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Assassins Creed 2 woeful performance


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#1 Lord Heavy

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Posted 19 October 2010 - 04:31 PM

Am I the only person who has stupidly bought Assassins Creed 2 for the Mac: it seems to be riddled with problems (like, uh, the keyboard stopping working when you fire the game up) and appalling graphics performance even on workhorse machines. I've tried it on both my brand new i7 MacBook Pro @ 1680x1050 and a quad 2.66ghz Mac Pro with an 8800GT @ 1920x1200. Both play AC2 at full speed on maximum everything under Boot Camp.

I'm not expecting like for like performance, but even dropping texture quality and resolution right down on both machines doesn't stop the stuttering, juddering graphics. Annoyingly, it actually seem fine if you're static! Perhaps it's the dynamic drawing distances that have been badly ported?

A final thing: what appeared to be a great feature (cloud-based game saves) has back-fired, as although the Mac version logged in with the PC save (which I wasn't expecting to happen automatically), it fails the other way! The Mac saves won't work on the PC - perhaps because this is the (sigh) 'Deluxe' version. So I now can't even revert to playing on Boot Camp.

Good grief.

Anyway, I'm just interested to see if anyone else has bought it, and if they've had a better experience.

It's made a game that was probably my most enjoyed game this year into a lame duck... I'm hoping it's not yet another low quality port that Mac users are expected to put up with.
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#2 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 05:53 AM

I didn't have any of those problems on my late 2009 27 inch iMac (2.66Ghz Quad with 8GB of RAM and Radeon HD 4850 512MB). I even run the game at 1920x1080 with full detail and 4x Antialiasing. So yeah, I have had a better experience.
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Alex Delarg, A Clockwork Orange said:

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.

the Battle Cat said:

Slower and faster? I'm sorry to hear such good news?

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#3 Lord Heavy

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 06:39 AM

Wow, that is interesting. So, maybe on the Macbook Pro it's having trouble with the outboard graphics card - though that doesn't explain the Mac pro performance.

I've contacted Ubisoft support, so I'll report back what they say.
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#4 Frigidman™

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Posted 20 October 2010 - 09:33 AM

View PostLord Heavy, on 20 October 2010 - 06:39 AM, said:

I've contacted Ubisoft support, so I'll report back what they say.
Oh dear. I will pull out the long burning oil and make sure this thread doesn't die by the time that happens.

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#5 Lord Heavy

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 06:43 AM

Well, I've got a reply already about the keyboard not working:


Thank you for contacting Ubisoft Technical Support regarding Assassin's Creed 2.

In order to respond to this email, please update this incident by clicking on the "Update Question" Button at the bottom of this page (Please do not create a new incident).

The keyboard doesn't get recognised if there are any applications expecting input (having blinking cursor of any sorts) running in the background; mainly: terminal, mail, browser, word editor, IRC client (even Skype).

Please quit/minimise all your other applications and ensure you launch the game from Finder, and while the game is launching in the background please make sure not to launch/open any other apps


Um. Strange.

I'm still waiting for advice about performance.

At least they're got back to me though!
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#6 the Battle Cat

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Posted 21 October 2010 - 06:54 AM

So did that fix your keyboard problem?
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#7 Lord Heavy

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 04:46 AM

I haven't had a chance to try it yet, as I'm not at home. Though, I can't believe that it should even happen!

Also, I got a final reply back from Ubi support:

The video cards is not supported- the G/F 8800 is below the minimum. requirements and the G/F 300M is below the minimum requirements.


So, an (admittedly older) Mac Pro dual dual-core with a 512mb 8800 graphics card and a brand new i7 Macbook Pro aren't supported?

I quote from the preview just posted up on Apple's site:

System Requirements
Mac OS X version 10.5
3.06GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor
3GB of RAM
256MB video RAM (ATI Radeon HD 4000/5000 or better, or Nvidia GeForce 100/200 or better; Intel integrated graphics chipsets not supported)
9GB hard disk space


Shurely. Shome. Mishtake.

Am I wrong to be mildly on fire about this?
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#8 ltcommander.data

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 05:43 PM

The 8800GT is faster than the slowest Mac HD 4000, the HD4670, while the 330M GT should be close to the GT120. They both meet the PC requirements. You'd think that performance would be better with this supposed native port, but the requirements look similar to what a Cider port could probably achieve.

#9 Hansi

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Posted 22 October 2010 - 05:45 PM

This isn't native at all. This is just Cider package with everything obscured so people aren't able to rip off the Cider version to use for other games.

#10 iRolley

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Posted 23 October 2010 - 01:26 AM

Performance is good on my recent imac 3.2Ghz with Radeon 5670, not running at native res though, just a bit below. What's great is that the performance is constant, even when going on top of building with a deep field view. Sounds like good coding to me.

But :
- the game did crash my Mac twice on the loading screen ! It's been years since I had to hard reboot my mac...   :angry:
- And then I much preferred the controls of Tomb Raider Anniv from Feral.

