Ubisoft Responds to Low Frame Rates in Assassin's Creed Unity

Subject: Graphics Cards | November 12, 2014 - 09:03 PM |
Tagged: Unity, ubisoft, assassin's creed

Over the last couple of days there have been a lot of discussions about the performance of the new Assassin's Creed Unity from Ubisoft on current generation PC hardware. Some readers have expressed annoyance that the game is running poorly, at lower than expected frame rates, at a wide range of image quality settings. Though I haven't published my results yet, we are working on a story comparing NVIDIA and AMD GPUs in Unity, but the truth is that this is occurring on GPUs from both sides.

For example, using a Core i7-3960X and a single GeForce GTX 980 4GB reference card, I see anywhere from 37 FPS to 48 FPS while navigating the crowded city of Paris at 1920x1080 and on the Ultra High preset. Using the Low preset, that frame rate increases to 65-85 FPS or so.

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Clearly, those are lower frame rates at 1920x1080 than you'll find in basically any other PC game on the market. The accusation from some in the community is that Ubisoft is either doing this on purpose or doing it out of neglect with efficient code. I put some questions to the development team at Ubisoft and though I only had a short time with them, the answers tell their side of the story.

Ryan Shrout: What in the Unity game engine is putting the most demand on the GPU and its compute resources? Are there specific effects or were there specific design goals for the artists that require as much GPU horsepower as the game does today with high image quality settings?

Ubisoft: Assassin’s Creed Unity is one of the most detailed games on the market and [contains] a giant, open world city built to the scale that we’ve recreated. Paris requires significant details. Some points to note about Paris in Assassin’s Creed Unity:

  • There are tens of thousands of objects are visible on-screen, casting and receiving shadows.
  • Paris is incredibly detailed. For example, Notre-Dame itself is millions of triangles.
  • The entire game world has global illumination and local reflections.
  • There is realistic, high-dynamic range lighting.
  • We temporally stabilized anti-aliasing.

RS: Was there any debate internally about downscaling on effects/image quality to allow for lower end system requirements?

Ubisoft: We talked about this a lot, but our position always came back to us ensuring that Assassin’s Creed Unity is a next-gen only game with breakthrough graphics. With this vision, we did not degrade the visual quality of the game. On PC, we have several option for low-scaling, like disabling AA, decreasing resolution, and we have low option for Texture Quality, Environment Quality and Shadows.

RS: Were you looking forward or planning for future GPUs (or multi-GPU) that will run the game at peak IQ settings at higher frame rates than we have today?

Ubisoft: We targeted existing PC hardware.

RS: Do you envision updates to the game or to future GPU drivers that would noticeably improve performance on current generations of hardware?

Ubisoft: The development team is continuing to work on optimization post-launch through software updates. You’ll hear more details shortly.

Some of the features listed by the developer in the first answer - global illumination methods, high triangle counts, HDR lighting - can be pretty taxing on GPU hardware. I know there are people out there pointing out games that have similar feature sets and that run at higher frame rates, but the truth is that no two game engines are truly equal. If you have seen Assassin's Creed Unity in action you'll be able to tell immediately the game is beautiful, stunningly so. Is it worth that level of detail for the performance levels achieved from current high-end hardware? Clearly that's the debate.

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When I asked if Ubisoft had considered scaling back the game to improve performance, they clearly decided against it. The developer had a vision for the look and style of the game and they were dedicated to it; maybe to a fault from some gamers' viewpoint.

Also worth nothing is that Ubisoft is continuing to work on optimization post-release; how much of an increase we'll actually see with game patches or driver updates will have to be seen as we move forward. Some developers have a habit of releasing a game and simply abandoning it as it shipped - hopefully we will see more dedication from the Unity team.

So, if the game runs at low frame rates on modern hardware...what is the complaint exactly? I do believe that Ubisoft would have benefited from better performance on lower image quality settings. You can tell by swapping the settings for yourself in game but the quality difference between Low and Ultra High is noticeable, but not dramatically so. Again, this likely harkens back to the desire of Ubisoft to maintain an artistic vision.

Remember that when Crysis 3 launched early last year, running at 1920x1200 at 50 FPS required a GTX 680, the top GPU at the time; and that was at the High settings. The Very High preset only hit 37 FPS on the same card.

PC gamers seems to be creating a double standard. On one hand, none of us want PC-ports or games that are developed with consoles in mind that don't take advantage of the power of the PC platform. Games in the Call of Duty series are immensely popular but, until the release of Advanced Warfare, would routinely run at 150-200 FPS at 1080p on a modern PC. Crysis 3 and Assassin's Creed Unity are the opposite of that - games that really tax current CPU and GPU hardware, paving a way forward for future GPUs to be developed and NEEDED.

If you're NVIDIA or AMD, you should applaud this kind of work. Now I am more interested than ever in a GTX 980 Ti, or a R9 390X, to see what Unity will play like, or what Far Cry 4 will run at, or if Dragon Age Inquisition looks even better.

