Ubisoft Changes Tune on AC:Unity Again. Now They’re Targeting 30 FPS.
Not only is Ubisoft getting really good at putting their foot in their mouth but they only open their mouth to change feet. After saying that Assassin’s Creed Unity was going to be locked to 30 FPS to not favour one console over the other and then correcting that statement to say that it’s a CPU limitation, Ubisoft has come up with a third official explanation of why their next Assassin’s Creed game is going to run at only 30 FPS.
This week’s third explanation is that the team is targeting 30 frames per second because that is a more cinematic looking framerate than 60 FPS.
In an interview, Alex Amancio, Assassin’s Creed Unity’s creative director, reiterated this point: “Thirty was our goal, it feels more cinematic. Sixty is really good for a shooter, action adventure not so much. It actually feels better for people when it’s at that 30fps. It also lets us push the limits of everything to the maximum.”
I won’t question that 30 FPS allows you to push the graphics quality higher. If you’ve ever played a PC game, you know that turning down the graphics improves the framerate. Therefore, the inverse should hold true. I’ll grant that much.
However, I would contest the need to make a game “more cinematic” by going with a framerate that’s 6 FPS faster than a movie. I quite like how games look at 60 FPS. Sure, 30 FPS is still playable but a game can still look cinematic at any framerate. If you “push the limits of everything to the maximum,” it’ll look like a movie because it looks good rather than having muddied textures, janky shadows and other graphical hiccups that take you out of the gaming experience.
The sentiment was seconded by level design director Nicolas Guerin who said, “At Ubisoft for a long time we wanted to push 60 fps. I don’t think it was a good idea because you don’t gain that much from 60 fps and it doesn’t look like the real thing.”
There are two problems with that statement. First, Ubi wants a 60 FPS shooter because controls are more precise at 60 FPS than they are at 30 FPS. Lower framerates create input lag so going for 60 FPS makes controlling the game better which is something I’d consider quite important for a video game. Secondly, the real thing isn’t at 30 FPS. You can see more than 30 frames per second. We’re not used to more than 30 FPS in console gaming so that would be terrible but better reasoning. However, the real thing is at a higher framerate than what Ubi is pitching.
Thanks for the third explanation Ubi. Let me know when you change feet again.