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Assassin's Creed II for PC Uses Only DX9 Features

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 58 comments

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.

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  • 26 Hide
    princeandy63 , February 12, 2010 11:17 PM
    that sucks, having the latest and greatest in graphics apparently doesn't matter
  • 25 Hide
    nforce4max , February 12, 2010 11:49 PM
    Sigh

    As a PC gamer I am sick of being treated as a second or third class gamer.
    It is not just the games you play or how you play it but what you play them on. Console games are getting more and more crummy, I miss the good old days ware each console had games that justified the existence of the console as well had character like the classic N64 or the PS2. The good old days are long gone now like 3DFX. Software is getting more and more sloppy for all platforms.
  • 21 Hide
    abbadon_34 , February 13, 2010 1:29 AM
    eh, a modern PC w/DX9 is still going to kick the shit out a console.
Other Comments
  • 26 Hide
    princeandy63 , February 12, 2010 11:17 PM
    that sucks, having the latest and greatest in graphics apparently doesn't matter
  • 12 Hide
    shadow187 , February 12, 2010 11:18 PM
    A Steam survey that has 40% of the users using XP; did they read the article saying the MAJOR increase in Windows_7 users?
  • 6 Hide
    welshmousepk , February 12, 2010 11:20 PM
    doesn't really surprise. not even news tbh. it'l be a while before we can expect dx11 to be a standard. i sure as hell didn't expect a console port from last year to support it.

    love the game though. already finished it on my xbox, but may have to try the pc version too.
  • 5 Hide
    Assmar , February 12, 2010 11:22 PM
    Oh well, time to turn up the AA all the way.
  • 2 Hide
    joex444 , February 12, 2010 11:28 PM
    Even with 40% on XP that means the majority are on an OS with DX10+. They should probably wait until 10% are on XP, so as to not offer features that not everybody can use -- I mean, in fairness. Why spur upgrades?
  • 0 Hide
    liquidsnake718 , February 12, 2010 11:32 PM
    Damn I loved the first AC, I actually thought it was a DX10 gaME....Oh well, Ati may have gotten the advantage of bringing out the first dx11 card but there have been few games that actually utilize it...
  • 25 Hide
    nforce4max , February 12, 2010 11:49 PM
    Sigh

    As a PC gamer I am sick of being treated as a second or third class gamer.
    It is not just the games you play or how you play it but what you play them on. Console games are getting more and more crummy, I miss the good old days ware each console had games that justified the existence of the console as well had character like the classic N64 or the PS2. The good old days are long gone now like 3DFX. Software is getting more and more sloppy for all platforms.
  • -5 Hide
    doorspawn , February 12, 2010 11:53 PM
    DX9 is pseudo cross-platform via WinE.
    IIRC, DX10 isn't.
    So, to me, this is a good thing.
  • 0 Hide
    HTDuro , February 13, 2010 12:01 AM
    WTFH .. AC 1 was DX10 and one of rare game who run better and faster under DX10 than DX9. thx so proper coding for SM4 .. but now ... its BS ... AC2 in DX9 .. whats wrong ...
  • 19 Hide
    scorc25 , February 13, 2010 12:08 AM
    and every time i will kill a Templar, i will imagine it being one of the producers that held it back from Dx10.
  • 0 Hide
    wh3resmycar , February 13, 2010 12:22 AM
    wtf!? no ambient occlusion for ac2?
  • 1 Hide
    falchard , February 13, 2010 12:23 AM
    With DX11 it shouldn't matter that people are still on Windows XP, it is backwards compatible down to 9.
  • 7 Hide
    jurassic1024 , February 13, 2010 12:26 AM
    "While that piece of news is disappointing for gamers who have purchased a new ATI Radeon HD for DX11 hotness..."

    Only disappointing if you weren't alive when DX8, 9 and 10 came out. How good were they 5 months in? Who writes this stuff? Or am I suppose to cut up ATi 5000 series owners for not being able to use DX11 on a card that came to be months into AC II's development? DiRT 2 does have support and it's not great. Visually or performance-wise.
  • 2 Hide
    jurassic1024 , February 13, 2010 12:28 AM
    HTDuroWTFH .. AC 1 was DX10 and one of rare game who run better and faster under DX10 than DX9. thx so proper coding for SM4 .. but now ... its BS ... AC2 in DX9 .. whats wrong ...


    The only other title that performs better in DX10 that I know of is Far Cry 2.
  • 3 Hide
    matchboxmatt , February 13, 2010 12:31 AM
    I'm pretty sure that with any ports from consoles to PC, it's going to remain a strictly DX9. I doubt DX11 (let alone DX10) will really matter until the next generation of consoles where it may possibly be supported, since most high-profile titles release on multiple platforms.

    Just like how the best Wii titles take advantage of the hardware, the same applies for DX11 GPUs. In the meanwhile, DX11 and DX10 will looks nearly the exact same as DX9 while working the system a whole lot more.
  • 3 Hide
    cknobman , February 13, 2010 12:55 AM
    Anyone catch the remarks about the tweaks for multicore processors and thread handling?

    WTF why are they just now doing this? Dosnt the 360 have a triple core processor? Wasnt there multi core systems around for AC1?

    I dont get it.
  • 4 Hide
    universalremonster , February 13, 2010 1:11 AM
    I'm willing to bet that there would be more gamers moving on to DX10/DX11 operating systems if a developer would actually give them a reason to... When talking about the masses, who's ganna fork over a few hundred dollars for an OS and video card when developers have this kind of attitude towards breaking away from the same ol same ol they have been using for how many years now?? I mean, one or the other HAS to happen first and apparrently developers feel as though it is the consumers obligation to make the jump first before ever being shown why we need to make the jump in the first place. Personally I do stay fairly current on my hardware. I made the DX10 jump pretty early in anticipation for Crysis and I currently have a 5870 waiting to see some new great titles that use it... But seriously for those that are not enthusiasts or that don't have income to just be throwing around on the newest video cards, exactly why would they make the jump first after the rediculously low DX10 support that we just witnessed last gen? You can count on one hand how many games outside of Crysis really pushed DX10 and showed us what it is capable of. So from a gaming standpoint why WOULD any of those 40% switch from XP?? As an enthusiast that supports the new hardware and OS's as they come out it frustrates my greatly.
  • 21 Hide
    abbadon_34 , February 13, 2010 1:29 AM
    eh, a modern PC w/DX9 is still going to kick the shit out a console.
  • -1 Hide
    megamanx00 , February 13, 2010 2:37 AM
    Darn XP.
  • 2 Hide
    TheDuke , February 13, 2010 2:37 AM
    somehow a sequel does less
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