Of course, if we can get more performance from a better optimized or tweaked game, we want that too. Developers need to be able cater to as wide of a PC gaming audience as possible, but sometimes creating a game that can scale between running on a GTX 650 Ti and a GTX 980 is a huge pain. And with limited time frames and budgets, don't we want at least some developers to focus on visual quality rather than "dumbing down" the product?

Let me know what you all think - I know this is a hot-button issue!

UPDATE: Many readers in the comments are bringing up the bugs and artifacts within Unity, pointing to YouTube videos and whatnot. Those are totally valid complaints about the game, but don't necessarily reflect on the game's performance - which is what we were trying to target with this story. Having crashes and bugs in the game is disappointing, but again, Ubisoft and Assassin's Creed Unity aren't alone here. Have you seen the bugs in Skyrim or Tomb Raider? Hopefully Ubisoft will be more aggressive in addressing them in the near future. 

UPDATE 2: I also wanted to comment that even though I seem to be defending Ubisoft around the performance of Unity, my direct feedback to them was that they should enable modes in the game that allow it to play at higher frame rates and even lower image quality settings, even if they were unable to find ways to "optimize" the game's efficiency. So far the developer seems aware of all the complaints around performance, bugs, physics, etc. and is going to try to address them.

UPDATE 3: In the last day or so, a couple of other media outlets have posted anonymous information that indicates that the draw call count for Assassin's Creed Unity is at fault for the poor performance of the game on PCs. According to this "anonymous" source, while the consoles have low-level API access to hardware to accept and process several times the draw calls, DirectX 11 can only handle "7,000 - 10,000 peak draw calls." Unity apparently is "pushing in excess of 50,000 draw calls per frame" and thus is putting more pressure on the PC that it can handle, even with high end CPU and GPU hardware. The fact that these comments are "anonymous" is pretty frustrating as it means that even if they are accurate, they can't be taken as the truth without confirmation from Ubisoft. If this turns out to be true, then it would be a confirmation that Ubisoft didn't take the time to implement a DX11 port correctly. If it's not true, or only partially to blame, we are left with more meaningless finger-pointing.

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November 12, 2014 | 09:43 PM - Posted by hippiehacker

I think one way to clear up this initial shock would be to change the minimum / recommended hardware listings. It would be helpful if developers could list a few more items to give you an idea where you stand.

Minimum (Medium settings @ 30fps)
Phenom X4 or Core 2 Quad
GTX 670.. etc

I think advertising your expected in game details and expected frame rate would allow for better expectations.


We've always had titles to push our rigs to new levels. Hopefully AMD and Nvidia can keep helping us push fidelity higher.

November 12, 2014 | 09:32 PM - Posted by SandwichMan (not verified)

I completely agree with your main point, Ryan. People forget: "PC gamers" were upset with Ubisoft when WatchDogs was seemingly dumbed down, and Unity feels like it is NOT dumbed down. Just look at the console versions to see the whole story. Both run at 900p, and run at 30fps, or lower. Getting 40fps at 1080p is a butt-ton more data per second. and this is not taking into account other features of the console versions that are technically inferior.

Is it a 99th percentile PC port? Hell no! But considering the console versions, the performance is probably about where it should be.
Still no excuse for major crashing/artifact issues. That is just disappointing.

November 13, 2014 | 10:54 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It is true that PC gamers want to eat their cake, but still have it. It's an impossible feat. If you want stunning visuals, your PC must be punished. If you want blistering speed, you have to give up fidelity. This has been true for decades, but certain moments every few years presents a sudden leap forward in fidelity where GPUs can't keep up.

Anyone else remember the move from software mode to OpenGL? How about when framerates would get cut nearly in half by enabling 32-bit (24-bit) color instead of 16-bit? Shadows in Doom 3? When HDR first rolled out? Oblivion PC? Crysis? Crysis 3? The point is that this isn't new. PC gaming has always been an uphill battle of compromises... with some periods being more shocking than others. It only feels more shocking right now because PC gamers were just getting used to the idea of jumping to single-GPU 4K gaming.

Some benchmark ideas for PCP - post some videos (YouTube supports 60fps now) or at least some screen caps comparing four different modes:

900p low
900p ultra
1080p low
1080p ultra

AT recently published some benchmarks and screenshots of Lords of the Fallen. While not as brutal as Unity, it definitely taxing. The screenshots help clarify what you lose or gain to get performance where you want it.

November 13, 2014 | 04:20 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

PC gamers were upset about Watch Dogs because modders were able to unlock both better graphics AND better performance, showing that Ubisoft purposefully made the game look worse on PC to make consoles look not so bad in comparison.
Gamers are upset at AC Unity not because it is demanding, but because it is demanding while having textures that look like ass and very conspicuous asset pop-in ( see TotalBiscuit's 'let's not play AC Unity' video).
The game can only be called good looking because of the art team. The engine runs like a pig and anyone can make that. They just chose not to cause they're not Ubisoft.

