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How does Assassin's Creed Origins on Pro improve over base PS4?

After a year on hiatus, the Assassin’s Creed franchise returns, refreshed in all areas – and that includes its technology. We hope to bring you more about the game’s technical foundations soon, but what’s clear is that materials, animation and motion capture have been pleasingly improved, while image quality moves on to the next level. Draw distances are further extended with less pop-in – all the better to service an in-game world 4x the size of Black Flag’s – while lighting is on another level. Meanwhile, PlayStation 4 Pro support looks solid enough, hinting at even better things to come for Xbox One X.

In terms of the game aesthetic, we’re looking at a massive revamp compared to Unity and Syndicate, and Ubisoft has allowed the respective console GPUs to flex their muscles as much as possible. The days of the 900p parity between base PlayStation 4 and Xbox One in AC titles are over. Dynamic resolution is deployed on all systems, and this produces large variations in results: the standard PS4 spends most of its time at native 1080p, with just small drops beneath, while Xbox One is more aggressive with its scaling – we’ve only had limited time with the Microsoft code so far, but we’ve noted 792p, 864p and 900p pixel-counts.

All eyes are on PlayStation 4 Pro, however, especially when factoring in the imminent arrival of Microsoft’s new console. The boost here varies according to the complexity of the scene, with variations between 1350p and 1584p measured during our tests so far. Does Assassin’s Creed Origins use checkerboarding? The bulk of the evidence suggests no. However, infrequent edge-cases (particularly on the feathers of Senu, Bayek’s eagle chum) show the same kind of edge cross-hatching we saw on the E3 trailer, which was apparently running on Xbox One X hardware. We hope to hammer down this detail soon.

While the presentation of Assassin’s Creed Origins is undoubtedly softer than native by quite a chalk (something upcoming comparisons with the PC version should confirm), all versions of the game are solid, with very little edge-shimmer or other aliasing artefacts. The smart money would be on a temporal anti-aliasing solution here, which is deployed on all systems. Ubisoft has aimed for a very natural-looking, organic world in Origins, with lots of grass, plants and foliage. The effect would be compromised severely by pixel-popping on these elements, but consistency in motion is excellent overall. This is a huge upgrade over prior AC entries.