Assassins Creed 2: Backwards Compatible Analysis
Near the birth of last gen Assassins Creed was the brand new franchise that really set the world alight with its expansive worlds, bustling NPC, historic grander and engaging story. But sadly the first game was a little rough around the edges, a diamond in through so to speak.
But the first game released within 2 years of the Xbox360 at the tale end of 2007, but the franchise was really thrust into the limelight and hearts of its fans when not only the sequel was born but also the series most favoured protagonist in Ezio ( as they tried to remodel again within Unity). It was a game that perfected the series mixture of humour, witty scripting and a great historic and engaging story. So it is little wonder as the favourite in the AC world it has seen the BC treatment within the XBoxOne's list of 360 playable games. All open to anyone who has the original disc release or store purchase, these are used as a DRM key to allow the image to be downloaded to the XboxOne and run within a Virtual Machine emulation method, please check out our article on this and or console article to learn more on this.
As I am looking back at these games on the older platforms Assassins Creed has always been a fair but not proud performer in general. But AC2 was one that stood out as being very good in play. Some of this was due to it not running V-Sync throughout play and allowing this to slip when the frame time was just missed. This also means that on occasions this flip can cause the 30fps cap to just be broken now and again to allow for a new frame buffer to me created, memory was in short supply. Seen in the video here as new sections are loaded in the screen can tear fully with a short spike to a 16ms before resuming back into a capped 30 rate.
But in cutscene's the GPU can also fall behind at points with heavier sections of geometry, post effects but it never dips lower than 27 in our tests but can tear more often. And just like all other games I have covered in this set the new emulator runs with a full V-Sync in play meaning if it misses by a millimetre it misses by a mile, but here we see a far more solid performance and one that overall beats the pretty solid 360 release from my tests. They can both have small stutter at times from I/O sections or when groups of AI give chase but these are not often or distract much at all. The solid screen refresh is welcome and here does not come at the cost of further dips in like for like tests. The spikes to 31 or 16ms frames times are also absent here from my analysis with it keeping the cap in place and although dipping to the same 27 low it does this less often, with the full metrics for those who want them visible on screen within the video. With many section's seeing GPU load causing dips on the X360 this makes perfect sense.
Again like other games so far we see no improvement to visuals with the same up resolution from the games native 720 display, and it has not aged well at all. After revisiting this game the texture work, post effects, models and animation all look quite dated now and is a great example of how much games and more do engines, skill and knowledge have improved. But it is still a game that many may well want to re-play if they have it sitting in the games draw, and it even plays ever so slightly better now than its original platform which is a welcome bonus.
You can view a good portion of footage of Ezio in action that should demonstrate the early sections of the game and and how it plays out across both versions. Again another title that although not offering up any large improvements the increase in story section performance and lack of screen tearing (even if the original was not a huge offender) is a welcome addition to being able to play even more titles on your machine.