Ubisoft Points the Finger at AMD For Technical Bugs in Assassins Creed Unity

Ubisoft's Assassins Creed Unity has had a buggy launch to say the least, what with all the texture popping, low frame rates and entity glitching problems. A Ubisoft Public Relations Manager has recently pinned the blame solely on AMD GPU and CPU configurations. The actual reason, however, lies inside the gritty details of bad optimization and porting.

Assassins Creed Unity BugsAn example of the plethora of glitches present in Assassins Creed Unity (PC) - Credit URL

Ubisoft PR blames AMD for ACU - Bad porting and optimization can explain the problem better

Here is a quote from the Ubisoft PR which can be found here:

We are aware that the graphics performance of Assassin’s Creed Unity on PC may be adversely affected by certain AMD CPU and GPU configurations. This should not affect the vast majority of PC players, but rest assured that AMD and Ubisoft are continuing to work together closely to resolve the issue, and will provide more information as soon as it is available.

It goes without saying that I had serious trouble believing that the entirety of the glitches present in Assassins Creed Unity are the cause of Catalyst Drivers (AMD). While modern drivers can be the cause of low frame rates in certain cases, they are not usually behind texture popping and entity glitches. One of the primary selling points of Assassins Creed Unity (from Ubisoft's Marketing) was the fact that the game supported 'thousands of NPCs on screen'. Well, they were right about that, but looks like they conveniently forgot to mention the performance hit that would ensue from using so many dynamic objects. We sent some emails and and found out what is really happening:

The game (in its current state) is issuing approximately 50,000 draw calls on the DirectX 11 API. Problem is, DX11 is only equipped to handle ~10,000 peak draw calls. What happens after that is a severe bottleneck with most draw calls culled or incorrectly rendered, resulting in texture/NPCs popping all over the place. On the other hand, consoles have to-the-metal access and almost non-existent API Overhead but significantly underpowered hardware which is not able to cope with the stress of the multitude of polygons. Simply put, its a very very bad port for the PC Platform and an unoptimized (some would even go as far as saying, unfinished) title on the consoles.

Games should be created with the target hardware in mind. And from what I have seen so far, high end rigs built with the likes of Titans (Nvidia) and R9 295Xs are glitching as well. So unless the Titan GPU was secretly made by AMD, I am not really sure what Ubisoft PR is on about. The game appears to be barely functional, something that would automatically merit low scores. The post-launch embargo on reviews seems to have foreshadowed the condition of the title. I really enjoyed Assassins Creed Black Flag, but to me, Ubisoft has been making bad calls after bad calls lately, and their PR is heading towards a colossal train wreck. Alienating PC users is one thing, but at this rate, pretty soon, even console users will be wary of their games. Still, Far Cry 4 has yet to be released, so maybe not all hope is lost yet (fingers crossed).

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