Ubisoft defends Assassin’s Creed Unity’s “cinematic” 30FPS

2 min read


Assassin’s Creed Unity is making all the news at the moment – and for all the wrong reasons. The game will be running at glorious 900p at a magical 30 frames per second, apparently for reasons of parity across consoles. That itself is bad, but now Ubisoft is defending the frame rate, by saying 30fps feels more natural and cinematic.

Speaking to Techradar, Nicolas Guérin, World Level Design Director on Unity, told TechRadar that the 30fps cap on consoles gives the game a more cinematic quality, and that the industry as a whole is going to instead focus on delivering 30fps action.

“At Ubisoft for a long time we wanted to push 60 fps. I don’t think it was a good idea because you don’t gain that much from 60 fps and it doesn’t look like the real thing. It’s a bit like The Hobbit movie, it looked really weird.

“And in other games it’s the same – like the Rachet and Clank series [where it was dropped]. So I think collectively in the video game industry we’re dropping that standard because it’s hard to achieve, it’s twice as hard as 30fps, and its not really that great in terms of rendering quality of the picture and the image.”

Alex Amancio, the game’s Creative Director, reiterated, adding

“30 was our goal, it feels more cinematic. 60 is really good for a shooter, action adventure not so much. It actually feels better for people when it’s at that 30fps. It also lets us push the limits of everything to the maximum.

“It’s like when people start asking about resolution. Is it the number of the quality of the pixels that you want? If the game looks gorgeous, who cares about the number?”

On the one hand, I agree that a great looking, vibrant and detailed action game is preferable to me than a 60fps that doesn’t feel populated and alive – but pretending that it’s because of a choice and not technical constraints because of underpowered consoles is just pulling the wool over consumers’ eyes.

Assassin’s Creed Unity is coming to you soon, at a cinematic 30fps. Should we care? Gavin posits that we shouldn’t. I’m okay with 30fps for a game like Assassin’s Creed, I just don’t like the excuses for it.

Last Updated: October 9, 2014

Geoffrey Tim

Editor. I'm old, grumpy and more than just a little cynical. One day, I found myself in possession of a NES, and a copy of Super Mario Bros 3. It was that game that made me realise that games were more than just toys to idly while away time - they were capable of being masterpieces. I'm here now, looking for more of those masterpieces.

  • oVg Definitive and Remastered

    Good for them. Watch Dogs and Ass Crack 3 SMASHED all the records. Why lift the bar and double the processing power budget to match NEXT GEN.

    FAR CRYs shitty frame rate will endure a little longer because all people really give a shit about is Elephants and Monkeys.

    I tell you, Naughty Dogs 60fps TLOU and Uncharted 4s E3 Trailer has spoilt me rotten. I cant go back.


  • Viking Of Divinity

    Did they take a qeue from the Order 1886 devs?

    30 fps is simply NOT better for action titles. I’d go in deeper, but I don’t want to get angrier than I need to be.

  • Jonah Cash


  • Hammersteyn

    When do they announce they crippled FC4 as well? Or are they gonna be clever and not open their yaps by treating people like idiots. But I guess people forget these things, like when Ubisoft announced no female assassins for this game.

    • Jonah Cash

      Ubisoft haven’t had the best PR year so far and it seems like they are trying to reach lower points every month… Much like MS after the X1 launch….

      • oVg Definitive and Remastered

        I still have no idea why people love the Assassins Creed games so much.
        You would think that after SOME MUCH NEEDED FRESH AIR thanks to THE SHADOW OF MORDOR that they would be bored by now.
        ZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzz…………. …… .. .. . . . Z Zz z zzzz….

        • Jonah Cash

          The Ass Creed games brought about a new way for open world games to play and then they fucking gave us Ezio…. Now if you want to moan rather ask why people hated on Altair and loved the worst character in the series so far, Ezio(yes even fucking Conor is higher up on my list)!!!!

          • oVg Definitive and Remastered

            Is it just me, but for some reason I still remember the graphics of ASS 1 being far more superior to the others.

            Ass 1 blew my eyeballs out of the ball park. The animation blew the Prince of Persia out of the galaxy and Jade Raymond made me blow my load.

