During a conference held by Nvidia in Montreal we learned further details on the differences we’ll see in Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag between the next generation versions (including PC) and the versions on previous generation consoles, introduced by Associate Producer Sylvain Trottier
According to the presenter all the technology has been created on PC first and then ported to the consoles, and next generation versions will include the following visual goodies:
- Dynamic foliage (foliage will also be far denser and rendered at a longer distance).
- Rain/Wet Surfaces with 3D rain and particles independently lit. Puddles will be created as it rains. Rain will move with the wind.
- Parallax Occlusion mapping will make objects smoother.
- Screen Space Reflections with full reflections on surfaces, like the ocean.
- Volumetric Fog with fog rendered through locations, impacted by lighting.
- Lighted particles with smoke from cannon fire lit up over distance, such as ships battling at night.
- High Resolution textures.
- HBAO ambient occlusion.
- Improved shadows.
- Motion blur, depth of field, lens flares, god rays, etc.
The following features will be on PC only:
- HBAO+ ambient occlusion.
- Improved soft shadows.
- MSAA and TXAA Anti Aliasing. TXAA is exclusive to Nvidia cards.
- Improved god rays.
- 4K Resolution.
That’s quite a lot of visual goodness, and the difference will apparently be a lot bigger than what we initially expected. Personally, PC will be my version of choice. What are you going to play the game on?
Below you can see a few screenshots from the conference (you can zoom on each to enlarge), showcasing the differences. By the way, if you’re wondering, the only versions mentioned were PC, Xbox One, PS4, PS3 and Xbox 360. The Wii U version was not mentioned even once during the presentation.
Foliage – old gen
Foliage – next gen
Rain – old gen
Rain – next gen
Reflections – old gen
Reflections – next gen
No Ambient Occlusion – no version is like this, all versions have at least SSAO.
SSAO – old gen
HBAO+ – PC only (HBAO for PS4/Xbox One wasn’t shown)
Shadows – old gen
Improved Shadows – next gen
Improved Soft Shadows – PC only
And here are five additional screencaps of the environments within the game.
The details revealed at the conference were reported by user EatChildren on NeoGaf and then verified and further integrated.