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Port Review - Far Cry 4

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Port Review - Far Cry 4

Far Cry 4 has been out for a couple of days now, so I’m taking a break from my sojourn in Kyrat, and my mounting body count, to condense my thoughts on how the game fares on PC. I’m still relatively early in the game’s narrative, but I’ve put Ubisoft Montreal’s hunting and killing sequel through its paces. And I’ve got good news. 

While Assassin’s Creed Unity was inconsistent and has required a lot of post-launch attention from Ubisoft, Far Cry 4 is significantly more stable, with better performance on less beefy PCs. They recommended system requirements are the same as Unity's lowest. And it’s absolutely stunning, from the snow and mist-shrouded mountains to the verdant forests lousy with animals. 

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Far Cry 4 pirates accidentally reveal themselves to Ubisoft

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Far Cry 4 pirates accidentally reveal themselves to Ubisoft

Far Cry 4 has an FOV slider, which is lucky - an iffy aspect ratio can cause nausea and leave PC shooters completely unplayable. But the option was added in a launch day patch, and you know who doesn’t download launch day patches? A pirate.

Ne’er-do-wells hammered Ubisoft’s Twitter accounts complaining about the missing feature - an act tantamount to admitting in public that they hadn’t bought the game.

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Far Cry 4's map editor won't allow you to make competitive multiplayer maps

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Far Cry 4's map editor won't allow you to make competitive multiplayer maps

Ubisoft’s had a hard time making friends, lately. News that Far Cry 4’s map editor would not support competitive multiplayer inspired a 17-page thread of anger on the official forums. 

The lack of multiplayer map editing came to light on Twitch, when a streamer played a leaked copy of the game. Before this, Ubisoft had not mentioned its absence. 

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Assassin's Creed Unity AMD performance issues provoke prompt Ubisoft response

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Assassin's Creed Unity AMD performance issues provoke prompt Ubisoft response

Fraser had a fiddle with Assassin’s Creed Unity PC port yesterday, and came away with a number of technical reservations about Ubisoft’s Parisian playground.

While the most dramatic framerate troughs have been reserved for consoles, PC players have discovered performance problems across a range of rigs. In fact, the only point of consistency seems to be that AMD users have had the worst of it.

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Port Review - Assassin's Creed Unity

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Port Review - Assassin's Creed Unity

Assassin’s Creed Unity is out, in most places at least, and I’ve spent the day running around France, flashing dashing grins, duelling and looting every treasure chest I could find, all with one goal: to let you know if the PC version is a dud, or if it’s just as shiny and lovely as Versailles. 

Odd system requirements evoked memories of The Evil Within, which was a terrible port, but like a hidden blade to the gut, Unity is quite a surprise. But it’s also very, very inconsistent. 

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Swot up on Far Cry 4 with the 8 minute launch trailer

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Swot up on Far Cry 4 with the 8 minute launch trailer

Far Cry 4 is out in less than a week, and just in case you missed the barrage of trailers detailing every single aspect of this rather large game, Ubisoft has put together yet another, teaching you everything you need to know about the open world shooter.

It’s eight minutes long, which is quite long for a trailer, but not very long for a class. 

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Far Cry 4 isn't getting a Blood Dragon spin-off, but don't count out another surprise expansion

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Far Cry 4 isn't getting a Blood Dragon spin-off, but don't count out another surprise expansion

Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon was a whole lot of stupid fun, a game where - just in the first 30 minutes - you punch a nuke, unleash dragons on enemies and stab, shot and fling shurikens at Daft Punk lookalikes. Ubisoft Montreal won’t be making a sequel. 

Unfortunate, sure, but the reasons behind the decision make sense and are extremely unexpected for Ubisoft. 

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Ubisoft reveals Far Cry 4 system requirements, and they aren't completely bonkers

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Ubisoft reveals Far Cry 4 system requirements, and they aren't completely bonkers

After Ubisoft announced the rather crazy system requirements for Assassin’s Creed Unity, I was expecting some equally ridiculous requirements for Far Cry 4, but colour me surprised, they are a lot tamer. Ubisoft raised the curtain on the list of things you’ll need crammed inside the shell of your PC today, and while the optimal requirements are a touch high, it should still be playable on a broad range of machines. 

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Here's everything you need to know about Assassin's Creed Unity crammed into one video

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Here's everything you need to know about Assassin's Creed Unity crammed into one video

If you haven’t quite got the jist of Assassin’s Creed Unity from the story, gameplay, co-op and cinematic trailers that we’ve been bombarded with over the last six months, well then you’ve not been paying attention, but not to worry! Ubisoft’s put together yet another, this one covering everything. 

It’s Assassin’s Creed Unity 101. 

