Preceded by a massive total of 19 other games in the series (excluding Assassin's Creed Rogue), Assassin's Creed Unity looked to shake off any potential consumer fatigue by changing things up. These huge changes have included a newly refined motion system and a brand new co-op multiplayer, but it seems the series' attempts at breaking the mold have run into some problems.
On top of the concern that those aforementioned co-op missions would not feature playable female characters, Assassin's Creed Unity has also courted some controversy by featuring microtransactions and a 900p, 30FPS framerate on all platforms rather than aiming for a 1080p standard. Now that the game has been released in North America, has AC Unity successfully dodged the criticism?
Early reports from users suggest that not only has it failed to do so, but massive performance issues have only made matters worse.
According to players, the biggest problem plaguing the new stealth and stab 'em up title at launch appears to be framerate plummets. Multiple reports from players and reviewers alike have cited the issues explaining that whether they were running through thousands-strong crowds or having solo free runs along Parisian rooftops, the game regularly dipped under that 30 FPS threshold that Ubisoft promised. Some have even suggested that the FPS was at single digits at some point (in our Xbox One Unity review, the issues were occasionally present, but to a far lesser degree).
Outside of the visuals department, other reports (fewer in number) have noted server issues and outright crashes. One user on the game's reddit page described connection errors popping up when opening their first chest, while the crashes appear to be random. Worse still, these problems seem to be occurring on all platforms (with Xbox One seeming to be the most stable). Assassin's Creed Unity is on PC, PS4 and Xbox One so console wars/PC master race debates aside, this appears to be a software problem rather than a hardware one.
Furthermore, while some have suggested that a day one patch could do the trick, even that seems to have failed. Ubisoft has already released a 1GB update which claims to include fixes for those aforementioned crashes, lack of connectivity and framerate and texture issues, but problems persist.
The fact that neither a patch (nor pre-release QA testing) have managed to nip these in the bud is incredibly troubling, not just for those who've bought Assassin's Creed Unity or those who planned to purchase the game but for Ubisoft as well. Following the 900p 30FPS graphics lock, the publisher was dogged with accusations that the lower graphics had been decided upon to accommodate the Xbox One's hardware (Xbox AC Unity players have access to exclusive content and there are those Xbox One bundles too).
These launch problems will undoubtedly exacerbate that speculation and ward players away from buying the game. As a result, we can probably expect Ubisoft to offer a statement (or at the very least, another patch for the game) soon, so we'll keep you posted once that happens.
Assassin's Creed Unity is available now for PC, PS4 and Xbox One.