November 14, 2014 | 08:18 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The GPU makers have been successful at weaning PC gamers off of 120-200fps CRT gaming to making it acceptable to use variable refresh rates to hide the poor performance of modern GPUs. "Since our GPUs are incapable of ultra 1080p at even 60fps, we'll introduce a technology that hides it. Yay!" (Project FreeSync/G-Sync in case you're not catching on.) As great as those technologies are for eliminating artifacts like tearing and stutter, they are really just a coverup for the poor performance of modern GPUs.

Developers are to blame for bugs and glitches, but gamers are to blame for expecting something that the developer never promised. That's why they only publish hardware requirements and NOT the expected frame rate. Some developers design their games to run at 30fps, others target 60fps, others might target 45 as acceptable, so they target that for hardware requirements listed on the box. If you expect to get 90fps for no reason other than you think you should get it, that's on you.

Maybe that's something that should change? Maybe system requirements should instead give example configurations and the resulting frame rate in order to help stupid PC gamers make better decisions. Or... I don't know... maybe PC gamers could just wait for review sites to publish benchmarks before blindly expecting the game to run perfectly... How many times do we have to repeat this process before people learn?


November 12, 2014 | 09:32 PM - Posted by Searching4Sasquatch (not verified)

I'd much rather have something look great and run slower at launch than get some damn console port that runs at 150fps and doesn't look much different than the PS4 version.

Looks like this game is picking up where Crysis left off!

November 13, 2014 | 08:57 AM - Posted by Shane (not verified)

Words right out of my mouth.

"Can it run Crysis?"

"Can it run AC Unity."

They should have just said our intention was to melt your hardware, they would have gotten a much better response.

November 13, 2014 | 03:50 PM - Posted by arbiter

i have 4700k & gtx980. Both ultra and very High profile have MSAA enabled. I used very high profile with MSAA turned off and it runs a solid 60fps @ 1080p pretty much all the time. the cinematic will drop to low 50's but that is it.

November 16, 2014 | 07:05 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Prove it.

January 14, 2015 | 09:52 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

It doesn't look that much better on pc than console. In fact the chainmail on consoles have more texture.

November 12, 2014 | 09:51 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

"Ubisoft: We targeted existing PC hardware."

Does that mean pre-production (still in ATI/Nvidia test labs) or existing to a consumer looking to buy a card?

November 13, 2014 | 04:30 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

High end PCs, i7 4770k (or higher) and the GTX980 series (or equivalent)is what it sounds like they're aiming for, i'm hoping my PC will run it but to be fair i got the game free with my GPU so no real loss if it doesnt...

**Official System Requirements from Ubi**

SUPPORTED OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 (64 bit versions only).
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i5-2500K @ 3.3 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0 GHz
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 680 or AMD Radeon HD 7970 (2 GB VRAM)
DIRECTX: DirectX June 2010 Redistributable
HDD: 50 GB available space​​
SOUND CARD: DirectX Compatible Sound Card with latest drivers
PERIPHERALS: Keyboard, mouse, Xbox 360 controller (or compatible) optional.
INTERNET: Broadband connection required for activation/registration


SUPPORTED OS: Windows 7 SP1, Windows 8, Windows 8.1 (64 bit versions only).
PROCESSOR: Intel Core i7-3770 @ 3.4 GHz or AMD FX-8350 @ 4.0 GHz or better
VIDEO CARD: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 or AMD Radeon R9 290X (3 GB VRAM)
DIRECTX: DirectX June 2010 Redistributable
HDD: 50 GB available space​​
SOUND CARD: DirectX 9.0c compatible sound card with latest drivers
PERIPHERALS: Keyboard, mouse, Xbox 360 controller (or compatible) optional.
INTERNET: Broadband connection required for activation/registration

November 12, 2014 | 09:52 PM - Posted by Coupe

The problem is that AC is also very buggy.

November 12, 2014 | 09:57 PM - Posted by Shortwave (not verified)

Seems like it just needs a month or two, some updates.

So get angry if they release a bunch of DLC before release crucial performance optimization patches.

Like most games this happens to it seems to get worked out eventually. That's why it's important to only pre-order or day 1 buy from companies you can trust will release proper updates.

As well as nvidia/amd driver updates of course.
It's really amazing how much performance they have squeezed out of older hardware after a long while of being on the market.

But yea, often a lot of people get really upset and simply put..
Be patient.

The only game in recent history I've bought that won't likely run fully optimized for some time to come, and sad has seen more DLC than game updates.. Shadows Of Mordor.

I would usually never buy a 60 dollar game from such a company.
But since getting to the second map, optimization has crumbled.
I spent the first 15 hours exploring the first map at a beautiful 60+. Now I get headaches in the second map around 45 no matter what I do. BUT, I went into that knowing this..

It was my birthday, the lady and I both love LOTR and yea.