        • CD

          Honestly, I don’t know. Aside from the fairly pretty visuals, the gameplay looks pretty dull in Unity.

    • oVg Definitive and Remastered

      But 900p means more MONKEYS on screen at one time man 😛

      • Hammersteyn


        • oVg Definitive and Remastered

          Im getting too old for this bollocks. I remember the days we would complain about Mega Man flickering in and out because he could not handle being on the same line as another sprite.

          • Hammersteyn

            I feel as old as you do. I remember buying gaming magazines from paper weight book store like EGM. I can’t ever recall any company trying to defend their statements or decisions back them. For instance most games sounded and looked better on the SNES than the Genesis and that’s just the way it was. Now everything is PR PR and more PR with exorbitant marketing as a topping. Every fart by a publisher is being scrutinized by people all over the globe because we are being sold broken games that get’s patched later or not working day one.

          • oVg Definitive and Remastered

            Yip, the internet has made everything so transparent. Its tough trying to pull the wool over the punters eyes these days.

          • Hammersteyn

            I actually long for a less transparent era. Politics ruins everything be it sports,gaming or even the freaking weather

          • oVg Definitive and Remastered

            But for us Connoisseurs, thats what we are, we are not casual or hardcore, we are game Connoisseurs. Like wine, paintings or whatever, the Internets information is priceless to our hobby.

            Sure I understand that we only represent around 10% of the worlds gamers and that is why we can see these lies lies lies coming out of these smiling salesmen all of the time.

            I think we have learnt to accept it forcing us to be real cynics.

          • Captain JJ Underleyened

            The pros are that we’re a lot better informed.

            The cons are clear.

            I’ve never said that I want all my games to run at Crysis 3 x 40 graphics, I just want them to be enjoyable. All we want is what we pay for.

          • oVg Definitive and Remastered

            BUT if we did not complain then Ezio or whoever the hell these Assassins names are, would still be flashing in and out.

  • Johann

    Why do these companies even tell people at what FPS or resolution their game is running on? I’m sure that the average gamer wouldn’t even know what the resolution or FPS is while playing a game.

    • Soloman

      Average gamer plays on their phone or tablet and not on high end pc which ive got and play 40fps on assassin cinematic unity and i didnt buy it !!! cause im a motha fukn PIRATE

  • eXpZA
    • y dis make me laff?

      • eXpZA

        Ubisoft are taking the piss lately, it’s actually hilarious to see the stuff coming out of them.

        • oVg Definitive and Remastered

          After the success of Watch Dogs and the 30fps Destiny they know they can do what they like to our so called state of the art NEXT gen machines.

  • Ichigo

    I am really getting tired of the whole resolution/framerate debacle that every game has endure before and after release. We play games for a great experience, who cares at what resolution/framerate that experience presents itself.

    • oVg Definitive and Remastered

      I play games for the immersion. Different strokes for different folks.
      Candy Crush or TLOU.

      • Ichigo

        If i look back at my top games that ive played over the years, I dont think about how the framerate influenced my gameplay. I remember the fun I had.

        Thats why I dont care about the resolution/fremerate of a game. If a game happens to run at 60fps then its just an added bonus.

        When it comes to immersion for me, I look at 1) story 2) art and 3) sound.

    • Rags

      Because a shitty 30fps framerate does not make a great experience. And that Gavin agrees that 30fps is fine for any game as a reviewer is WORRYING.

    • Because you can’t play the game below 24 fps (standard cinematic rate lol) as it is being all choppy and stuttering and laggy.

  • Captain JJ Underleyened

    Ubisoft – You’re a lost cause.

  • ZombieDogma

    This sounds like amazing sour grapes. “We wanted 60fps. But now that we can’t have it, it was awful all along. And gave my dog cancer.”

    As long as they leave the PC version to do what it wants with framerate and resolution.

    • Meowth

      After Watch_Dogs release on PC, you shouldn’t be supporting Ubisoft at all.

    • CD

      If this is their stance, I wouldn’t be surprised if they try to lock the PC version to 30 fps. Seriously, fuck them.

