Got a fancy new video card? Assassin's Creed II won't take notice -- but it's still a beautiful game.
Assassin's Creed II was one of the best games I played and one of the few that I finished in 2009. I couldn't hold out for a PC release, but those of you who are waiting until early March to play this superlative sequel will get a few perks.
David Champagne, 3D Lead Programmer of Assassin's Creed II, said in an interview with PC Games Hardware, "We spent quite some time improving the performances of the PC version by taking advantage of multi-core processors. The PC version also supports much higher resolutions than the console version and multi-sampling modes up to 8X (as opposed to the console version which only supports 2X)."
Assassin's Creed II will also take full advantage of quad core processors, especially for those who can process more than a single thread. "We now support up to 8 threads. Our engine being mainly task-based since AC1, it has been pretty easy to scale up and parallelize the various tasks all over the multiple threads." Champagne added. "Most of our game systems, including AI, physics, animation and rendering, are taking advantage of multi-threading. … Physics is a task as any other tasks in our engine. We don't reserve a specific thread to perform the physics calculations. We didn't have the chance to look into Nvidia's Physx."
Those of you expecting more whiz-bang effects over the console versions will be disappointed, however, as Assassin's Creed II is a DirectX 9 affair.
"We are using the same rendering engine as the Xbox 360 version which is based on DX9. Integrating DX11 in our renderer would have definitely been too much time-consuming given our release date," said Champagne. "Assassin's Creed II has no specific support for DX10 (but the game still runs smoothly on both DX10 and DX11 systems)."
While that piece of news is disappointing for gamers who have purchased a new ATI Radeon HD for DX11 hotness, Champagne cites a Steam survey that has 40 percent of gamers still using Windows XP.
So when will he feel the need to jump to the newer API? "I guess when most of the gamers will have switched to DX11. ;) According to Steam HW Survey, 40% of the gamers are still playing under Windows XP. I think we'll have to wait a bit..." he answered.