So, I've currently put that game on hold till' I see some updates.

With a company like Ebisoft though... EA.. Microsoft.
Should really get used to the idea of just having patience.
And cross your fingers that they will get around to it before the next game. Ha.

Typically I couldn't see myself paying more than 20 bucks for any Ebisoft title unless it had a really top notch non-DLC pushing dev team behind it somehow, who were able to call their own shots..

November 12, 2014 | 10:15 PM - Posted by Earnest Bunbury

Low frame rates is only a NUMBER! ugh

November 12, 2014 | 10:17 PM - Posted by AMDFANBOI (not verified)

what a disaster. its not just frames. the characters have holes in them, there's weird NPC glitching everywhere I look, it's a complete and utter disasterzone in the extreme.

November 12, 2014 | 10:59 PM - Posted by nashathedog

We need high end hardware that gives decent performance, I'm sorry but we haven't got that at the moment, The top end from both sides are the 980 and 290x. If we are only getting these sorts of frame rates from the best cards available then those cards do not deserve to be classed as they are. I don't like the idea of spending over a thousand UK pounds on a system that won't run the games we are getting at there highest settings at a decent frame rate. I run a 4790k and an MSI 290x (twin frozer) and I'm forced to stay at 1080p currently because it is not capable of running games how I want. Considering how there all pushing 4k gaming down our throats it's laughable.

November 12, 2014 | 11:37 PM - Posted by pdjblum

I so much agree. And this just makes us want the non-affordable, for most of us, eventually to be released 980ti and 390x. I don't like the game nvidia is playing with their recent strategy of releasing and selling the step down to the true high end gpu they will put in the 980ti and suggesting it is their flagship.

November 13, 2014 | 04:34 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'v been upgrading my 4 year old PC slowly, i'm now running an i7 4770k & Galax GTX980 OC'd doesn't sounds like i'm going to be able to play it :( oh well, comes out tomorrow in the UK so we'll see..

November 15, 2014 | 02:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Then please, learn circuitry and microprocessor design and architecture. Create your own company and start selling better GPUs for us all to benefit from. It's not something that can be designed over night or in a month. It's obvious you don't understand the barrier that hardware has in terms of performance versus the capabilities that software can have. 4K was rushed out the door by manufacturers because they knew people like you would throw your wallet at them without even the slightest knowledge of how it would run on current hardware. I laugh at your ignorance..

November 13, 2014 | 12:59 AM - Posted by Shortwave (not verified)

I realized this likely has more to do with them wanting people to buy g-sync monitors.. Lol.

Okay, cool. Perhaps g-sync should just be a console oriented feature.

I'll take true 120+ hz tried and tested.
I understand it's hard to compare the two but yea...

I'd rather play the last years release of whoever game that's been optimized and can take advantage of my 120hz then to shell out a bunch of money to just play their new one without a headache.

100 times over.
Just no.

And they were giving away g-sync monitors durring the live stream..... Sooo..

I'm pretty sure it has nothing to do with selling more graphics cards, has a bit to do with being able to make games have more detail, sure.. But at the cost of frames! And requiring to buy a new, really expensive premium priced screen.

Just no, I don't care if it looks smoother than 40 fps usually would. Give me 60+ with respectable hardware or go home.

Who needs to optimize games these days when we can just mask the low frames with g-sync! WEEEEE!!!!



November 13, 2014 | 02:26 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

ACU really is a shit port, though. Look at all these bugs and framerate tanks that people have already found. Laziness from Ubisoft.


November 13, 2014 | 09:41 AM - Posted by Robogeoff (not verified)

This is not just a shit port, because it doesn't run well on ANY platform. This is simply a very shoddy, rushed build, full stop! At least they made the Holiday shopping season deadline, because that's what's most important!

November 13, 2014 | 03:23 AM - Posted by nightscheme (not verified)

