They are two of the biggest video game releases of the season, and now complaints are swirling regarding problems plaguing both “Assassin’s Creed: Unity” and “Halo: The Master Chief Collection”.
If there’s one common pet peeve in gamer forums about the otherwise generally praised Ubisoft is that the company is somewhat infamous for not optimising their titles for individual platforms. The result is the hardware of consoles and even high-end PC’s struggle to run games that, with a bit more tweaking, could run far better than they do currently.
“Assassin’s Creed: Unity” is something of a watershed moment for the company, the first game in their flagship franchise designed purely for next gen consoles and PCs. The aim of ‘Unity’ is to show the real power of the next gen consoles, and instead the game appears to be already showing their limits.
Eurogamer reports that ‘Unity’, which has been made to run at 900p on consoles, is often barely achieving the 30 frames-per-second fixed rate it’s supposed to be at. Instead, the game is dropping to 20-25 frames-per-second for extended periods.
Even more surprising? For what appears to be the first time since both consoles were released, the Xbox One is actually outperforming the PS4 by a few frames-per-second despite the Sony machine having the obvious GPU advantage. Why? The reason for the slowdown appears to be due to the sheer amount of NPCs (basically the crowds of people) and AI, elements which put stress on the CPU (rather than the GPU) which is an area where the Xbox One is thought to have one of its few slight advantages over the Playstation 4.
Both versions reportedly deliver consistent play in scenes set outside the cities, but those crowded street scenes are plagued by such lag and screen tearing that complaints are piling up fast on Reddit and in game forums.
The bugs may have had an impact on the game’s Metacritic score which sits at 76/100 for the Xbox One version – which appears to be the first time the franchise has slipped below 80/100 on the critic aggregation site. In fact, the far less publicised 360/PS3-only release “Assassin’s Creed: Rogue” is soundly beating ‘Unity’ with a much more impressive 84/100 on Metacritic.
A 1Gb patch is reportedly already available to fix at least some of these issues, but this combined with the PR debacle over the “Watch Dogs” ‘downgrade’ earlier this year raises questions about the level of quality control over there. Hopefully next week’s “Far Cry 4” launch will go smoother.
Meanwhile, Microsoft has come under fire for “Halo: The Master Chief Collection”. The game has managed to score incredibly well with reviewers and nabbed an outstanding 90/100 on Metacritic. Even so, there’s been some complaints about issues with the matchmaking elements of the game. Yet, Microsoft is doing the smart thing and fixing the problems quick.
The Halo Waypoint forums are keeping tabs on the issues that have cropped up and are already promising roll outs of server-side fixes that are set to be implemented probably about the time you’re reading this.