Assassin’s Creed returns once again with the excellent Odyssey, built upon the same technological revamp that successfully powered last year’s Origins. By and large, it’s a successful multi-platform deployment across consoles and PC, but similar to the last offering, it’s best played on the enhanced ‘4K’ consoles. There’s an almost majestic scale and scope to this new title across all systems, but it’s PS4 Pro and Xbox One X that deliver a quantifiably smoother, more consistent experience over base consoles.
Technologically, Odyssey follows Origins in adjusting rendering resolution according to load, improving image quality using a variant of the temporal anti-aliasing technology pioneered in the remarkable For Honor. So yes, if we look at the raw numbers, there is a clear resolution boost as we scale the console power ladder – base Xbox console at the bottom, followed by a 1080p-centric PS4, before we move on to Pro and Xbox One X at the top end of the scale. However, the traditional way we perceive resolution – edge jaggies, pixel-popping, etc – is circumvented via the use of TAA.
The end result is that more GPU power simply translates into more clarity. It’s an elegant solution that gives the developers the freedom to more easily deliver their vision without being limited by the host platform. If the scene is more complex, resolution drops, but the end result still looks fairly consistent, and even platform comparisons hold up fairly well in motion. Think of each system as having a specific resolution window designed – in theory – to keep the game running smoothly at 30fps and this effectively sums up how both Origins and Odyssey work. However, the implementation varies fairly dramatically.
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