Assassin's Creed Rogue
Tomorrow Ubisoft will finally release Assassin's Creed Rogue on PC. Who knows why it didn't launch day-and-date with the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360 versions way back in November. I'm guessing the publisher didn't want it competing directly against Assassin's Creed Unity on the same platform. The trouble is, my colleagues say that it's a good idea to play Rogue before Unity. So why didn't I just fire up one of the last-gen versions?
I normally would have, but I knew it was coming out on PC eventually. After playing the nice-looking Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag on PlayStation 4, why should I have to take a step backward for its direct follow-up? Ubisoft isn't directly touting any of the improvements made for the PC edition, but one can usually count on that platform pushing performance as far as your rig can handle. I kept my fingers crossed that it would be a decent port.
I finally got my hands on the PC version this weekend and played through several hours, jumping back and forth with the Xbox 360 version. It's not even close.
I was able to top out the settings (shown above) on my PC. Here are all the ways it kicks the old versions' butts.
The PC version runs in native 1080p with plenty of options for high-resolution textures. Anti-aliasing kills most of the jaggies that are absolutely everywhere on old-gen. The ocean looks great whether you're taking a dip or blasting cannons at the enemy.
Rogue runs super smoothly now. This looks great in normal gameplay, but it really stands out when you're synchronizing viewpoints and the camera pans around your character. The biggest difference is in the ship sequences. All those water effects mixed with multiple ships overwhelmed the previous versions, causing serious frame rate dips, but now everything runs without issue and controls feel more responsive.
Longer draw distance
In the old Rogue I noticed vegetation popping in constantly as I ran around on foot. In the PC version I didn't see much at all.
Light and fog
"God rays" and volumetric fog are a common way to spruce games up when you've got power to spare, and Rogue PC puts them to use excellently. The rays of light dance around the sail of your ship as you turn into and away from the sun and the enhanced shadows creep across the deck. When in battle, smoke from your cannons looks awesome as you trade shots on the high seas.
Rogue on PC was definitely worth the wait for me. The enhanced visuals, effects, and frame rate make this the absolute definitive version. I look forward to experiencing the rest of the actual content of the game, but it seems decent enough so far. It's mostly glitch-free, though I did see a guy I stabbed hover in the air after he was dead. Seeing the work that went into making Rogue look good makes me wonder when we'll see a "definitive edition" make its way to PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. After all, Assassin's Creed III: Liberation eventually made its way from Vita to home consoles, so why not this?