The problem with the game's performance is that it is relatively unrelated to the actual visual quality, since beyond the 'High' preset it ramps up to such a massive degree that even most players running high-end SLI rigs are reporting relatively huge framerate drops in any moderately populated areas of the game and below the 'Very High' graphics preset textures became murky and unimpressive, models become jagged to an extent that isn't befitting a full-price title that advertised itself with its 'next-gen' visuals, not to mention that the draw distance and level-of-detail switching is a big enough problem to actually impact gameplay at times. And even ignoring all these issues, the fact that even 2x SMAA, something that generally has a performance impact of far less than ten percent, leads to a considerable drop in the framerate (something along the lines of 35% percent on my friend's GTX 980/i7 4790k rig apparently), it simply leads me to believe that the game is unpolished and poorly optimized (interestingly enough even on Nvidia hardware, despite the Gameworks affiliation) and I am not even taking the barrage of visual bugs, the... let's just say 'interesting' player character physics (You can stand inside of other character models and such) and the pervasive problems with crashes to desktop.
It's frankly just a disaster on the technical side.
If you ignore all that and just set everything to Ultra and ignore the despicable framerate, barge through the crashes and turn a blind eye to any bugs that occur the game is quite pretty, not in the sense that it is photorealistic to the extent of say Crysis 3 or such, but in the sense that its art style was obviously directed by some artists who poured their heart and soul into it in most parts(The 40 gb download really isn't deceptive of the texture and model quality on the highest settings, it's actually justified, I would say), the story is well written and generally executed nicely, despite being somewhat uninspired in the greater picture (Not going to elaborate since I wouldnt like to spoil anyone's playthrough), the gameplay is atleast iteratively better than previous titles of the series(the new multi-button parcour system works well in most cases, but the problems with stealthily moving around corners persist, for example), though the generic parry-counter-kill combat is still there and still irks once you are beyond the first few fights and the UI, too, is atleast an iterative step in the series. Generally the game is what many fans of the franchise have been asking for: An Assassin's Creed the way it would have been before Assassin's Creed III, with none of the naval sequences, less of the story outside of the Animus and more focus on the 'assassin-y stuff'.
It's nothing impressive, just a step in the right direction - though a rather small one, to be honest, but these days one can't expect much more from most new releases.
However on the technical side, it's one of the most terrible PC ports I have seen in a while (It beats Watchdogs by a LONG shot), but looking at Ubisoft's history with this issue: Atleast the main menu still has mouse support. :)

November 13, 2014 | 03:29 AM - Posted by JohnGR

This article is more in defend of Ubisoft than an article to clear up the situation. No surprises here from Ryan. Ubisoft is Nvidia's best partner after all.

This video tells more about the condition of Ubisoft's lattest game than this article. It shows how many problems this game has.


As for the general performance issues. Using Crysis as a comparison it is a good idea, but I wouldn't use Crysis 3. I would remind the case of Crysis 2 with the always there, under the city, even when it wasn't visible, tessellated water.

November 13, 2014 | 03:46 AM - Posted by nightscheme (not verified)

Ohgod, that video.
Most of those bugs occur in my game, too, though I havent dropped out of bounds yet.
(The guys in the crowd standing on the edges of pillars and such have been a bug pervasive through the entire franchise so far, by the way)

November 13, 2014 | 04:00 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Ubisoft releases garbage quality game again, so tired of them.

November 13, 2014 | 04:37 AM - Posted by Branthog

Unity runs like shit on PS4, too. Choppy as fuck. Faces are pretty ugly (I can't believe COD:AW's character faces walk all over Unity's). Clipping *everywhere*. Shitty AI. Overall, the graphics look like a small step over the last game on the last generation.

Compound all of that with the same tired gameplay and... *yawn*.

November 13, 2014 | 07:24 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

That youtube video is hysterical! I love how yoru character falls through the floor and dies "during a cut scene"!!! LOL Good job there Ubisoft!

November 13, 2014 | 08:00 AM - Posted by lantian (not verified)

And yet the complains aren't about how it runs most of the time, its that during cutscenes fps drop for no apparent reason, and that the game has been downgraded from what they showed originally, also the fact that the screenshots they are showing look a lot better than any ingame screenshots form people who are actually maxing the game, such as the super low texture quality in distance, which does not appear in any screenshot provided by them

November 13, 2014 | 08:26 AM - Posted by Daniel (not verified)

Some of their comments are terrible. I wonder how they explain the console versions? having both the PS4 and Xbox One dropping frames into the low 20's. Its frankly disgusting. And on top of that the review embargo was terrible, i feel sorry for the people who picked up the game before anyone had the chance to warn them about what piece of garbage they where about to play.

Ubisoft doesn't deserve your hard earned money. And hopefully now that their stock just took a dive from this disaster someone at Ubisoft will get their head out of their own ass.

November 13, 2014 | 09:11 AM - Posted by ImFromSweden1 (not verified)

I have an Intel Core i7-3770 with a GTX 660 and I usually get 10-20 fps when I'm in Paris looking straight forward, but when I look at my character from above, I get like 40 fps.

I am so gonna but a GTX 980 for christmas.

November 13, 2014 | 09:31 AM - Posted by obababoy

Sucks. By far Ubisoft was my favorite company...There are so many issues going on right now in videogames but at the end of the day we still have them. Ill try not to beat a dead horse here but yes the glitches and bugs are pretty upsetting on launch. Ubisoft is FAR from the only people doing it but that does not make it excusable. Some of the complacency can be had from our PC's and consoles systems having incredible internet speeds to download updates.

The gameplay though is right where it needs to be. It taxes high end systems sure but it is well in the respectable range for 95% of the game. I have a 4770k at 4ghz and Sapphire Vapor-X R9 290 and I am getting no lower than 45fps and average 50-60. This is with v 1.1. I set everything to ultra except the AA which I switched to FXAA...It looks better IMO with FXAA. It also uses 3936mb of my vram which is scary as well but ehh still runs fine.

