Assassin’s Creed Unity Will Reach A “New Level With The Effects”

Jeffrey Spicer, the Character and FX Production Manager at Ubisoft, has been talking to Develop about the levels of detail in the forthcoming Assassin’s Creed Unity and they are rather impressive.

“We’ve got the biggest crowd ever in an Assassin’s Creed with Unity,” explained Jeffrey. “We’ve got the most unique characters and the most detail. One of the greatest progressions was on the character side, most definitely. Not just in the amount of characters we’re able to integrate into the game world (because it’s a huge world), but how we’re able to tie the system together and just develop unique characters.”

Jeffrey goes on to say Ubisoft have “made breakthroughs” in facial scanning, skin shaders, hair and eye wetness, along with the design of the characters clothing.

“We’ve been able to do a lot with what we call ‘soft cloth’, where we give cloth real physics to make it feel like it’s living and breathing and it reacts to the game world,” he said. “With every fold and every crease having weight, it really makes you think about design before it’s integrated into the game.”

This brings me to a little discussion the staff were having at TSA towers the other night. It is obvious that Unity will be a technical miracle, but does it need to be? Are all the tiny details a step

The the play area of Paris larger than the entire land mass found in Black Flag, does that make it a better game? A larger map requires extra crowd characters with AI routines and as far as we have been told, that’s is the reason the game can only manage 900p.

The level of detail for the clothing in Unity seems a good idea on paper, but in the real world who is going to notice the difference between a silk shirt and a cloth shirt when a character runs?

Let us know you thoughts in the comments.

Source: Develop



  1. Enjoyed the last game so looking forward to this, from what I’ve seen it’s looking pretty good.

  2. If I were the lead designer and it was time to focus on this, I’d simply start with “what’s the most non-immersive element to the game?” and go from there.

    1. facial animation?
    2. mouth animation?
    3. number of NPCs too low?
    4. characters outfits glitch and merge with objects around them?

    If they’ve left an absolute clanger in there, then it’ll be a misstep to address the above sorts of things in the article but I’m sure they know what they’re doing.

    Let’s be fair, The Last of Us was a wonderful game (in 720p) on the PS3. I’d happily take all new games running at a slightly lower resolution (than 1080p) if I knew they were going to have the production values of The Last of Us. With that said, it doesn’t mean I don’t want even more from them but one step at a time. :-)

  3. The resolution should be fine at 900p but the big thing I’m worried about is the latest build previewers got to play was running quite poorly. Sub-30 for significant periods apparently.
    Videogamer has a video on their YouTube page.

    • Historically, you’ll find that a build that’s robust enough to give to the media to play is usually quite old. Hopefully, their most recent version is running smoothly. If not, that 900p is going be coupled with something else that’s tricky to tolerate. *insert dramatic music moment here* Frame-rate! *waves hands scarily*

  4. Great, another example of cramming effects in at the expense of image quality (resolution) and fluid performance (framerate).

  5. As an assassin, i guess you’re certainly going to have ample opportunity to get up close enough to appreciate those details :)

  6. So I am gonna go clean here and state: the last AC game I played was Ac III with PS+. I will play Black Flag at some point but is it me….or all AC games look the same ?
    I know the graphics are getting better but still THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME.

    • I thought 3 was a terrible game. Black flag restored my faith in the series.

      • It really was. I had high hopes for the story, because I enjoy reading about the American Revolution but the story was just so awful. The main character was so generic…

  7. I’m glad that they are trying to make the game look as lifelike as possible, as it makes the game more immersive.

  8. Never played an AC game before (somehow) but Unity is on my list simply because of the added co-op elements. Providing they can get the game running at a stable frame rate I’ll be happy.

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