Assassin's Creed

Everytime I play Unity or Syndicate, the graphics weirdly seem better than the new games

Ok, I'm gonna try to make this comparison look as fair as possible. Imma list down some distinct points that I think are the issue. Would like to hear if something else stood out to you.

1) Depth of field

In Unity/Syndicate cutscenes, characters in the background are often faded out (as well as the background itself) so to put the focus on main characters and what's happening. This can also be observed in other cutscenes like those on vantage points when the camera wants you to focus on a particular event. In contrast, cutscenes in the newer games feel a bit weird in the sense that everything is focused at the same time, and the images are way too sharp. You kinda see everything at the same time which lessens the degree of immersion.

2) Character models

Character models are of course better in the newer games with more details and a more realistic semblance to the human body. But it doesn't help the quality of cutscenes since they've gone with the static camera angle and minimal facial expressions and body gestures in cutscenes. In fact in the newer games, cutscenes are the only place where they can showcase the details of the character models, because in normal gameplay, the camera is too far from the action (almost as if they want you to take in the scenery rather than focus on the characters).

3) Colours (talking about Odyssey alone now)

The saturation feels unrealistic. Everything is way too colourful. I'm talking about the shields, armor, golden statues, ships etc. This may also be true about Valhalla from what I've seen (haven't gotten to actually playing it). I mean if shields are constantly being used, the paint should wear off, there should be scratches and signs of weathering. Same goes for clothes, ships etc. I guess Syndicate also had the same problem because the green and red uniforms (Rooks and Blighters) were a bit too flashy and cartoonish. Unity/Origins had the right idea about this. A little off topic, but there was a stage where the games were almost devoid of colour, like AC1, AC2. That was an elegant artistic style too, especially the characteristic tint/overlay unique to each city or area.

4) Amount of detail

Here, I'm referring to how much you can see per frame while (say) running through a city or climbing something. I know, I know, bustling crowded city vs open stretches of plains … but it could also be due to the camera angle. With it being so wide, we get a larger view but there's little anything TO see, so you wanna zoom in rather than zoom out, in order to focus on the little things of interest that do pop up, rather than on the background. This has one advantage though… the viewpoints are breathtaking.

(I don't know if the following points are directly related to graphics but I guess they are somehow relevant)

5) Animations

Animations are downright clunky in the newer games. This is a heavy downgrade. Only compare the assassinations and you'll see it. Then, the cutscenes. Then, the combat animations (Syndicate too here).

6) Effects

Now I'm gonna talk about how they handled fire, poison, and the weapons' visual effects in combat. This was a complete overhaul of the style that came with the RPG mechanics. The steel on steel collision in weapons is more often than not accompanied by white or red streaks (the only instance of this I noticed in previous games was the red heavy attack in Unity). Then there's how they handled poison. The whole body starts glowing green and covered in fumes, compared to a simple purple health bar. Same with fire. If either of these was merely a HUD element, it woulda been fine. But we see it happening to the person, which is unrealistic.

Now this all could be all subjective, based on my experience. Maybe it's all based on my preference of the artistic direction, because it's uncommon (almost impossible in the same series) that a more recent game would be inferior in graphics to an older one.

Anyways, would like to hear what you guys think.


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