Reports: Assassin's Creed Unity is a glitchy performance hog

Assassin's Creed Unity came out yesterday, and folks who picked up the game on the PC sound not-so-pleasantly surprised. While Unity made headlines prior to release for its steep hardware requirements, even users with high-end hardware are reporting lackluster performance—not to mention a bevy of miscellaneous glitches.

Alec Meer of Rock, Paper, Shotgun, for one, says he "cannot get this sucker to consistently run faster than just over 40 frames per second." Meer is playing on a Core i7-980X system with a Radeon R9 290X and 8GB of RAM. "What's odd is that the performances changes relatively little if I pump the resolution up to 1920×1080 (or even 2560×1440) and stick the settings on High or Very high," Meer adds. "Generally, it's stuck around between 30 and 40."

Radeon users aren't the only ones complaining. In this thread on the NeoGAF forums, more than a few people with high-end GeForce cards say they're seeing generally low frame rates—particularly during cut scenes—as well as occasional stuttering in Unity. Some recommend turning off PCSS soft shadows to improve performance, but by the look of it, not even a GeForce GTX 970 can sustain 60 FPS at 1080p with detail levels maxed out.

What about lower-end cards? PC World's Hayden Dingman tried to play Unity on a GeForce GTX 760, which is slower than the GTX 680 Ubisoft lists as a minimum requirement for the game. Dingman says performance was "[r]eally rough." While "most of the issues come during cutscenes instead of the actual game," Dingman says he saw characters "popping into place every five feet" during Unity's more crowded sections.

Also in the glitch department, Polygon has compiled a series of 11 videos showing various bugs, from jacked-up ragdoll animations to gravity-defying characters. Ubisoft's QA department clearly has its work cut out.

A number of yesterday's reviews suggest even the core game is a little half-baked, too. Polygon gave Unity a 6.5 rating and stated in its conclusion, "Ubisoft Montreal failed to fix the problems that have accumulated over so many annual releases. Combined with an uninspiring story, and a long list of considerable technical problems, Unity falls short of the fresh start Assassin's Creed needs."

Oh well. On the flip side, folks with lower-end PCs may not miss much if they pass this game over.

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