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

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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

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