VIDEO | PC Tuesday, November 19, 2013 | 6:00 PM

Our PC videos of AC4 Black Flag

Our PC videos of AC4 Black Flag

Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag will be released in a few days on PC, and since Ubisoft sent us an early copy we of course captured a few videos. Unfortunately none of our usual PC capture software worked correctly with the game, so we could not use Miguel's monster PC and had to settle with my new gaming computer hooked up to my 1080p60 capture card. Sadly my quite powerful machine wasn't able to run the game at a smooth 60 fps with all graphics option enabled, so don't expect perfectly smooth videos.
Update: Switching the environments quality from very high to high made a huge difference for me, the game is now basically locked at 60 fps even in cities, with a very acceptable graphical downgrade.


Gaming PC specs: Core I7 4820 OC 4.5Ghz, Geforce GTX 770 OC 4GB, 16 GB DDR3, game installed on an SSD.
Graphic options: Texture and details maxed, SMAA, shadows on High, no motion blur, hdao+ low, god rays low. Triple buffering forced with Nvidia Inspector.

Beginning of the game
A bit of exploration
Sailing
Havana

All comments

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Commented on 2013-11-19 18:03:58
Yay!
Commented on 2013-11-19 18:10:22
Great, another trash port from ubisoft then ?
Commented on 2013-11-19 18:26:26
Even though I do get playable and smooth FPS on my machine, I do occasionally notice the difference once it hits the 60fps mark here and there, and was wondering if it was just the port or if my hardware was at fault. Given the recommended specs, now I know it's just the port of the game. It's still not bad, though, performance wise. It's more than playable.
Commented on 2013-11-19 18:30:08
It's certainly always playable, and basically always better than the 360 version I played before in terms of framerate. But I strongly dislike not having a consistent framerate. I'm thinking about locking the game to 30fps (I don't think it ever drops below 30) and be done with that.
Commented on 2013-11-19 21:22:35
Compared with the version of the PS4, which is config on PC?
Commented on 2013-11-19 23:09:53
smooth 1080p 60fps (max settings) on my PC. Very lovely game, probably one of the best installment out of the whole series. funny how the 3rd was considered the worst. ......i didn't see this turn around for the franchise.
Commented on 2013-11-20 03:07:02 In reply to Alucard_Players
Posted by Alucard_Players
Compared with the version of the PS4, which is config on PC?
I am wondering this as well. I have a PC that can run it on max but if the difference from the Ps4 version is small id rather buy the Ps4 version and be lazy in bed
Commented on 2013-11-20 03:32:06
Blim. what res were you running at? I am prepping a 290 vs 290x vs 780 FTW vs 780 Ti vs GTX 690 article on my site soon. I'll include AC4..
Commented on 2013-11-20 04:48:33 In reply to GunsnSwords
Posted by GunsnSwords
smooth 1080p 60fps (max settings) on my PC. Very lovely game, probably one of the best installment out of the whole series. funny how the 3rd was considered the worst. ......i didn't see this turn around for the franchise.
AC3 wasn't a great game, but nowhere near the worst in the franchise. The worst AC is the first, when I played it back in 2007 it bored the hell out of me so much that I only finished this year by forcing myself to play it, the same happened with a lot of other people I know.

At first, I gave the first AC a 4, but after playing and finishing this year, I give it a 6, the problem is that if you want to catch up you have to play it as it is the starting point of the franchise, and this is is very off-putting to a lot of people. Ubisoft should consider remaking it with improved gameplay mechanics and activities.

I got what ACIII was trying to tell and it is a very good game, I gave it 9/10. It somewhat plays differently than the previous entries in the series - both in story-telling and gameplay mechanics, which might be the reason a lot of people disliked it. Its only fault was being too long, they should have decreased the number of chapters and their length.

To me, from best to worst (plus rating):

AC-B (10) > ACII (10) > AC-R (10) > ACIII (9) > ACIII-TOKW [DLC] (7) > AC (6)

Hopefully Black Flag will be a 10, haven't read or seen any reviews so far because I want to judge it for myself, but I know a lot of people liked it, so that's great. :)
Commented on 2013-11-20 05:41:29
Hey Blim, have you guys thought about maybe forming a partnership with PC Gamer? They built this ridiculous PC with 4 titans and are using it run their games at 2560 but they're still relying on youtube for their videos, which as we all know is completely pointless. Seems like their machine plus Gamersyde is a match made in heaven.
http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/11/18/introducing-the-...
Commented on 2013-11-20 05:46:36
And as for the game, I'll wait for digital foundry to do an analysis of the next gen builds in comparison to the PC build before I make a purchase decision. If PS4 runs it at 60fps with similar IQ I may just get it for that
Commented on 2013-11-20 08:41:00 In reply to AMDman18
Single player runs at 30 fps on both PS4 and One.
Commented on 2013-11-20 20:04:06

Speaking to Edge about the ease in which the studio achieved results when working on the Xbox One and PS4, Trottier said: "The new platforms are a lot closer to PC, so my engineers could do the R&D on PC and we knew it would work fairly easily on next-gen platforms. It needed to be adapted, but everything does.

