When the PC edition of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate was delayed a month after the console release, Ubisoft claimed it was to make sure the PC version was as optimized as it could be. Since the debacle of Assassin’s Creed: Unity, which launched in such a broken state that it became the poster child of bad game releases, Ubisoft was determined to make sure all their games from that point forward never repeated those missteps.
When the PS4 and Xbox One versions of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate hit in late October, the game didn’t hit shelves with many negative issues. By all accounts, the explodey-heads seen in Unity were not there, performance was optimized so that in even the most extreme circumstances, Syndicate’s Anvil Next engine didn’t buckle under the pressure. Now that the PC version has been out for a few weeks, Eurogamer’s Digital Foundry has had time to compare the PC and console versions and find out if the delay was worth the wait.
Unity, for all its flaws, was a technical showcase on the PC when pushed to its max. Assassin’s Creed Syndicate, however, is not at the same technical level as Unity before it. However, the performance on console versus PC is surprisingly close, especially when pitting against Digital Foundry’s budget PC, which is built specifically to compare performance on hardware similar to that seen in a console.
Assassin’s Creed on console finds itself running at 900p upscaled to 1080p, and capped at 30 frames per second. However, as with most PCs, Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate on the platform is capable of running at an uncapped framerate and 4K resolution, if your hardware can handle it. Personally, I have Syndicate locked at 30fps and running the game at 4K downsampled for better graphical fidelity. On Digital Foundry’s budget PC, the outlet has chosen to keep the resolution on par with the console to give the most like-for-like performance.
Across the board all three versions of Syndicate the game maintains stable performance, a testament to the developers making sure the game was ready before it launched, but as Digital Foundry also points out, it could be due to the game not being as intense as Unity before. Assassin’s Creed: Unity on all its systems was a great looking game for what their hardware could produce, and on PC the game truly shined. However, much of what made Unity such a powerhouse has been taken out of Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate. Notably missing are the crowds that plagued performance on the console and lower-end PCs, which seems weird that Victorian London, one of the most populous cities of its time, feels so barren compared to Paris last year.
When comparing the performance across the board, however, only the Xbox One version seems to struggle with Assassin’s Creed, as the video shows multiple drops to the low 20fps. However, graphical parity from console to console is a match and essentially equivalent on the PCs high settings. It’s a pretty game, made prettier by the higher resolution on PC, though no matter the platform you’re going to be getting the best it can offer.
Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate shows itself to be one of the better entries in the series to date, especially given how it performs when held against the launch state as Unity last year. It gives hope that moving forward future Assassin’s Creed games will follow suit. The delay on PC definitely helped the performance across the board, and it seems this is a thing Ubisoft and other companies have been doing, especially since the Batman: Arkahm Knight debacle earlier this year.
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[Image via Ubisoft, Nvidia]