  • house_hero

    IMO 60fps looks and feels amazing on games. Cinematics do look good at lower frame rates in movies that have a natural motion blur, but on a game with sharper AA not so much. Ubisoft keep making themselves look like fools the more they speak.

  • FoxOneZA

    They pulled the same quotes as The Order 1886. Can’t they do 45fps? It’s the best mix of fluidity and cinematic visuals.

    • Rags

      Its not cinematic visuals. Its input lag and stuttering.

  • grumpy

    I like the silky smooth 30fps, it makes my games feel cinematic and since I lost my eye in an unfortunate smelter accident, I only need half the frames than a regular person.

    The the input lag is also nice, since I lost my arm due to the gym’s treadmill, it gives me more time to react.

    • oVg Definitive and Remastered

      Thank fcuk the Bones new Kinectless SKU was released 😛

      • Hammersteyn
        • Admiral Chief 0


        • Sir Rants A Lot Llew

          yoh 🙁

          • Hammersteyn

            Sorry, might’ve taken it a bit too far

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew

            you see the line back there? Yeah, you obliterated it 0_o

          • Alien Emperor Trevor

            Don’t worry, OVG thought it was a competition & went full wiitard. 😉

          • Hammersteyn


  • Sir Rants A Lot Llew

    Wow. Just wow.

    The utter bullcrap that was just spewed. Look, if you can’t hit 60FPS because of technical constraints just say so. No one is going to hate you because the tech can’t make it hit 60 with as much as you can do at 30. But don’t say it’s more cinematic and lifelike.

    There is a massive difference between a filmed product and a rendered product. Immensely huge difference and so a film at 30FPS looks perfectly fine because it’s what we are used to and because it’s filmed. A rendered image at 30FPS however tends to do odd things to the eyes like make it look like a game is suffering what we in the gaming world (you know that world you guys at Ubisoft claim to be part of) call microstuttering. It is immensely frustrating and can really destroy a game’s immersion level.

    The huge difference also comes in on how frames are dropped with rendered images when it comes to 30 FPS vs 60 FPS.

    At 30 FPS if a projectile is traveling from point a on the screen to point b, it has to do so in the same timeframe regardless of FPS. So let’s say it takes 2 seconds.

    At 60 FPS it has rendered 120 frames for the projectile and so the flight path of that projectile will appear smooth and flawless. It will look like it actually exists in the game world and that it belongs there.

    At 30FPS you have literally half the frames rendered during that time and can make the projectile look like it “teleported” or even “stuttered” its way across the screen. Because info needs to be dropped or lost to make it appear at the same point in time as at 60FPS.

    The opposite is true for filming. The more that is filmed the more info there is per second and so an unnatural “smoothness” can sometimes be seen with too high a framerate. That’s also only because we have been conditioned for 24FPS standard for video. So more info tends to make our brains go “Duurrrrrrrr” when seeing all the info on screen instead of the “dropped” info that lower frame-rates bring.
    This effect does not translate over to CGI though as our brains don’t see CGI as “real life” therefore a CGI image that is not 100% smooth from point a to point b looks even more unreal and gives us that feeling of “microstutter”
    So please Ubisoft. Stop spewing crap about being more “cinematic” and just be bloody honest:

    With everything you want to do on screen you can’t get it at a constant smooth 60FPS so you rather drop it to 30FPS to give it a more fluid performance so that drastic frame drops are reduced. Which is not a bad thing! Pretending that 30FPS is more cinematic is far worse than opting to keep your game more frame-locked for performance issues.


    • Admiral Chief 0


      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew


      • Ceyber, Hans

        I admire these text bombs from our resident rant-a-matic. LG wouldn’t be the same without them 🙂

    • oVg Definitive and Remastered

      I must admit. When I first saw 1080P 60fps it did take some getting used to. I almost said uncanny valley but when I noticed that I kept gawking over the same cut scenes in TLOU over and over again I realised that I was fully immersed. I think I was counting the grey hairs in Joels beard at one point.

      Silk or Nylon? Its your choice gamers.

      Like watching GRAVITY in the IMAX. Who the hell would want to go to another flea pit Cinema ever again.

      • Sir Rants A Lot Llew

        It most definitely takes time getting used to.
        The same is true for films being shot at higher frame rates. We “think” it feels unnaturally smooth when in actual fact it’s just getting more true to what we view in real life.