Not sure about native, or not. But anyway, in the end all ports end up wrapping some code inside a mac compatible runtime. Cider might just be a little less optimized and game specific.

All in all though, a pretty unique game on Mac.

#11 UmarOMC1

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 01:12 AM

It can't be the hardware so much [as] it is the software- the drivers to be specific. Apple hasn't even got OpenGL 3.x compliance across the board (despite being a Khronos Group Promoter, aka "Board of Director", and OpenGL 4.1 now having been introduced!) much less anything akin to Direct X after their short-lived GameSprockets venture. If Apple went full force and delivered an OpenGL-dependent (because RAVE is dead and they sure as heck won't introduce an OpenGL rival or license Direct X) GameSprockets that is at least equivalent to Direct X 9 in feature set we'd see even more games ported because I'm sure they'd include it (ÜberGameSprockets libs) with XCode! C'est la vie. Could you imagine Direct X 11-equivalent drivers for OS X? Whoa!



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#12 Sargiel

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Posted 25 November 2010 - 06:55 AM

When the game was announced the specs did indicate you'd need a bit of a beast to run it although some of those errors (keyboard etc) sound a bit random!

Was there any final word on native vs cider ? Is it just a masked cider port ? I will say though that I've had a good experience from other cider ports - just that I need a better Mac to consider actually playing my new acquisition :)

#13 Lord Heavy

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 05:53 PM

View PostUmarOMC1, on 25 November 2010 - 01:12 AM, said:

It can't be the hardware so much [as] it is the software- the drivers to be specific.


Well, the good news is that 10.6.5 has definitely gone some way to addressing the problems - graphically at least. It's now playable on both my Mac Pro and Macbook Pro (though not to the same level that the hardware performs under Boot Camp, but that's to be expected...).

It's disappointing that Ubisoft support couldn't point to an imminent driver update. Even more so is the continuing keyboard problem though! That's just ridiculous.

However, at least it means that in general an amazing game is now properly viable under OS X, and that's got to be a good thing.
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#14 Wumpus

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Posted 26 November 2010 - 11:13 PM

I bought this tonight, downloading it now from MGS. Hooray for coupons! Will check it out tomorrow and report on performance or any issues I find. Given the mixed reports I'm curious to see how it works for me.
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#15 Wumpus

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 03:35 PM

Put in a few hours today and its been fun. Kind of a slow start, but great setting and attention to detail. I can max everything and resolution and it runs fine on my 27" 2.8ghz Quad core iMac (ATI 5670.) The only problems I've had so far is it freezing on startup, which forces me to hard restart. Unbelievably it happened 4-5 times today, which is pretty lame. Outside of that it seems like a great port, no complaints. I don't think this is a ciderized game, there's nothing in the package to suggest that, and I think there would be more of a performance hit if it was. My two cents. Still if you've got a good enough machine, buy it. Its awesome. (Supports MGS too.)
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#16 UmarOMC1

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Posted 27 November 2010 - 11:18 PM

View PostLord Heavy, on 26 November 2010 - 05:53 PM, said:

It's disappointing that Ubisoft support couldn't point to an imminent driver update.

Video card drivers are in Apple's court, mostly- "mostly" because updated drivers are always welcome from NVIDIA and AMD.

BY THE WAY, Mac Game Store is having a sale on this title: $24.99
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#17 Sargiel

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 03:07 AM

Very nice sale! :) Well worth picking up if you've a current generation system - or just to buy it while it's cheap for when you do like I did :D

#18 Tacohead

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 12:35 PM

Are the controls customizable in this game and can you use the mouse for some things? Also, I need to know if the game can be played in windowed mode? Thanks in advance.

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#19 Smoke_Tetsu

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 12:53 PM

Yeah they are... mostly the mouse is used for the UI and moving the camera around. The controls seem to default to a 1 button mouse configuration though and I had to put *unarmed hand* onto my right mouse button and the button you use to sprint on shift.
--Tetsuo

Alex Delarg, A Clockwork Orange said:

It's funny how the colors of the real world only seem really real when you viddy them on the screen.

the Battle Cat said:

Slower and faster? I'm sorry to hear such good news?

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#20 Wumpus

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Posted 28 November 2010 - 11:14 PM

View PostTacohead, on 28 November 2010 - 12:35 PM, said:

Also, I need to know if the game can be played in windowed mode? Thanks in advance.

-PN
No Windowed mode that I noticed.

View PostSmoke_Tetsu, on 28 November 2010 - 12:53 PM, said:

Yeah they are... mostly the mouse is used for the UI and moving the camera around. The controls seem to default to a 1 button mouse configuration though and I had to put *unarmed hand* onto my right mouse button and the button you use to sprint on shift.

It defaults to one button mouse, but you can change it to "two button" or "five button" and it switches the controls for your accordingly. You can remap them as well, but I found doing "two button" configuration worked great for me.
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