Before both the Xbox Series X and PS5 were released, fanboys were adamant: The Xbox Series X was the more powerful console, and we’d truly see that power when multiplatform titles started shipping on both consoles. But Assassin’s Creed Valhalla has a very different story to tell.
There’s finally been a major breakdown of Assassin’s Creed: Valhalla‘s performance across the next-gen consoles, and it makes for a fascinating breakdown.
For the most part, the PS5 and the Xbox Series X target 60 FPS at higher resolutions, which Digital Foundry found would range from 4K down to 1440p on both consoles. The Xbox Series S only runs at 30 FPS — as you’d expect from the smaller-size console — but it also targets a dynamic resolution above 1080p.
The big problem between the two main consoles, however, is a peculiar one. The Xbox Series X has a substantial problem when it comes to frame tearing — something that’s much more manageable if you have a variable refresh rate-capable display. For everyone who doesn’t, it’s hard not to notice.
The frame rate is a bit more stable on the PS5 too. To be clear, the PS5 has some occasional stutters and instances of tearing, but Valhalla ends up being more consistent and stable than the Xbox Series X consoles.
There’s even weird instances of frame rate drops on the Xbox consoles that don’t happen on the Sony platform. The simple act of pulling out your torch causes surprisingly massive frame rate drops on the Xbox Series X. On the PS5, there can be some tearing, but it’s largely a stable 60 FPS — which is what you’d expect from a next-gen console.
A lot of this is stuff that should be sorted out on the developer end, to be clear. And it can’t be easy trying to optimise across current and next-gen consoles. But there’s weirdness that is just really hard to explain. The way the Xbox Series X and S have unusual stuttering during cut scenes — not drops in frame rate, but jutters due to a lack of smoothness from the way the camera moves. That’s not a factor on the PS5, but it also shouldn’t be a factor at all.
Valhalla has been pretty well received, thanks to some refinements of the Assassin’s Creed formula and, generally, Vikings. It is still an Assassin’s Creed game at heart though, so if you’ve never jived with the direction of the franchise post-Unity, then Valhalla isn’t going to convert you. Fortunately, there’s always Yakuza.