Assassin's Creed Liberation HD ReviewGuest_Jim_* -
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The quick way to describe the graphics is that they are (likely) an upgrade from what the Vita handheld was delivering and not a remaster. (I say 'likely' because I do not own a Vita to compare the graphics with.) You will spot low-vertex polygons almost everywhere and low quality, repeated textures are also common. Aveline's model, however, looks very good and definitely comparable to characters of other console and PC games. Every other character model is less impressive. To be fair, remaking all of the original art assets would have taken a lot of resources, so you cannot hold this against the game or the developers.
For example, facial animations look like those of much older games, with the jaw just moving up and down, and not the smoother motion we have become accustomed to. There is nothing wrong with them though, so forgive them and move on.
Something harder to forgive are the eyes of every character model I have been able to see. They all appear to have a reflective layer on them, but the reflections can be so strong that they cloud the eye, like a translucent film. This makes the eyes look like glass and is just… weird enough (I am not sure if I want to say creepy) that I truly wish they had been worked on more than they apparently were.
Fire is not particularly present the game, so I am not going to talk about it. Large bodies of water can be found in the two primary settings of Liberation, so I must speak of it. Water is always flat, with things like boats seemingly just placed on top and not truly floating on it. You can see distorted reflections on it, but I cannot tell you if they are actually reflections of the world around you. In some places they do appear to be real reflections, but even then there are some issues. Moving through the water, either in a canoe or swimming, does not always disturb the water. Sometimes an effect is added to imitate churned water, but sometimes it is not. I cannot think of any explanation for this inconsistency.
Environments are not particularly complex or dense, which is likely a remnant of the game's handheld origin.
Time to talk performance, so here are my specs:
- Processor: AMD A10-5800K @ 4.40 GHz (44.0x100)
- Cooling: Corsair H110
- Motherboard: ASUS F2A85-M PRO
- GPU: EVGA GTX 770 2 GB
- PhysX: EVGA GTX 570 1280 MB
- Memory: G.Skill Ripjaws 4x8 GB (32 GB total) at 1866 MHz 10-10-10-27
- PSU: OCZ Fata1ty 750 W
- OS: Windows 7- Professional 64-bit
As you would hope and expect, I was able to run the game at maximum settings without issue from that. Sadly the game's performance was not always that good with almost common stuttering. My belief is that the stuttering is the result of less-than-great optimization and not my decision for graphics settings. If it were the settings I would expect the stuttering to be more consistent than it was and that the frame rate would be lower than it was when there was no stuttering.
At times I also experienced some curious bugs. At one point I spotted NPCs flying up and down in the background. Another time Aveline started swimming on land. I was trying to jump over a small ditch with water in it near where it connected to a larger body. Somehow the leap over the ditch triggered the game to think I had dived into the deeper water, causing Aveline to swim on land. Eventually this led to her getting stuck as though against an obstacle, forcing me to restart from a checkpoint.
Over all the graphics are more-or-less what one would expect from an HD remake of a handheld game. Not great, but not bad either. Sadly the same can be said of performance, despite the relative simplicity of the environment.