A lot has already been said about the downgraded visuals of Watch_Dogs. Watch_Dogs was meant to be a graphical showcase but the end result we got was a bit underwhelming. And since Watch_Dogs 2 is right around the corner, Ubisoft decided to shed some light on what went wrong with the first Watch_Dogs.
As Ubisoft’s Dominic Guay told Evening Standard, the development team did not know back then the specs of current-gen consoles, which is why the final game looked worse than the E3 2012 demo.
“One thing to remember is that the first showing of Watch Dogs came in summer 2012, before anyone knew what the Next Gen of consoles and hardware would be. We did our best at the time to predict what that would be and always were forward that this first showing was running on a very powerful PC.”
Fair enough, Ubisoft did not know the specs of PS4 and Xbox One. However, one has to wonder why the PC version was also downgraded. Since Ubisoft showcased the game running on a powerful PC, it should be able to deliver on that platform at least, right?
And that’s precisely why the French company failed to explain why on Earth the PC version was downgraded. Yes, PC gamers can use some mods to improve visuals, however there is nothing they can do about the less advanced lighting system that has been used.
Some will say that it was done for “parity” reasons. Others will say that the final game was way more demanding than its E3 2012 demo (with this kind of visuals) that even powerful PCs wouldn’t be able to handle. And others will say that Dominic simply attempted damage control in order to hype the sequel.
Fact is that Ubisoft did not provide a single reason why the game was visually gimped on the PC.
“For Watch Dogs 2, we are in a much more predictable context. We have been developing the game on our target platforms from the beginning.”
Ironically, Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon: WildLands – a game that was announced when current-gen consoles had already been released – has also suffered from “downgrade-ation”. While this particular game is not out yet, its debut trailer looks way better than its latest E3 2016 build.
For what is worth, we are certain that Watch_Dogs 2 will look similar to its E3 2016 build.