VIDEO | X360, PS3, PC Friday, November 7, 2014 | 12:48 PM

Assassin's Creed retrospective

Assassin's Creed retrospective

In a few days, Assassin's Creed Unity will be out in the open and we thought it would be the perfect timing to look back on the seven years that have gone by since the release of the first episode. Six games that we decided to capture one last time on PC to make these two retrospective videos. If you have ever wondered how far the series has come graphically, now is your chance.

A generation of Assassin's Creed
7 years of acrobatics

All comments

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Commented on 2014-11-07 13:11:17
Man, this makes me remember just how much I love this series, especially the first and second games.
And makes me mourn the loss of Jesper Kyd as the series' composer. Assassin's Creed without Jesper Kyd's amazing compositions is like..., Halo without Martin O'Donnell's music. It may still be good, and the music might even be decent and appreciable or even quite good, but it will never be the same, and it will never have that same feel, and brilliance, and mood. I really wish they would bring him back.
His work on the series was incredible, and some of my favorite music of all time, to go with some of my most beloved, if at times flawed, games of all time.

Thank you guys, for doing this. It brings back a lot of really wonderful memories.
Commented on 2014-11-07 13:52:07
I have to say, props to you guys for making such amazing videos! :D
Btw, what is the name of the song in the '7 Years ...'-video?

Nevermind, I think I've found it: 'Enzio's Family by L'Orchestra d'Academie & Chorus'. Nice! :)
Commented on 2014-11-07 13:58:09 In reply to Yonix
Yep, you found it. :)

Thanks!
Commented on 2014-11-07 14:09:55 In reply to Yonix
It's "Ezio's Family" by Jesper Kyd. You know, Ezio, main character of AC2, Brotherhood and Revelations. The song is also from AC2, composed by the guy who did AC1, AC2, Brotherhood and partly Revelations soundtracks (also Hitman games). Don't tell me you haven't played the series?
On a sidenote Ubisoft just removed all 3 of their upcoming titles from Steam. Don't know how can they hope this will draw people to their Ubishop or whatever.
Commented on 2014-11-07 14:40:11 In reply to phillipstuerzl
Agree, the first thing I tought while watching this was "Jesper Kyd is a genius, I miss his work." I've been a fan of him since the first Hitman.
Commented on 2014-11-07 15:12:57
Are these games being taken off Steam or Ubisoft is only taking off future games off Steam?

Thanks for the videos.
Commented on 2014-11-07 15:15:23 In reply to digi_matrix
All the old ones are still there, so I guess it's only all the future games they're not releasing on steam, while the old ones stay. Just like EA's Origin. Shooting themselves in the foot if you ask me.
Commented on 2014-11-07 15:50:41 In reply to Driftwood
I played all Assassin's Creed games - except Liberation which I only played this year - last year back-to-back before GTA V came out. While a lot of people claim the games never improved, they did, but it was more of an "evolution" than a "revolution", like most franchises.

Unity seems to be like the latter, if not in everything, at least when it comes to the core foundation/pillars of the first game.

One thing I really, really love in the first games is all the cultural history and puzzles that actually makes you think, they are full with them and something that really made me fall in love with the franchise.

Unfortunately, this was left out in the lastest games, though Unity seems to be bringing it back - and this time I hope it stays for good.

Thanks a lot for the retrospective!!!
Commented on 2014-11-07 15:51:19
Great video brotha Driftwood! This is why I love this series so much. It tells so many truths hidden in it's fiction. I can't wait until this Tuesday!
Commented on 2014-11-07 16:09:39
I remember when the series had awesome potential and how hyped i was.
But after AC2 i started losing interest rapidly to the point were the last AC i got was Brotherhood.

For me Altair and old Ezio will always be my favorite AC characters, badass designs.
Commented on 2014-11-07 21:03:55
Great videos, thanks alot!
Commented on 2014-11-08 12:46:04 In reply to Driftwood
Posted by Driftwood
Yep, you found it. :)

Thanks!
One question: I remember you or blim once said that some of the console output 60 frame-per-second while the actual gameplay is not.