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What to do in Assassin's Creed Unity's Paris: Murder, stealing and a bit of detective work

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What to do in Assassin's Creed Unity's Paris: Murder, stealing and a bit of detective work

Paris is a busy, bustling place. I was once chased down a street by a dog after watching some rugby there - exciting stuff! Ubisoft reckons that its digital version of Paris in Assassin’s Creed Unity is pretty exciting and realistic too.

As always, Unity will be stuffed with diversions, some returning, some completely new. Creative director Alex Amancio goes over what you can expect when you’re sauntering out the 18th Century city. 

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Assassin's Creed Unity system specs are as steep as Notre Dame

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Assassin's Creed Unity system specs are as steep as Notre Dame

It’s going to be a cruel Christmas. Over in the console kingdom, developers have tired of pulling along owners of older machines, content to let customers slide backwards down the hill on their sleds if they won’t buy a new box. And in the PC province, system requirements have taken a sudden and uncomfortable lurch upwards, like so much rum butter in your oesophagus.

To Shadow of Mordor and The Evil Within add Assassin’s Creed Unity, which is calling for the head of your ageing graphics card to be separated from its body.

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"Cinematic experience" is a nonsense term and isn't achieved by frame rates

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"Cinematic experience" is a nonsense term and isn't achieved by frame rates

Lately, many AAA developers have been striving for a strange, intangible thing: the “cinematic experience". It’s a term that has become synonymous for developer-imposed limitations, a clarification or an excuse to explain why a game is - usually technically, but sometimes thematically - restricted in some way. 

There is nothing innately wrong with limitations, even within the power fantasies of modern gaming. But problems arise when this crude term is thrown into the mix. It implies a horrible end-goal, where what games really need to be more like are films. 

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Michael Ironside thinks the recasting of Sam Fisher was a "great idea for Ubisoft"

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Michael Ironside thinks the recasting of Sam Fisher was a "great idea for Ubisoft"

For eight years and six games, Sam Fisher was synonymous with the microfilm-gargling baritone of Michael Ironside, the Canadian actor and Starship Troopers survivor. But he was ousted for last year’s (actually excellent) Splinter Cell entry, Blacklist. Asked about the publisher’s decision in a Reddit AMA yesterday, Ironside waxed entirely unbitterly about his time as the don of Third Echelon.

“I think it’s a great idea for Ubisoft," he said. “They’ve gone to motion capture, and this spring I will be 65 years old. I don't think anyone wants to pay money seeing a 65 year old Sam Fisher bounce around on set, stumbling while he kills people."

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Watch Dogs 2 will build on player's ability to "humanise" NPCs through profiling

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Watch Dogs 2 will build on player's ability to "humanise" NPCs through profiling

Watch Dogs’ citizen profiler has proven to be one of its more divisive systems. While some dismissed its randomised text descriptions as shallow, player mileage seemed to vary according to the leaps of imagination they were prepared to take.

Creative director Jonathan Morin wants to push that “space for interpretation" in the sequel, and build on Watch Dogs’ foundations for “systemic contextual narrative".

“You can humanise the people around you," he said of the game’s successes. “That I definitely see as the beginning of something that is quite unique and could push the industry forward."

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Far Cry 4 trailer reintroduces Pagan Min with kidnapping, torture and an absurd chase sequence

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Far Cry 4 trailer reintroduces Pagan Min with kidnapping, torture and an absurd chase sequence

I’m not especially interested in Far Cry 4’s dapper antagonist, Pagan Min, and wasn’t planning on posting this trailer that reintroduces him. Ubisoft makes more trailers than I can keep up with, anyway. But then I decided to watch it, and I changed my mind. 

The tiger and elephant attacks certainly look like a good time, but they are topped by a high speed chase involving a quad bike, a plane and a wingsuit. Oh, and of course an explosion. Direct your eyes below for the turned up to 11 silliness.

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Assassin's Creed Unity DLC finally takes us to China on a quest for revenge

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Assassin's Creed Unity DLC finally takes us to China on a quest for revenge

Ubisoft has pulled back the curtain on its post-release, season pass plans for Assassin's Creed Unity, and the publisher has managed to squeeze in a welcome surprise. 

Along with the expected stuff like new weapons and customization options for Arno’s Parisian adventure, a new story campaign will take the Assassin out of the French capital and into the crypts of Saint Denis. 

Far more interesting, though, is a standalone game separate from the story of Unity, set in 16th Century China with a female Assassin, Shao Jun. 

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Assassin's Creed Unity co-op trailer makes murder stylish

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Assassin's Creed Unity co-op trailer makes murder stylish

I’m not certain if I want to go back to regular Assassin’s Creed after the swashbuckling adventures of Black Flag, but the opportunity to jump across the Parisian rooftops with three buddies is certainly a tantalising one. 

Ubisoft’s got another stylish trailer for Assassin’s Creed Unity that’s probably not actually representative of the game but looks and sounds good anyway. Slap your eyes on it below. 

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