- OS:WindowsÂ® XP (SP3) / Windows VistaÂ® (SP2) / WindowsÂ® 7 (SP1) / WindowsÂ® 8
- Processor:2.53 GHz IntelÂ® Coreâ„¢2 Duo E6400 or 2.80 GHz AMD Athlonâ„¢ 64 X2 5600+ or better
- Memory:2 GB RAM
- Graphics:512 MB DirectXÂ® 10â€“compliant with Shader Model 4.0 or higher
- Hard Drive:25 GB HD space
- Sound:DirectX 10â€“compliant DirectX 9.0câ€“compliant
- Processor:2.66 GHz IntelÂ® Coreâ„¢2 Quad Q8400 or 3.00 GHz AMD Phenomâ„¢ II X4 940 or better
- Memory:4 GB RAM
- Hard Drive:25 GB HD space
- Sound:(5.1 surround sound recommended)
Personal computer specs
- Processor: Phenom II 965 @3.8GHz
- Memory: 8GB RAM
- Graphics: Nvidia GTX 660
Ubisoft is still plugging its meaningless, drab and useless Uplay, to make their products feel more like onions than video games. The one time cd key activation that Ubi promised would be the only hoop required to jump HAS to be done through Uplay. It's such a shame there isn't any other way to authenticate a user's install, like within the application or within the launcher directly before it. /dry sarcasm
A side effect of using Uplay means that the Steam overlay won't work for me in game which is a massive shame, I adore the Steam overlay as it negates the need to alt+tab 95% of the time. On the subject of alt+tabbing, Blacklist handles it terribly, forcing the game into windowed and doesn't automatically go back into fullscreen when refocused.
So, if you alt+tab to any degree, you're going to be trudging through the pause menu every 3 minutes so I'm gonna take this moment to show you around!
This is the graphics menu which, as you can see, has a surprisingly impressive roster of variables and supported features. But the real problem here is, like Assassin's Creed 3, Ubi have just thrown in all these DirectX11 features (for an Nvidia sponsorship, of course) which have no tangible benefit and just kills performance. Now, where do I get off making such sensationalist claims?
[compimg]http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_6/med_gallery_255_6_242738.jpg|http://community.pcgamingwiki.com/uploads/gallery/album_6/med_gallery_255_6_541700.jpg|960|540|DX11 Low (minus texture+AF)|DX11 Ultra[/compimg]
In the comparison above, I changed all but two settings, texture quality and anisotropic filtering. The only difference is that with ultra, you get a massive saturation of ambient occlusion (they obviously missed the memo which said you're meant to us AO to add depth and finish off the lighting, not change the entire brightness of a scene). It just goes to show the slap-dash Nvidia-approved checklist approach they took to making the PC version. Not only that but performance is sub-par with lower than expected FPS and personally experienced stuttering.
Continuing with the problems of the graphics options, I've had so many issues trying to get the game to run in DirectX 9 mode. If I select 9 from the menu, it prompts you to restart the game. So after I quit to desktop and relaunch the game, Blacklist boots into DirectX 11. It's like they didn't even test it, the variable for the graphics API can easily be found in a nearby .ini file and the ingame setting does nothing to change it.
[uPDATE: To change to DirectX 9 you have to exit and restart Uplay as well; if you restart the game with Uplay still open the change won't take effect.]
Sigh. Right. We're gonna move on now. Let bygones be bygones, okay?
Blacklist does earn itself some brownie points on the input arena, allowing remapping of everything in-game and supports side mouse buttons. Mouse sensitivity is a numbered slider (thumbs up) and allows you to invert third person or first person (for spies vs mercs). Along with the separate inversion for 3rd and 1st person, it also has separate sensitivity sliders. Again, thumbs up.
It even has good controller support, continuing with the separate sliders and inversion options. The preset actually looks really nice, building upon Conviction's fluidity with a controller.
Audio seems quite good, with manual speaker setup selection and two sliders. Subtitles are included, just tucked away under a different UI menu. Overall, par for the course, not much to say.
Now, I feel like I've been nice to Blacklist for too long. Do we all remember the "no online DRM, just a one time activation" claim made by Ubisoft no so long ago?
"We have listened to feedback, and since June last year our policy for all of PC games is that we only require a one-time online activation when you first install the game," she said.
The Steam version of the game requires Steam to be running. Which sounds kind of stupid when you say it like that but considering the activation is done in Uplay and the overlay doesn't even work, it seems a bit unnecessary. I mean, it's not like Steam doesn't have DRM free games which can be played from anywhere after the initial setup, I just don't see why I have to have it running.
Overall, I can't recommend Blacklist on PC, the Steam discussions page is full of people complaining about one problem or another. I had issues with performance, a lot of people on the Steam forums can't even launch it. 98% of people (slight hyperbole) are having issues and 2% are a-okay and it's so frustrating. It could all be fixed in a couple of patches but I'm not one to endorse gambling. If you really want to play Blacklist, I really recommend saving yourself the trouble and getting it on a console.
A little bit of me died then.