So how do we know what is the actual gameplay framerate ?

And what's the point of output 60fps when the game is actually running at 30fps?
Commented on 2014-11-08 13:01:56 In reply to yippee123
Posted by yippee123
So how do we know what is the actual gameplay framerate ?
With your eyes, it can be seen clearly when a game is 30 or 60 FPS. Or frame by frame when it's recorded, two successive frames are the same.
Posted by yippee123
And what's the point of output 60fps when the game is actually running at 30fps?
Because if a 30 FPS game with a bad frame pacing is captured/encoded at 30 but the output of the console is 60, some frames can be missing, resulting in frame drops that are not real.

We could use some script that detects bad frame pacing and resolve it, but we don't want, because bad frame pacing results in weird stutter, so we show games as they are and do not change them.
Need For Speed Rivals suffered from bad frame pacing at first, it was patched then.

With a capture and video encoding that matches the console's output, there's no problem at all and we show the games as they are.
Commented on 2014-11-08 13:44:20 In reply to Miguel
By saying bad frame pacing, do you mean that the capture device and the output is not working on the same time stamp?

I suppose that if a game is locked at 30 or 60, then the time interval between each frame is the same.

Does capture time and the frame refresh time has to be the same?

If the frame-rate is 30fps, then each frame i guess will be there for 1/30 second.

So in my original thoughts, you can finish the capture within the n/30 ~ (n+1)/30


BTW, if the output is 60fps and the actual is 30fps, does it mean that the 30 of them will be the same with the other 30? e.g. (f1,f1,f2,f2,...,f30,f30) for one second?
Commented on 2014-11-08 13:57:33 In reply to yippee123
No, a bad frame pacing is due to a game that does not have the same time between each frame (at 30 FPS only), so it can result in something like that (each letter is a single frame, doubled at 30FPS) :

60 FPS : A B C D E F G H...
Good 30 FPS : AA BB CC DD EE FF GG HH...
Bad 30 FPS : AA BB CC CD EE FG GG HH...

In case of a bad frame pacing like in the third example, capturing or encoding at 30 FPS can result in some frames being ignored :
By ignoring odd frames : A B C D E G G H
By ignoring even frames : A B C C E F G H

In both case, frames can be missing, even if the games rendered it. While playing we get a little weird stutter, cause by frames sent to the output too soon or too late, even if it's still 30 real frames per second.

As I said, NFS Rivals suffered from this on both consoles and even on PC (it was limited to 30 FPS), so the only way to show the 30 frames was to capture and encode at 60 FPS, thus people could also see this bad paced frame rate.
Destiny's Alpha and beta (at first) had this problem too on PS4, which was resolved when the Xbox One beta came out, PS4 version was patched.

It's not like that in all games fortunately :)
Posted by yippee123
BTW, if the output is 60fps and the actual is 30fps, does it mean that the 30 of them will be the same with the other 30? e.g. (f1,f1,f2,f2,...,f30,f30) for one second?
Yep, but as x264 is not made of keyframes only, it's not a big deal in final file size.
Commented on 2014-11-08 14:22:51 In reply to Miguel
THX for the answers

So i guess that the 30fps mode of The last of us remaster would be like this :

60fps A B C D...
30fps A C E...

=====

Then the 60fps output on console is like a protection? To prevent some severe frame loss or like you said, the bad pacing

Sometimes we feel a game dip at some point, is it because that some of the frames are the same, just like your example of the bad pacing

While sometimes, we feel the game slower, or much slower, for example when the crowd is huge, then the game may encounter a slow-motion-thing. Is that supposed to be that many consecutive frames are the same.

So as some of the game is indeed 30 locked seen from the output, but because of the bad pacing, the actually gameplay frame rate is not 30.

Then we will feel the dip or slow down?
Commented on 2014-11-08 14:41:10 In reply to yippee123
If the game outputs 30 FPS but with a bad frame pacing, we can feel a little dip or stutter, slow downs are more likely frame rate going under 30.
If 4 consecutive frames are the same, then it's 4 of 60 (60 Hz outpout of the console), then it's not really 30 FPS but 29 or less, even with a good frame pacing, if the engine cannot handle 30 FPS in scene, frames are drops and we get slow downs.