        It’s what we were conditioned to. PC gamers have already gotten used to 60FPS and so at 30FPS we notice the difference. It doesn’t feel more “cinematic” because it actually feels “laggy”.

        As you said. You were more immersed at a higher frame rate. That’s because it closes that gap of “lost frames” that our brains actually do pick up on but ignores because it’s what it’s used to. Once you start getting used to 60FPS gaming it becomes very hard to go backwards (especially in action titles)

        • oVg Definitive and Remastered

          I tell you something tho, the roaming around for items in every nook and cranny, quick eratick right stick camera movements, aiming the reticle at a moving target
          WAS FUN for a change because I can actually see what the fuck is going on on the screen for a change.

          I played COD and Battlefield and always wondered why I enjoyed shooting in COD more. Only realised it was because COD is 60fps. ITS MORE IMMERSIVE.

          Im a convert and before I played TLOU I was on the “It looks unnatural band wagon”

          Give it time, gammers will come around.

          • Admiral Chief 0


            They like things very bright?

          • oVg Definitive and Remastered

            Nobody reads my bollocks anyway. lol

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew


          • oVg Definitive and Remastered

            I just write shit on gaming sites to try and improve my typing skills. Everybody knows that nobody reads gamming sites 😛
            I tried news sites like NEWS24 but got so many death threats… I wonder why.

          • Sir Rants A Lot Llew

            How do you know they were death threats? I thought N24 users couldn’t read or write?

  • Alien Emperor Trevor


  • Maxiviper117

    30 Fps being natural, 60 fps not feeling like the real thing?, our eyes don’t see in frame rates
    24 fps is when individual frames start to produce a relatively smooth picture motion effect (no I’m not a neuro scientist or professional cinematographer) So the higher the frame rate the more natural the picture should look, the reason that 120 or 100 fps looks weird the first time you see it is because we are so used to seeing in 24fps at 60 Hz, even those LCD/LED Tvs with 100hz motion plus things make even 24fps look strange.

    • Johan du Preez

      What people dont realize is with the 30fps the input latency is twice as much. Thats the reason why your mouse controller feels slower/heavy when you turn its due to the input latency that 30fps brings.

  • zeemonkeyman

    This guy is talking smack!

    For starters 24fps is “cinematic” not 30 and it applies to movies not games!

    Secondly, Games are not the same as movies!
    It doesn’t matter if the game is a “cinematic” game or not, 30fps will never look as good as 60fps! Or anymore “cinematic” for that matter!
    Anyone who believes otherwise is f ing kidding themselves!

  • Rags

    “I made the conscious decision that the user is going to get more value out of running at a higher framerate than me making the pixels pretty,” – John Fucking Carmack

    • oVg Definitive and Remastered

      RAGE still had a better story than Destiny 😛

    • Johan du Preez

      Agreed and like you said the king spoke.

      Discussion closed.

  • Jim Lenoir (Banana Jim)

    I’m so glad I don’t preorder any more, I can just see going into crisis mode and trying to cancel my Ubisoft preorders. Now I just have to sit back, and watch the fun from afar.

    Bargain bins… I come for you!

  • Unwittingnemesis

    30 fps was, is, and will always be nothing but a hardware-limited compromise (box art sells, not animation and gameplay quality). It’s one thing for the average know-nothing to claim that 30 fps is somehow superior to 60 (forgetting 120 or 144, of course), but for anyone in any way involved in the production of video games to make this claim is utterly detestable. Question is, have they been paid to make these comments, or are they merely squashing expectations of decent gameplay in advance?

    p.s. 60 fps “looks really weird”…it’s so realistic and lifelike as compared to 30 that it makes you immediately want to go and build a PC post-haste with which to play *all* games at (at least) 60 frames per second (just as NES ran all games at 60 fps back in 1985). Well, at least that was the case for me…

  • Unwittingnemesis

    …and 60 fps isn’t “good for a shooter.” These days, it’s 120 or bust. 60 would be the minimum for an “action adventure” such as Assassin’s Creed (which I’d personally rather play at zero frames per second).

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