1. DO NOT PRE-ORDER GAMES ANYMORE! Locking in sales for these giant companies gives them piece of mind that they will be getting a guaranteed amount of money which in turn could remove(has removed) true quality assurance and the motivation to have a great game.

2. Get a better system if you want to run at the max settings. That is what makes owning a PC fun!

3. If you also own a console like I do...Good luck.

November 13, 2014 | 09:32 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This was the same for Black flag, cept now its worse. They had the same BS excuse then too

November 13, 2014 | 09:59 AM - Posted by obababoy

I got that one for XB1 and didn't have any issues. Was it mainly PC problems?

November 13, 2014 | 11:45 AM - Posted by Daniel (not verified)

Black Flag for PC was a terrible port. They have somewhat fixed it with patches. But for some people it still runs bad.

November 13, 2014 | 02:13 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yep. I'm playing it now with a 970 sli and at 2560x1600, performance takes a nosedive if any AA is enabled, and the Gpu utilization only goes up to about 60-70%. I can't even imagine how bad Unity must be.

November 13, 2014 | 10:08 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If all that was "wrong" with the game was lower performance but ran smoothly, bug/glitch free(or very few), and still looked as good as it does, then I think that people would be a lot more accepting of the game requiring high-end hardware just to run it.

BUT, as that video link JohnGR posted, and the one below from total biscuit talks about, the game is full of bugs/glitches/visual aritfacts. AND, lets not forget how the game was release with a POST 12 hour game release embargo on game reviews. ALL of this points to the game being an unpolished turd at release.


November 13, 2014 | 10:55 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Why did UbiSoft put that embargo which restricted game reivews from being released until 12 hours after the game was released? It was done in order to get as many people to buy it before the game media/reviewers let out the truth about just how bad the game really is, very very shady thing for UbiSoft to pull.

The game was,and still is, unfinished. I know game publishers are trying to keep an agenda to have thier games released at key set times of the year in order to maximize profits, but pushing out an unfinished game is borderline fraudulent. At least with "early access" games you know what you are getting into, they clearly tell you the game is not finished and has issues as it is being worked on.
UbiSoft just keeps on diggin'.

November 13, 2014 | 12:57 PM - Posted by ZoA (not verified)

To what extend does Ubisoft even has control over AC:U graphic engine given this is GW title? Nvidia is known to impose restrictive rules to it's GW partners, demanding payment from them to even access the source code, and probably imposing restriction on exited of modification to that code.

Anyway to this date there was not a singe GW title for whom it could be said it was properly optimized, and this seems to be unavoidable consequence of the way Nvidia ruins that program, so sorry state of AC:U is hardy a surprise.

What is more things for that game could get even worse as current game ad lest has tessellation disabled, and it is to be enabled in future patch. Nvidia GW tessellation is notoriously poorly optimized so once it is enabled it is likely to drag AC:U already miserable performance to rock bottom.

November 13, 2014 | 01:32 PM - Posted by mAxius


November 13, 2014 | 01:36 PM - Posted by Branthog

I don't give a fuck if they fix things or not. Their biggest fans will have paid for the game, installed it, finished it, and uninstalled it after about the first week and won't benefit from any fixes.

If you need an extra month to fix your shit take an extra month to fix your shit.

November 13, 2014 | 04:42 PM - Posted by pdjblum

Well said. I love your prose.

November 13, 2014 | 03:29 PM - Posted by alkarnur

Oh, come on. Ubisoft games' (namely Watch Dogs and ACU) terrible performance has nothing to do with the graphics they're targeting. Watch Dogs may not have looked as good as it did at E3 2012, but it still looked pretty good, and it still run like c*** on even high-end systems.

Now Ubisoft is using the opposite excuse with ACU saying "we wanted bleeding edge graphics" to erase their previous anti-consumer anti-PC-gamer blunder they did with Watch Dogs, while simultaneously giving an excuse for the terrible performance.

The real reason both Watch Dogs and ACU have terrible performance almost regardless of system specs is because:
(1) they're terribly optimized for PC, and that's b/c Ubisoft, for whatever dumb reason, decided to treat PC gamers like trash and make all their money on consoles.
and (2) Because both Watch Dogs and Assassin's Creed Unity are Nvidia GameWorks titles. And every GameWorks title so far has been complete and utter c***. Contrast this to Mantle titles who run better via the Mantle code path without lowering performance on the other's GPUs, let alone on both companies' GPUs!

And I'm surprised how uncritical you were, Ryan, of them and how you took what they said at face value.

November 14, 2014 | 02:13 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Console versions have nearly all the lack of performance and bugs as PC, so yes its teribad for PC but its not just PC, PS4/Xbox versions constantly hit below 20fps etc.

November 13, 2014 | 03:56 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Nothing to see here

November 13, 2014 | 04:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

suposed fix!

turn of internet your internet connection, report of that helping heir:


November 13, 2014 | 04:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Not to worry guys PC Perspective will be hosting a Nvidia sponsored game stream to showcase how wonderful AS:U is.

