A few days ago Assassin’s Creed Unity Senior Producer Vincent Pontbriand set the internet ablaze with a statement indicating that Ubisoft intentionally sought resolution and frame rate parity between the PS4 and Xbox One versions of the game.
Today the developer released a blog post basically retracting everything, quoting Pontbriand as he clarifies and apologizes about whether the PS4 has been held back or not:
Absolutely not. 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.
Pontbriand also explains what has been improved from the previous games of the franchise, mentioning that they included only between 100 and 150 NPC on screen, while Unity has thousands, and buildings are also bigger. Unity is the first game of the franchise which will feature an “almost 1:1 scale,” while in earlier chapters were three-quarters the size of the real ones.
The reason for the final 900p/30 FPS performance was also explained:
A game’s final resolution isn’t set until late in the development cycle. This is notable because the team has dedicated much of the past few months to optimizing Unity to reach 900p with a consistent 30 frames per second. Considering the sheer number of pixels that are being moved around at all times – which affects both the CPU and GPU – that’s a significant achievement, especially as Assassin’s Creed Unity will release when the new-gen consoles are barely more than a year old. (As with all hardware, it becomes easier to optimize with more experience and software/middleware solutions that only come with time.)
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. 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.
Assassin’s Creed Unity will release on November 11th, and then gamers will finally be able to decide on their own whether it looks good enough or not.