"It's always a question of compromise about the effect, how it looks, and the performance it takes from the system. On PC, usually you don't really care about the performance, because the idea is that if it's not [running] fast enough, you buy a bigger GPU. Once you get on console, you can't have this approach."
So that's why you can't hit 60fps.
Commented on 2013-11-20 21:35:57 In reply to Jollipop
That's exactly how most developers think about performance in PC games, hence why most PC games are unoptimized console ports, best examples being Crysis and Metro 2033.

I really hate that sort of thinking, as if just because PC gamers want to play on the better technical platform, we should be buying a new GPU every year even if most games don't even use all the power of GPUs from 3-5 years ago.

I have seen so many games require more resources than they actually use, like Ghosts needing 6 GB of RAM - now 4 GB with the patch - when it uses less than 2 GB when running.

The best optimized game I have ever seen is Borderlands 2, with my previous and very old crappy card I was able to get 2 instances of the game running on different windows on max settings with PhysX enabled at 20-30 fps.

Yet Ghost Recon - Future Soldier is almost unplayable at the lowest settings with my new GPU, can't beat optimization.

My dream is that Rockstar hires the people responsible for Borderlands 2's PC version to port Grand Theft Auto V - and even Red Dead Redemption - for PC. One can dream. :D
Commented on 2013-11-21 04:14:55 In reply to Sdarts
Posted by Sdarts
That's exactly how most developers think about performance in PC games, hence why most PC games are unoptimized console ports, best examples being Crysis and Metro 2033.
Those aren't good examples of unoptimized console ports at all.

Both of those games were developed w/ Windows as the lead platform. Crysis isn't even poorly optimized.. and Metro is only a bitch because of extensive use of tessellation. A thing you can turn off and make it run awesome.

I have seen so many games require more resources than they actually use, like Ghosts needing 6 GB of RAM - now 4 GB with the patch - when it uses less than 2 GB when running.
"So many games?" Name five examples off the top of your head without doing any research :| Ghosts is the only game I've ever head of forcing a fake resource cap like that.

The thing that's right: Unreal Engine 3 games scale extremely well. This has more to do with Unreal being awesome than Gearbox.

My point here: Ubisoft's attitude is wrong and is exceptionally shitty. It is not the norm.
Commented on 2013-11-21 04:29:48
Love AC series. But I am going to buy sometime next year with PS4
Commented on 2013-11-21 12:17:49 In reply to GriftGFX
Posted by GriftGFX
"So many games?" Name five examples off the top of your head without doing any research :| Ghosts is the only game I've ever head of forcing a fake resource cap like that.

The thing that's right: Unreal Engine 3 games scale extremely well. This has more to do with Unreal being awesome than Gearbox.

My point here: Ubisoft's attitude is wrong and is exceptionally shitty. It is not the norm.
You're right on them not being console ports, but I meant it as both unoptimized games and unoptimized console ports' games, should have clarified that. Also, if you really believe they aren't poorly optimized, then go to any respected PC hardware site and see an in depth analysis of the two, then you will see the reason why they are so heavy and demanding of resources.

"So many games?" Yes, and I wasn't talking specifically about system requirements, if a software isn't properly optimized, it will require far more resources than it actually needs, or you can think of it as "it requires more resources than it should need".

"5 at the top of my head", I will give you more, just looked at my list of PC games, the ones I either played extensively or the ones that were so bad you noticed immediately, hopefully you don't find that to be a "research" as no one holds all that information on their brain, unless you have eidetic/photographic memory. They are all unoptimized and whether or not they are console ports, all of them require more resources - better PC specs - than they should, I know this because I have tested all of these games with different configurations and on different machines throughout the years:

Crysis, Dark Souls, Dead Space 3, Dragon Age 2, Driver: San Francisco, Grand Theft Auto 4, Hitman: Absolution, Homefront, L.A. Noire, Lost Planet 1, Lost Planet 2, Metro 2033, Metro: Last Light, Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 - Full Burst, Need For Speed: Shift, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands, Remember Me, Resident Evil 5, Stranglehold, The Last Remnant, The Lord of The Rings: War in The North, Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, Venetica and etc...

I'm not going into detail because I would need to install and play each to point out all the differences, but the best way to see if a game was unoptimised is by comparing it to other games in the same genre with the same PC specs, please take note that the year of release can be taken into consideration, but when you have a 2007 game like Crysys running worse than a 2012 game like Far Cry 3 based on the same PC specs, taking the years into account does little benefit:

Crysis vs Far Cry 3, Metro: Last Light vs Battlefield 3, Dead Space 3 vs any Batman: Arkham game, Grand Theft Auto 4 vs Sleeping Dogs, Dragon Age 2 vs The Witcher 2, Need For Speed: Shift vs Dirt 2, Prince of Persia: The Forgotten Sands vs Prince of Persia (2008), Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon: Future Soldier vs Spec Ops: The Line and etc...