The 60 FPS output of the console is because all TVs can handle 60Hz signal and outputing 30 Hz would not work on many TVs.
That's an old thing because of CRT TVs running on a 60Hz power line (50Hz in Europe).

That would be the best way to show 30 FPS locked games, but most of them use 60 FPS menus or HUD sometimes, and the console's dashboards runs at 60 FPS too.

On PC G-Sync is made to avoid all of these problems, it forces the refresh rate of the screen to be the same as the game's framerate, so if the game can only handle 43 FPS in one place, the screen's refresh rate will be exactly the same (43Hz) and will change dynamically.
Commented on 2014-11-08 14:49:01 In reply to Miguel
I've heard that the G-sync is used to prevent tearing

=====

But if a high frame rate game drops frame will make us feel slow down , e.g 60fps -> 55fps

Why the rise of frame rate will not make us feel the game is quicker?
e.g 30fps -> 40fps, as second son's frame rate is up to 40fps when the scene is not complicate.
Commented on 2014-11-08 15:10:40 In reply to yippee123
Because as screens and consoles runs at 60Hz, trying to output something that is not a fraction of the screen's refresh rate will result in stutter (or tearing if there is no v-sync).

With a 60 Hz screen, 60 FPS is one frame per refresh, 30 FPS is 60/2 so one frame each two refreshes (two successive frames being the same), 40 FPS is impossible to render smoothly, it can be worse than locked 30 FPS, because it will result in displaying most of the time 2 identical frames, and sometime only one frame, which will give the same feel as a bad frame paced 30 FPS game. Or without v-sync, tearing.

That's why they added an option to lock the framerate at 30 in Infamous, because some people prefer to have a solid 30 FPS instead of a framerate going from 60 and below, causing stutter.

That's the purpose of G-Sync (while preventing tearing as well), as it forces the screen to change its refresh rate constantly to match the game's FPS. this way, it's near perfection, as there is no stutter, no tearing, each frame has its own time.

But we won't see something like that on TVs and console before many years I think.
Commented on 2014-11-08 15:24:27 In reply to Miguel
Posted by Miguel
With a 60 Hz screen, 60 FPS is one frame per refresh, 30 FPS is 60/2 so one frame each two refreshes (two successive frames being the same), 40 FPS is impossible to render smoothly, it can be worse than locked 30 FPS, because it will result in displaying most of the time 2 identical frames, and sometime only one frame, which will give the same feel as a bad frame paced 30 FPS game. Or without v-sync, tearing.
Some of the game, such as Counter Strike has even higher frame rate like 90~100fps, so how to deal the extra 30~40 frames?

But if all the game whatever the actual frame rate is, all use 60 fps as output, then at least the tearing or hard-to-render problems will be settled, right?

=====

My monitor is 60hz LCD, if I switch it to the 144hz LCD, is there any differences when playing games?
Commented on 2014-11-08 15:38:29 In reply to yippee123
If v-sync is of and the game renders 90-100 FPS but the screen is 60Hz, there's no really use, as the sreen will only show 60 frames. It can help in controls response time but can cause tearing or some weird frame pacing even at high framerate.

I have a 120Hz monitor and in some games like racing games, when my PC can handle 120 FPS without drops (which is the case in GRID Autosport and F1 games), it feels much smoother than 60 FPS, it looks more natural.

But most of the time I set it to 60 Hz because most recent games are too demanding for stable 120 FPS.

Someday I'll swtich to a 144Hz G-Sync screen, this way games will run as they can and I'll have smooth framerate.
Commented on 2014-11-08 15:53:26 In reply to Miguel
I only use my PS4 to play games

Do I have to buy a 144hz display? Or just keep my old one
Commented on 2014-11-08 16:00:42 In reply to yippee123
PS4 will output 60Hz only, there's no use to change your screen. That's only useful on PC.
Commented on 2014-11-08 16:18:25 In reply to Miguel
OK, thank you for all the answers!!!!
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