Assassin's Creed Syndicate Runs Pretty Well On PC

If there’s been one constant with the Assassin’s Creed games over the last few years, it’s that they’ve run like shit on PC.

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Assassin’s Creed III didn’t do that great, Assassin’s Creed IV was very poorly optimised (and had some very bizarre troubleshooting) and the less we say about Assassin’s Creed Unity’s disastrous port the better.

So with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate coming to PC a month late last week, folks would have been well within their rights to expect the worst.

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Maybe it was the extra month’s delay, maybe it was changes under the hood of the game itself (gone are the massive crowds and weird lighting tech from Unity), but those folks are in for a pleasant surprise: relative to the dumpster fires of the last few games in the series (Liberty and Rogue’s “last gen” ports excepted), this is just fine.

It’s not perfect. System requirements are pretty damn high for what’s on show, meaning most people won’t be playing this game on its highest settings (including a very thirsty max shadows setting) until they buy a PC from the future. And old-fashioned Assassin’s Creed weirdness like falling through the world and janky NPC behaviour is as present as ever. But it’s nothing like the madness we suffered through at Unity’s launch.

I’ve recorded some gameplay footage on my personal PC, taking the game through its paces on a variety of graphics settings. For reference I’ve got an i5-4690, a GTX 980, 16GB of RAM and an installation on a Samsung SSD 840 EVO.

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The settings I’ve opted to play the game with—balancing performance with prettiness—generally net me around 45fps. The vid will show me changing settings to get performance everywhere from 20fps right through to 60fps. Note that in keeping with funky system settings quirks, the FPS gain made by dropping a bunch of things like AA and texture quality isn’t worth the downgrade.

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Here are the settings used at the start of the video:

Illustration for article titled iAssassins Creed Syndicate/i Runs Pretty Well On PC

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DISCUSSION

“If there’s been one constant with the Assassin’s Creed games over the last few years, it’s that they’ve run like shit on PC.”

Uhm... huh? I mean, the games don’t run very well on anything, I’ll give you that, but scaling is still pretty good, at least in terms of base performance.

It was hard to get Unity to stick to 60 FPS on anything but high end hardware, but it ran like a dream compared to consoles.

I guess what I’m saying is: if the games have run like shit on PC, then they must have ran like hot garbage covered in shit on consoles, and yet a lot of console gamers were happy to play them there.

It’s important to mention this point: When PC gamers say something runs like shit or it’s a poor port- it’s an entirely different set of standards at play here.

Dark souls 1 on PC was a crappy port because it was essentially the console version, except it didn’t run at like 10 FPS in certain areas - so even though it was considered a bad port it was still better than the console version. We need to differentiate between games that should scale better, like most AC games, and games that are truly broken, like Batman Arkham Knight.

Unity, ran as well on PC as consoles, given console level hardware (GPU wise at least), and you could ramp up from there using more powerful hardware. It’s just that the game should have been performing better than that overall.