Assassin's Creed II for PC Uses Only DX9 Features

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.

Marcus Yam
Marcus Yam served as Tom's Hardware News Director during 2008-2014. He entered tech media in the late 90s and fondly remembers the days when an overclocked Celeron 300A and Voodoo2 SLI comprised a gaming rig with the ultimate street cred.
  • princeandy63
    that sucks, having the latest and greatest in graphics apparently doesn't matter
  • shadow187
    A Steam survey that has 40% of the users using XP; did they read the article saying the MAJOR increase in Windows_7 users?
  • welshmousepk
    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.
  • Assmar
    Oh well, time to turn up the AA all the way.
  • joex444
    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?
  • liquidsnake718
    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...
  • nforce4max

    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.
  • doorspawn
    DX9 is pseudo cross-platform via WinE.
    IIRC, DX10 isn't.
    So, to me, this is a good thing.
  • HTDuro
    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 ...
  • scorc25
    and every time i will kill a Templar, i will imagine it being one of the producers that held it back from Dx10.