Assassin’s Creed Unity: Graphic Resolution Argument Has Become Tiresome

2 min

It appears that Ubisoft is attempting to manage another verbal skirmish with fans. The issue stems from the fact that Assassin’s Creed Unity is locked in at 900p and 30fps for the new-gen Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles. Unity is the first game in the franchise developed for the new-gen consoles. What does that mean? A great deal of fans expected the game to run at the mythical 1080p, 60fps. Since that is not the case, many fans have lost their collective minds, forcing Ubisoft to enact some damage control.

To be fair, Ubisoft is partly responsible for bringing on the ire. In an interview with Videogamer, Unity’s senior producer Vincent Pontbriand stated, “We decided to lock them at the same specs to avoid all the debates and stuff.” Earlier during E3, reports indicated that Ubisoft was targeting the game to hit a resolution of 1080p, 60fps for the PlayStation 4, which PS4 games have the capacity to achieve. I have read that Xbox One has the capacity for games to run at 1080p; but apparently most of the games run at 900p and 30fps. Basically, I have read quite a few contradicting arguments on the matter, and there does not appear to be any consensus to achieve the mythical 1080p, 60fps level. Later, Ubisoft had to release a statement, saying Pontbriand’s statements were taken out of context and that the resolution of the PS4 version was not lowered to have parity with the two consoles. The statement definitely looked like damage control on Ubisoft’s part, so the publisher looks guilty as a result.

I have a high-definition flatscreen LCD television set with 1080p resolution. I like nice, sharp crisp graphics. However, I have also seen graphics for PC games in terms of picture, resolution and detail that completely trump what I have recently seen for new-gen console graphics. So, if graphics and resolution matter that much to gamers, they should really be playing on a PC.

It is amusing that the debate mirrors a similar one for cinema. Peter Jackson made a controversial decision to film and release The Hobbit movies in 48fps. Films are typically shot and released at 24fps. A 24fps version of all the films was still released for audiences who were not keen on the 48fps look. 48fps is a divisive jarring experience. For some, the experience makes you believe you are almost there. Others think that the higher framerate for the image looks weird. It is reminiscent of the look of a soap opera on TV. I will admit that after watching both Hobbit films in 48fps, the results were mixed. Some sequences looked inspired, and others looked incredibly odd. Some of the actions and visuals looked way too quick and more obviously fake. It was a jarring visual instead of a traditional cinematic look.

I have also read that some games run at 60fps but not a full 60fps the whole time. It makes one wonder if a true 1080p/60fps experience is even possible on the next-gen consoles. I do know that the Skylanders: Trap Team runs at the apparent 30fps. However, on my TV, the graphics and resolution look immaculate. The debate on the graphical resolution front has become tiresome. For all I care, as long as the game does not slow down and constantly bug out, the graphics could be 8-bits. The graphical resolution argument has become a distraction from the more important argument. Does the game play well or not? 1080p/60fps graphics are not playable. While pretty visuals may improve the gameplay experience on a visual level, they will not fix a weak story or broken gameplay.

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