There's a ton more, but for the sake of time I won't list everything, it isn't just Infinity Ward who screws up.
Yes, Unreal Engine 3 is amazing, but Gearbox did a phenomenal job with it, I have never seen any other game developed in it run as smootly as Borderlands 2.

"My point here: Ubisoft's attitude is wrong and is exceptionally shitty. It is not the norm." <- Don't disagree with you, hence why I said: "I really hate that sort of thinking..."
Commented on 2013-11-21 12:26:20

all of them require more resources - better PC specs - than they should
Trying to get some work done.. so I'll look at the rest of this in a little bit. But I just wanted to address this bit.

There's a big difference between what Call of Duty Ghosts is doing in contrast to your list of "unoptimized" games. Call of Duty does not simply use more resources than it should. It "requires" more resources than it actually uses. It is for one reason or another an artificial restriction. That's an entirely different issue. It's important that we make that distinction right now.

Okay and really quickly: Some of your comparisons don't really work either. You're making apples to oranges comparisons. You can't simply use Sleeping Dogs as evidence that GTA4 runs poorly. The games attempt to do things differently on two very different engines. GTA4 is not very well optimized, but it's an entirely different beast. And then some of those games, like Metro, aren't even that poorly optimized if you don't try to use advanced settings (tessellation is a killer, HBAO can be expensive, etc).

I think more recent uses of Rockstar's engine on the PC indicate that GTA5 should be in much better shape (I hope).

Now that's not to say that there aren't issues with optimization.. especially when it comes to half-baked port jobs. It happens. But what Ghosts is doing is technically not even poor optimization.
Commented on 2013-11-21 12:51:06 In reply to GriftGFX
This "distinction" that you mention doesn't exist: if a game uses X resources, it requires X resources. Optimization has everything to do with requirements, if it is poorly optimized, then it will require more processing power.

If it didn't, there would be no gap between consoles and PC gaming, the only reason Ghosts had the "fake" 6 GB of RAM in the minimum requirements was because it was poorly optimized, whether it used all the 6 GB of RAM is irrelevant.

The PC version of Naruto Shippuden: Ultimate Ninja Storm 3 - Full Burst doesn't use everything I have and still runs poorly, it requires more than it actually uses.

Just because the games compared are on different engines doesn't mean you can't compare them, it's how each accomplishes the same things in very similar structures/restrictions.

Saying Metro isn't poorly optimized because it has advanced settings is... nevermind. Optimization has to do with 'how well" a game's code scales with the hardware, bad optimization happens when a game requires more resources because the code is a mess.
Commented on 2013-11-21 12:54:32

This "distinction" that you mention doesn't exist: if a game uses X resources, it requires X resources.
You would think. But no, this is not the issue with Call of Duty Ghosts. It literally has an artificial requirement for more memory than it uses. It literally would not run with less than 6GB, despite using a fraction of that.

This is a problem very unique to Call of Duty Ghosts. What you're talking about are games that use more resources than you think they need, or use less of your resources than they could.

Totally not the same thing.
Commented on 2013-11-21 17:39:38
good game, ship battles after while get bit repetitive and still wish they remove that future garbage, but am enjoying this out of all the series
Commented on 2013-11-22 18:27:56 In reply to Driftwood
At 1080P on PS4
Commented on 2013-11-22 18:28:25
And not sure what the Resolution is on Xbox ONE if anybody knows?
Commented on 2013-11-22 18:36:50 In reply to Sdarts
Yeah but be honest. Consider what you call a PC Gamer, and the type of games the majority play in the 16-25 year old range. And what their interest is as a whole in "video games" and the actually amount of games they own and the genres. And compare that to people that just love video games in general no matter what the platform and have games on multiple systems and maybe pc. That's why mostly only you see so called "PC Gamers" talk constantly only about Crysis,Metro,CoD etc. and then the others that talk just about OnLine Multi-Players, MMOS, etc. That's why the studios don't waste their time thing about the PC version of every single game that gets made. .....Besides the fact that video games and the idea began with Home Consoles. That's my bit for the day, Now I have to pay the bills and work so I can afford a Xbox ONe and PS4 next week after paying the Mortgage.
Commented on 2013-11-22 18:42:51
Well first of all Naruto Full Blast on the consoles has never really used and type of AA. If you know about PC games any type of AA uses alot of resources. That the main reason why on the PC Naurto needs that extra memory that the consoles couldn't provided. Not every games that comes out on the PC needs fixing, sometimes its just the privilege of getting it, and being able to have a "polished version" Examples" Devil May Cry4/5, Street fighter 4, BatMan Series, and many others.
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About the game


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