No, Ubisoft didn’t downgrade Assassin’s Creed: Unity

3 min read

Assassin’s Creed: Unity has come under immense fire since launch, mainly due to the fact that the game runs extremely poorly across all three of its platforms. Various patches have been aiming to improve this, and one released earlier this week aimed to increase the framerate that currently sits in the toilet. After the update went live, it seemed like Ubisoft was back to pulling some of their old tricks again.

Except that this time, they legitimately weren’t. Many players started noticing some odd lighting, especially in the PS4 version of the game, post patching. This lead some people, including Reddit user Derekro, to believe that the game had been downgraded in order to stabiles the framerate. As you can see from some of the images posted below, it certainly looked like it.

This was the Batcave Assassin’s HQ before the patch:
Assassins creed unity comparison screen 1

And then afterwards:
Assassins creed unity comparison screen 2

Thing is, the game looked pretty much identical outside of that and one or two other isolated areas. Ubisoft were quick to point out that the lighting in the images wasn’t a result of a downgrade, but rather a new bug introduced with the patches. This was also confirmed by NeoGaf user Elios83, who spent a lot of time cross-checking the claims.

Seems the patch introduced a lighting bug in that particular location, PS4 version. There are no downgrades elsewhere and the frame rate is still sub 30fps. Makes no sense at all as a downgrade since the problems weren’t in a closed environments to being with.

That’s pretty much spot on, since Unity runs perfectly fine in indoor areas. It’s the more crowded, expansive outside areas that present more issues, and it seems the patch itself hasn’t really remedied that just yet. In fact, it looks like that patch has actually locked the game to a lower framerate, meaning dips into 30FPS territory are no linger possible. NeoGaf user kinggroin pointed this out on the Xbox One version of the game.

The frame rate outside is still shit. The crowds are still dense. What’s odd is that looking at the sky or floor yields no framerate increase. In fact, the game seems locked at 24fps regardless. Before any patch, I’d usually see the game hover at 30fps.

That’s not confirmed, but considering Ubisoft has stated that they’re still going to be addressing framerate issues it seems like a logical first step. Still, this entire debacle raises an interesting question: would you be fine with a bit of a visual downgrade if it meant better game stability? It’s essentially what PC gamers are free to do with every game.

Last Updated: November 28, 2014

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