We already reviewed the console version of Assassin’s Creed Syndicate earlier last month and now that the PC version is here we’re casting judgement on that based on its improvements and performance. Whilst the gameplay is notably the exact same, the presentation is where the changes occur – not that we can honestly bump up the score based on graphics alone. So, in this instance we’re not going to tie a score to the game and merely offer our opinion. If you want to hear our thoughts on the game as a whole (complete with a numeric score) then check out the video review below.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate PC:
Out of the box Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed Syndicate PC does a reasonable job in providing a relatively smooth playing experience, in fact it’s pretty good when compared to the rather troublesome Assassin’s Creed Unity launch. However, it’s not all plain sailing as you can see in the performance video below. Unfortunately, for some users even using top end graphics cards the performance is hit and miss in terms of maintaining a preferred steady 60 frames per second – one of the exclusive benefits afforded to the PC version over its console counterpart which is locked at 30 frames per second on both Xbox One and PS4. As you can see in the video there’s a number of preset options to tinker with such as PCSS shadows, HBAO, Anti-Aliasing effects and various texture and LOD details; but we’ve found using our AMD R9 290x GPU, i5 3570K CPU, 16 GB RAM Windows 10 64 Bit OS PC that regardless of what settings are used the game fails to maintain 60 frames per second. It’a an unusual scenario which is not unique to our system. What’s also worth noting here is that crossfire (and for those with SLI set ups) isn’t offering any gains whatsoever in performance. Here’s hoping some future drivers can fix that. In this regard we’ve not even attempted to run the game in 4K using our R9 295×2 GPU which is usually top tier for playing games in 4K – including last year’s Assassin’s Creed Unity quite comfortably.
So, aside from the lack of a consistent frame rate on AMD systems (some Nvidia users are reporting no such issues with top range cards such as the 980 TI but again there are other reports of the same cards having issues). What this essentially means is the game could do with further optimization or seek improvement through targeted drivers which gamers will have to wait for.
Looking at the game’s improved visuals though ignoring the frame rate for a moment and Assassin’s Creed Syndicate looks fantastic. Perhaps not as detailed as last year’s game but on ultra settings is a joy to behold and a massive leap over the console version in terms of lighting and shadow effects. If you’ve been holding out for the PC version then the wait is well worth it. London – especially in the rain and at night – oozes a dark and oppressive atmosphere which is simply a visual tour de force for PC players.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate is a solid game which has its ups and downs in terms of gameplay and with the PC version the graphics too which will hopefully be ironed out over time. If you’re an AMD user the performance is fair and could be better in absence of Nvidia exclusive visual effects. That said, the visual upgrade is a pleasant one and means PC gamers as expected get the best looking version of London out there with its superior anti aliasing, lighting and shadow effects. In this regard the game is recommended but be advised if you’re after a slick performing game then it might be prudent to hold your horses a little longer until the game gets patched or more drivers become available – although in light of this in its current state the game is easily very playable.