November 13, 2014 | 05:57 PM - Posted by MONKEYpatch (not verified)

I think I will skip this game, from what I can understand there are too many NPC rendered just for the sake of it thus severely reducing performance...plus the game play is meant to be pretty bland and stays very very close to the AC formula. TB's critique of it -> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SgpzT5V5Mgs -> for more info.

November 13, 2014 | 06:56 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Gameplay looks bland and boring. Game itself will probably be quickly forgotten. Crysis 1 was a pretty good game and IMO much more of a graphic revolution back then (also a lot less PC games were made and AFAIK steam sales were not a thing they are now, both of which resulted in people having less games on their accounts overall), that's probably why regardless of how much people were pissed they still wanted to play the game. Any game that has such huge problems with anything (like ACU with performance) in the age of steam sales and resulting huge backlogs is totally skippable till huge discount.

November 13, 2014 | 07:03 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Well it is hard to trust your opinion on this after you guys did sponsored ACU nvidia stream. ACU is added as a bonus to new nvidia cards. ACU requires potent GPUs to run smoothly. Combining both it is in best interest of nvidia not to talk down ACU because that devalues nvidia bundle and business decision to partner with ubisoft.

November 13, 2014 | 07:13 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Look out. Ubisoft PR department has handed Ryan his next talking point. Same day release, same day excuse.


We are aware that the graphics performance of Assassin’s Creed Unity on PC may be adversely affected by certain AMD CPU and GPU configurations. This should not affect the vast majority of PC players, but rest assured that AMD and Ubisoft are continuing to work together closely to resolve the issue, and will provide more information as soon as it is available.

No mention that almost most reviews were done with Nvidia setups because its a GameWorks title.

Nvidias own guide reccoments sticking to 1080p and most reviews still have it running like crap.


Atleast she was smart to leave.
Assassin’s Creed co-creator Jade Raymond leaves Ubisoft

Assassin’s Creed creative director Patrice Désilets has started up a new studio in Montreal.

They jumped shipped at the right time.

November 14, 2014 | 12:50 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

If the game plays like crap (unoptimized) on the PC, it's possible that people will start moving to console's? Yes not completely likely, but why does it run pretty good and looks just as good as console's that are not even as close as powerful as Ryan's test system? The new console's are not powerful at all, why does the PC version need so much more? Coding? Why can't they optimize things? It just doesn't make any sense at all!

November 14, 2014 | 02:17 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

because the console version ISNT working either. They run into the low 20s fps wise constantly and same bugs

November 14, 2014 | 12:52 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

We (PC gamers) as a community are taking a hit with games like this...I'm sorry but at 1080p the GTX 980 should be able to play any title at 60 FPS with Ultra Quality IMO!!!

November 14, 2014 | 03:32 AM - Posted by ThorAxe

I applaud Ubisoft for giving my high end PC a reason, other than Crysis 3, to exist.

Bravo Ubisoft, bravo!

November 14, 2014 | 02:19 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Troll or stupid? its not giving your pc a reason because its good or has high quality its just shyt

November 14, 2014 | 01:10 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This really is such a first world problem. Games these days are so insanely complex they rival the operating system they sit on. There is a million things that can go wrong and I think things are starting to be so complex that managing that complexity is getting harder and harder to do. There is only so much humans can do. Eventually this will work itself out. It almost sounds like they are trying to push a little to far when they are not ready to handle it.

I would not want to be in the game business. One bad title can sink your entire company.

November 14, 2014 | 03:05 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Yeah, So complex they keep re-using AnvilNext game engine from 2006.

Ubisoft is so inept with their own game engine which they have released several titles on with equally bad ports to realize such a problem even exist.

November 15, 2014 | 02:20 PM - Posted by Soul--Reaver (not verified)

I've got no problem with games that require more powerful hardware then currently is available, like the original Crysis. That game was heavy but it did load the hardware to the max. It just means that i need to upgrade my hardware... or wait for it if its not yet available

With Assassins Creed Unity i've read that there are considerable frame rates differences between online en offline mode. Unacceptable in my opinion. Also i've heard that with AC Unity the problem is draw calls which no amount of hardware in the following 5 years will be able to fix as it is a software limitation that hopefully will be addressed with directx 12 and is already addressed with mantle. I really wish that mantle would work with AC Unity just so that we could compare the two. Recently Ubisoft also added framerate caps at 60 FPS like with AC IV. Now i don't know whether if that is present in AC Unity but stuff like that sucks

Now i must say that i haven't played AC Unity yet so above is all based on things i've read online.

