When I first loaded Assassin's Creed (Steam version) I immediately noticed something was very wrong. There was some odd "pixelization" on parts of the screen.
Take a look at this (once image comes up, make sure to click to show the image in the original size, otherwise there will be scaling):
Take a look at how the bald guy fighting Altair the left is nice and crisp, but the soldier in the background on the right is all blocky. Notice how the table is crisp on the left and become very blocky as you move to the right. This isn't an AA issue, this goes beyond simply jaggies, those are huge pixels in the image consisting of multiple true pixels on screen; and there's pixelization within textures.
At first I thought it was a depth of field effect going wrong. I tried changing all of the settings, Post FX, Graphics Detail, etc. but none of them got rid of it.
The more I looked at it, the more I noticed the pixelization was happening in a very specific manner, take a look:
Everything to the left of that line is fine, everything to the right is pixelized. Look at how Altair and especially the ground texture, goes from sharp to blocky as you move across the line.
It's not too obvious in a static image, but in motion is REALLY stands out. You can see this clearly defined line along the diagonal where as stuff moves across it, it become pixelized.
My specs are:
Athlon X2 FX-60 (2.6GHz)
GeForce 8800GTX on 174.74 drivers
Windows XP (32-bit)
----update with collected information----
This issue only happens at certain resolutions and only in DirectX 9. It occurs regardless of any graphics settings, it's totally dependant on the resolution.
The standard resolutions that it occurs at are 1360x768 (native res of many HDTVs) and 1680x1050 (native res of many widescreen PC monitors).
Upon further investigation, since the game is locked to 16:9, it seems that it occurs at any resolution where the height of the correspondig 16:9 resolution is in an odd number. E.g. the 16:9 viewport for 1680x1050 is 1680x945 - odd height. Although 1360x768 is close to 16:9, it's not exact, the exact 16:9 is 1360x765 - again odd height. If you setup custom resolutions that would similarly result in an odd height, they have the same problem.
All other standard resolutions result in an even height at 16:9 doesn't have the problem.
Same problem here. Seems to only happen in widescreen resolutions though, as I believe some others discovered. Try using a 4:3 resolution and see if it still happens.
I had a very similar problem with The Witcher, except the "lines" only appeared on the characters and not the environment. Never found a fix for it.
I run at 1680x1050 on a 22" LCD and the "triangle" of pixelization is smaller than on your screenshots (juts out from the right hand side of the screen but only extends just past the character in the centre, and sits above the bottom of the screen), so it seems it does not change in scale when the resolution is changed.
Hopefully it can be fixed soon, though patching released games doesn't seem to be on the high on the priority list for ubisoft, in my experience.
Edit: Forgot to add my specs
Q6600 @ 3.51Ghz
8800GTX on 169.21 drivers
Windows XP 32 bit
Well I found out that this doesn't happen with 1280x720, but the problem is then I have to deal with scaling which makes the image blurry.
The fact that the problem wasn't there with 1280x720 got me thinking... Assassin's Creed is 16:9 anamorphic, meaning the viewable game part is always 16:9 and it adds black bars when you're not running a 16:9 resolution.
Well, 1360x768 isn't exactly 16:9, it's close, but the actual ratio is around 16:9.035. The perfect 16:9 ratio would be 1360x765.
So my guess is that he game tries to do the anamorphic thing for a measly 3 pixels, but it's just too close and it ends up messing things up. The game should just be running 1360x768 as the viewport instead of trying to add 1-2 pixel black bars in an attempt to make it a perfect 16:9 viewport.
Going off this theory I setup a custom resolution for 1360x765 in the nVidia drivers with scaling to 1360x768. I selected 1360x765 in game - and the problem was gone! I'd be happy enough with that - but the problem is there's still scaling going on. Because its doing the odd task over trying to stretch a 3 pixel difference over a comparatively large area - it still ends up making things blurry.
Originally posted by Predictable:
If it were me, I'd just take the 3 pixels of black over a blurred image.
So would I, but that's not the choice.
The choice is run 1360x768, my monitor's native resolution, and get the pixelization bug shown in the first post. Which is totally unacceptable, it's VERY noticeable in the game.
Or use the custom resolution of 1360x765, which doesn't have the pixelization bug, but is scaled to my native res of 1360x768 and results in general blurriness despite the small amount of scaling. The blurriness is a lot less pronounced than the pixelization bug though.
If aspect scaling worked in nVidia's drivers, I'd be good - I could use the custom resolution with the back bar added by the video card - unfortunately aspect scaling in the nVidia drivers doesn't work for me, it always stretches.
Anyway at this point I'm convinced this is a bug with the game. It's trying to do it's anamorphic thing on a resolution that's already 16:9 and it's messing up because they probably harded coded it to look for exactly 16:9 and never accounted for ratios that were super close to it, but not exact.