Assassin’s Creed 4: Current-Gen Vs Next-Gen
With Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag now available for both PS3 and PS4, it’s undoubtedly tough to make a purchasing decision.
Should you opt for a pricier console and the corresponding volume or should you wait, save the money, and get by with the current-gen edition?
If you already took the plunge, is it worth a trade-in to upgrade? We put both versions through their paces to outline the differences between both copies. The verdict? Suffice it to say you may be better off looking to the future.
Assassin’s Creed 4 PS4: Technical Aspects
Assassin’s Creed has always been about smooth animations and combat, especially for a franchise that’s so heavily reliant on stealth, and Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag is no different.
The PS3 version is rife with noticeable performance issues, particularly when scaling buildings or engaging in swordfights across Havana – at times, the slowdown hindered gameplay considerably, especially when I faced multiple enemies onscreen at once.
Though the initial PS3 release was playable, it suffered from easily discernible framerate problems and spotty animations, which have all but vanished in the PS4 release. They’re still around here and there, but paved over enough that they melt into the background.
The next-gen version comes packing high-resolution textures, sweeping weather effects, and shades of enhanced lighting that truly allow the environments to pop.
The sun’s rays bouncing off the high seas are glorious – much less “muddy” and full of clarity when compared against the PS3 version.
It’s easy to see, comparatively, smoother performance overall, especially with convincing animation and effortless foliage, water, and human movement effects.
It also seems to chug along just fine at what looks to be a perfectly respectable 30 frames per second with few problems – even in combat.
Assassin’s Creed 4’s Visuals
Obviously, the aesthetic value of the PS4 edition is higher than that of the PS3 at the end of its life cycle, but just how much different is it?
Black Flag was already phenomenally visually impressive when first released on PS3, but the jump to next-gen has imbued it with visual polish that’s has as much impact as it is meaningful.
Night-time levels are made much more powerful now, with emphasis on the fog in the moonlight, the sparkling night sky, and the way Havana looks as you sprint across the many rooftops.
Edward makes his way through tall grass and the verdant foliage and it’s easy to drool over how the individual blades of grass move and sway – they’re small touches, but when aiming for realism, they mean much more in the long run.
And let’s not forget how gorgeous the crashing waves are when you’ve set sail.
Next-Gen Assassin’s Creed 4 Multiplayer
There aren’t really any true mechanical differences between multiplayer modes, so this might not be a point which begs that comparisons be drawn – however, improvements are certainly noted when it comes to reduction in lag and how multiple models on-screen at once are handled.
Assassin’s Creed 4 Loading Times
PS3 buyers are stuck waiting quite a long time to get into the game, whereas PS4 adoptees are treated to a much quicker entrance into the game world.
It’s here the differences are most noticeable, though in-game loading hasn’t been eliminated.
Surprisingly, when it’s all said and done, sitting through loading screens didn’t seem like any shorter of an ordeal, which was a complete 180 from what I was expecting.
There’s a wait time for the game to load before you head into cities, wait times between larger segments of game, and waits for unexpected chunks of content.
This is one front where it’s a bit of a toss-up between both versions -there’s slight improvement over the PS3 to PS4, but not enough to base a purchasing decision on here.
It may be obvious at this point, but there are enough distinct differences between both versions that if you haven’t purchased already, you’ll want to put the money down on the PS4 copy instead.
Touchpad controls, gorgeous visuals, a smooth framerate, and other substantial improvements are enough to name the next-gen release the clear victor here.
If you picked up a PS4, rest assured that you’re making an informed decision – unless, of course, you already completed the game back on PS3.