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Ubisoft desperately searching for someone to blame over AC Unity, but this one is all on them

by on18 November 2014 4841 times

It seems that Ubisoft is trying to get out from under the stigma the bad launch of Assassin’s Creed Unity. After pushing what many are calling a half-baked game, they have made a few excuses and have also promised different patches to remedy the bugs including a day one patch that really did not do much to make things better. So what is Ubisoft pointing at now to remove blame from themselves? Well some of the choices are entertaining to say the least.

First up on the blame table is one that popped up on the internet yesterday and made bigger waves today: shut off the internet. According to a few sources Ubisoft is blaming the internet connection for making the game slow and laggy. Now this one seems a little unusual as it does not even match up to most of the symptoms reported. After all the performance issues are slow frame rate, players getting stuck in the floor and disappearing graphics. How does dropping offline help any of that? The suggestion came from the AC Unity forum so far the suggestion has had mixed results. Still it was interesting that someone from Ubisoft would even think to suggest dropping offline would help these issues.

Next up is one that was almost laughable: the problem is related to AMD hardware. This one has been clarified a little better, but still suggests that the problem is related to the hardware that it is running on.

“As previously reported on the Assassin’s Creed Live Updates Blog, our team is furiously working to resolve bugs and performance issues for Assassin’s Creed Unity on all platforms. On PC, some media outlets have misinterpreted a forum post indicating that we were working on resolving issues that were AMD-specific. We apologize for any confusion and want to be clear that we are working with all of our hardware partners to address known issues that exist across various PC configurations. We care deeply about a smooth and enjoyable Assassin’s Creed experience and we will continue to update customers as these issues are fixed via the AC Live Updates Blog.”

Now, while the original posting did suggest that this was indeed a very AMD specific issue the problem exists across almost all platforms and not just AMD. This would seem to point towards a bad rendering engine or something deeper in the game code that is causing the problem. According to some information the AC Unity engine is overloading what DX11 is typically capable of giving on both the PC and the console. Even though a typical console (even an x86) one has little to no overhead the systems and underpowered compare to a PC in terms of GPU, CPU, memory and even disk access. Still Ubisoft has pushed both past their saturation point and ended up with a game that just does not work right on either.

When you overload the DX11 API you can end up with all kinds of problems even outside the graphical world. Textures, frames, etc all can get lost and disappear from the display. When a wireframe or surface goes missing then you can end up outside the visible world. When textures go missing on a non-rendered or invisible wireframe you get floating eyeballs and teeth. In short everything that people are reporting comes from a game engine that is trying to ask too much from the API that talks to the hardware.

We have said it before and we will say it again, this one falls right back in Ubisoft’s lap and all of the dancing around and pointing fingers is not going to fix it. They will have to make some pretty big changes to their game engine to get this one resolved and even then we have a feeling that many people are still not going to be happy.

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Last modified on 18 November 2014
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