume won’t drop you into the middle of a game that requires persistent internet connectivity, you can make use of it to at least skip the initial bootup for some mostly-online games, like, say, Halo: The Master Chief Collection. There are tangible benefits to Quick Resume. That much is undeniable.
The issue is that some games work, and some don’t, and there’s precious little clarification in either direction. (Alongside some broader questions about Quick Resume, Kotaku asked Microsoft for a list of games that do and don’t support the feature. Update: 6:00 p.m.: Microsoft did not provide a list or any answers, but directed us to a November 9 tweet from Xbox director of program management Jason Ronald who said the team was “working quickly to fix” things.) In its current state, the Xbox Guide won’t show you a list of games your console is currently suspending at any given moment.
Beyond that, Quick Resume seems to drop games frequently, and often without warning. It’d be unreasonable to expect the Xbox Series X to suspend an entire game library at once. But there’s still no indicator—no pop-up window or notification—when a game is about to get dropped from Quick Resume suspension. The general consensus, one that’s corroborated by our own testing, is that you can keep around half a dozen games suspended in Quick Resume at any given time. A heads up when one is about to get dropped would be welcome. Again, for the time being, it’s a game of memory.
Of all the new features introduced to this generation of Xbox consoles, Quick Resume shows the most promise. It’s just not reliable—at least not yet. And it’s strange to see a game that supported it at launch seemingly lose that support. For now, we’ll have to sit through the loading screens for Assassin’s Creed Valhalla.