For Assassin’s Creed Unity and a few other Ubisoft games that have hit the desktop recently (Black Flag, Watch Dogs) Nvidia has been working with Ubisoft’s studios to implement features driven by their Gameworks one-stop effects shop. Gameworks allows developers to include these features easily into their games to save on development time and to reduce the expenditure required to put in advanced tricks like water physics and better anti-aliasing techniques. Hit the jump to check out the “tech demo” and see for yourself what they’re promising for Unity when it hits the desktop.
Unity’s promise is quite ambitious – a massively detailed world, tons of NPCs all with their own chatter (in French, of course), a sprawling re-imagining of late 18th-century Paris, France and lots of effects and gun fights and parkour galore. It will look impressive, though the niggles we have with it have already been talked about and rehashed on this site so many times you already know why we’re mildly annoyed with the PC version of this game.
Most of the Gameworks-related features in the game are capable of being run almost identically on AMD Radeon cards, with the exception of Temporal Anti-Aliasing (TXAA) that offers the same visual quality as 8x MSAA for the same performance cost as 2x MSAA, at the expense of a little object blurring. Considering that Ubisoft paid particular attention to an example that eliminated jittering by using TXAA (you’ll see it when the image of the building moves across the screen at 1:16), there’s a high chance this game will require a Nvidia graphics card if you want it to run properly on launch day and look good.
Some of the textures in the game still show some rough work, particularly the buildings and rooftops at 1:14. The reason for this is because Unity’s world map of Paris is assembled in much the same way as a map made of LEGO – developers make rough outlines of where streets and roads and alleyways should be and the game engine builds up the area with template buildings and then adds on some connected features like ropes for Arno to walk across, or cranes or any other sort of gameplay-related object. From there it adds on textures and colouring.
Its possible for Ubisoft’s developers to script the entire process to save time, so they could have multiple suburbs that are architecturally similar, but with visual differences that differentiate them. At 1:36 there are some guards who have varying physiqies and distinguishing features, but the two in the foreground have really, really creepy claw hands.
Assassin’s Creed Unity launches on the Playstation 4, Xbox One and Windows PC on 13 November 2014 for PAL regions including South Africa. Make sure your computer can meet the (rather silly) hardware requirements that Ubisoft announced over here before you decide on buying or ordering it before launch.
Weirdly, there are judders and frame drops in multiple areas across the video. Hmmm…