We’re not constraining ACU’s resolution, says Ubisoft

3 min read


Ubisoft and Assassin’s Creed Unity are big news right now, not because of the game itself – but rather because the game runs at 900p and 30 frames per second. Specifically, they’ve been accused of crippling the PlayStation 4 of the game so that it has parity with the weaker Xbox One. Ubisoft once again vehemently denies that, saying it was all a bit of miscommunication.

“Ubisoft does not constrain its games. We would not limit a game’s resolution. And we would never do anything to intentionally diminish anything we’ve produced or developed,” Ubisoft senior communications manager Gary Steinman said on the Ubiblog.

In fact, the whole thing was down to a poor choice of words on the part of Senior Producer Vincent Pontbriand, and he’s quick to denounce claims that Ubisoft’s crippling Assassin’s Creed Unity on PS4.

“Absolutely not,” Pontbriand says. “We’ve spent four years building the best game we could imagine. Why would we ever do anything to hold it back? I simply chose the wrong words when talking about the game’s resolution, and for that I’m sorry.”

The game’s running at 900p at 30fps, because the world is so full of detail, has incredibly large crowds and features Paris and its buildings at a previously unseen scale.

“This is something that the new hardware allows us to do,” Pontbriand says about the number of characters on screen. Of course, massive crowds are also part of the story of the French Revolution, so it was essential to the game’s setting. “We want you to feel that density, the chaos that was happening back then. Paris was a huge city, with almost a million people. So we cranked up our number of NPCs.”

So because of that, the game’s 900p on consoles. It may not remain that way forever though – as it’s not quite locked down.

“As of now, Assassin’s Creed Unity is locked at 900p. But why “stop” there? “We know a lot of gamers consider 1080p with 60 frames per second to be the gold standard, especially on the new generation of consoles,” Pontbriand says. “We realize we had also pushed for 1080p in some of our previous games, including AC4. But we made the right decision to focus our resources on delivering the best gameplay experience, and resolution is just one factor. There is a real cost to all those NPCs, to all the details in the city, to all the systems working together, and to the seamless co-op gameplay. We wanted to be absolutely uncompromising when it comes to the overall gameplay experience. Those additional pixels could only come at a cost to the gameplay.”

And that’s fine. I don;t quite buy it, but that’s at least an explanation I can deal with. Saying it was done for the purpose of making the game more cinematic however, just isn’t.

The game is on show at rAge this weekend, so you can have a look at it in all of its 30fps, 900p glory this weekend.

Last Updated: October 10, 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.

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