Let's hope Ubisoft gets there shit together

November 15, 2014 | 04:57 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

is it just me or the game looks horrible with Anti-aliasing @max?Horrible as in i can't see much of a difference between aa and no aa
i mean black flag has way much better AA than unity. ive tried all modes just to see the difference (cause a few of them made it look like a slideshow)

November 15, 2014 | 07:07 PM - Posted by wizedo (not verified)

Well, a second patch came out and the "solved" some frame rate issues by reducing alot the level of detail and draw distance parameters. Now some shadows get fully rendered just a few meters away and some textures pop in via a pixelating effect at ~100 meters.
Overall though the game gained ~10 fps average.

November 16, 2014 | 05:36 AM - Posted by Pholostan

I think I recognize shoddy work when I see it.

Sure the art assets might be great, even fantastic. Makes no difference when the technical side of the game is garbage. It is not that the frame rate is low, it's all over the place. Spiking high and low, very unreliable. People with very high end rigs have been trying to get consistent frame rates, no go. Even with a 5960X over clocked to the max and three 980s.

And texture quality is not that good really. Very low quality assets in a distance, walls up close looks bad and there is shoddy geometry everywhere. Next gen? Nope. Then you have the texture popping. All over he place, very noticeable. Actors changes outfits, hats and faces when you approach them. Just terrible, really.

Bugs, loads and loads of bugs.

Sure they might be able to fix their game. It will probably take them months, not days. Six months from now it might be better. Or it might be not. Nobody knows. It might never run well, even on hardware ten years from now. Their recent patching history gives me pause, patching micro transaction before game breaking stuff. Yeah. It's like that.

It's a shoddy game and their lame excuses don't make it any better. Stay away from this crap.

November 16, 2014 | 08:54 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

so you say that my complain about bugs is irrelevant to "this story" because "other games have bugs too" ?

i'm leaving this shitty website. worst excuse to not respect people comments ever.

November 17, 2014 | 03:25 PM - Posted by slegl (not verified)

Our gpus can handle the game hell even my 7950 crossfire can handle this ultra settings AA off at decent 50-60fps I have 2700k 4.9ghz and in paris cpu is botlenecking the game at 30-40fps. It is playable but the performance culd be better. Our gpus and cpus are up to the task i think the draw calls per frame are the main issue here mantle wuld be the solution for this game.

November 17, 2014 | 08:26 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Mantle can't fix bad programming. You'd just end up with bad Mantle implementation.

November 19, 2014 | 07:51 AM - Posted by Kill Switch

Confirmation from UBI: "In spite of our testing, it looks like the instruction queue is becoming overloaded and impacting performance. We have several fixes we are exploring right now and will continue to update you with our progress of what is working and how quickly we can implement these fixes in the game in the weeks ahead." source

November 25, 2014 | 01:24 PM - Posted by ananthakrishnan (not verified)

i knw dis is a stupid qsn still i would lyk to knw..hmm will dis work in a pc wth pentium processor nd 4gb ram wth nvidea geforce 210???...also if ubisoft is going to mk games with such high end requirements hw will oder people with not much money to buy a great graphics card play dese games? im happy bt dissapointd hmm i realy wnted to play d game dammm hmm :(

December 30, 2014 | 03:51 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have core2quad q8400, 3gb ddr2 ram and gtx 650 1gb ddr5 graphics, when i try to play assassins creed unity, the game is very slow. So i want to know which of my pc hardware i should upgrade to play this game.

January 7, 2015 | 08:25 AM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I looking at very pretty game on 840m laptop on 768p and mostly high settings, hbao+ and soft shadows no prob. Far cry 4 goes even better almost maxed , same as most other new games. Realy lower res dont do so much bad as lower details.

January 17, 2015 | 05:46 PM - Posted by Paul Kerry (not verified)

I like good graphics and fast frame rates, after all its a game and I dont want to be punished for not having/spending hundreds on upgrading GPUs/Memory/CPU's so I can play it normally.

But I dont mind "dumbing" my game down to play an acceptably good looking and quick game for the amount of time itll take me to save up enough to upgrade again so tat I can play the game at high enough resolutions.

PS4's AC unity runs smoothly and is quite beautiful to look at, you buy the console and thats it, as PC owners we have to keep bowing to snobby developers who treat us like cry babies (some of us are shamefully utter bed wetters) because a small majority spoil it, and we have to forever upgrade almost on a yearly basis because of that.

For Ubisoft to say they want to keep artistic values for the sake of frame rate is of particular annoyance to me, as they are constantly telling us how difficult it is to program for all PC's on the market, if so, then it makes sense to allow players to adjust values within the game to make it work on their computer set up.

For me the problem is that a/ turning off everything and settting graphics to low does nothing to my frame rate, at least nothing noticeable, screen resolution I havent tried yet, but for me, I wouldnt mind a tweak to reduce population sizes and their resolutions, as I suspect they are a big problem, moving sprites. View distance as well would speed everything up.

March 7, 2015 | 08:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Ubisoft optimise their game with their ass
just one question, how many people around the world are ready to buy a new computer cost 2000 euros just for one game ?
how many people around the world are ready to not buy the game because they have no money to change their computer ?

try to remember how much client you loose with your strategy

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