NAG Online > News > Ubisoft responds to the hidden Watch Dogs graphics settings

Ubisoft responds to the hidden Watch Dogs graphics settings

watch_dogs_welcome_to_chicago_vid_capture

Earlier in the week, news hit that a modder had dug through the PC files for Watch Dogs and had found a way to reactivate a number of graphics options that Ubisoft had decided to hide. These graphics options essentially made the game look like it did when Ubisoft first showed it to the world in 2012. The fact that there was a recent online kerfuffle about visual downgrades prior to the game’s May release, only served to exacerbate the general reaction to this modder’s discovery.

Ubisoft has now officially responded to this discovery and has issued a statement on the matter. That statement directly addresses online speculation that Ubisoft purposefully gimped the PC version of the game. No mention, however, is made of the conjecture that Ubisoft did this to appease the console hardware manufacturers Sony and Microsoft.

Full statement after the jump.

The dev team is completely dedicated to getting the most out of each platform, so the notion that we would actively downgrade quality is contrary to everything we’ve set out to achieve. We test and optimize our games for each platform on which they’re released, striving for the best possible quality. The PC version does indeed contain some old, unused render settings that were deactivated for a variety of reasons, including possible impacts on visual fidelity, stability, performance and overall gameplay quality. Modders are usually creative and passionate players, and while we appreciate their enthusiasm, the mod in question (which uses those old settings) subjectively enhances the game’s visual fidelity in certain situations but also can have various negative impacts. Those could range from performance issues, to difficulty in reading the environment in order to appreciate the gameplay, to potentially making the game less enjoyable or even unstable.

Thanks for playing Watch Dogs and stay safe on the mean streets of Chicago.

-The Watch Dogs Team

Read into that what you will. Personally, I feel that using the excuse of performance is a poor one considering PC gamers can optimise their graphics settings to obviate any performance issues anyway; potential performance issues do not explain why the options were removed from the game to begin with. That being said, I do somewhat agree with them when they say that these graphics settings could cause “difficulty in reading the environment” – that depth of field effect is a little overzealous.

Source: Watch Dogs official website

  • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wesley-Fick/184346154999538 Wesley Fick

    “Personally, I feel that using the excuse of performance is a poor one considering PC gamers can optimise their graphics settings to obviate any performance issues anyway; potential performance issues do not explain why the options were removed from the game to begin with.”

    Combine that with the fact that the game at default streams in textures twice (as opposed to once in the mod) you get a lot of stuttering because the hardware just can’t keep up. The mod also fixes a ton of SLI and Crossfire issues, while AMD and Nvidia are left to use their drivers to try make the stock game run better.

  • FanieNel

    “We test and optimize our games for each platform on which they’re released, striving for the best possible quality.”

    Hahahaha! I can’t stop laughing!
    Is this a joke? The game is already horribly unoptimised for PC and they claim to test the game on each platform to get the best possible quality? Wow, I can’t believe they just said that.

    I still have to test the mod on my PC, gonna try it this weekend, and I’m looking forward to it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wesley-Fick/184346154999538 Wesley Fick

      Just to remind you, there was a recent patch issues that closed out some of the mod’s access to the game files. The Worse is working on it right now, a new version of the mod might be out in a week or so with a workaround.

      • FanieNel

        I’m playing it offline. The game has more performance issues when I’m connected. I struggled to just get the game working while connected to Uplay, I went offline and the game worked fine on higher graphic settings.

        • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Wesley-Fick/184346154999538 Wesley Fick

          “The awesome power of the cloud…”

  • BinaryMind

    That’s what is amazing – that the mod actually FIXES some issues that
    Ubisoft, for some reason, can’t. Then they talk about how it was for
    performance reasons.

    pfft.

  • Cameron Hamman

    Ubi was paid to make the Current Gen consoles to look equal to PC simple…

  • Alex Rowley

    They just didn’t care that much about the PC version and they clearly still don’t. I don’t believe for a second they are incapable of just releasing a patch that does what the mod does.

  • Squirly

    Ubisoft needs to take it’s PR and Marketing department out back and put them down.

  • Felix101

    shameful just shameful, Also the lamest and most generic excuse I’ve heard in a good while. They obviously didn’t give a crap, they didn’t even try. PC gamers deserve better.

  • Inefrus

    Where can i download this mod, just got a new pc so it will handle heavy resources. Thanks in advance…

    • Miklós Szecsei

      This is where it originated, but thanks to Ubi putting out a recent Watch Dogs update, the current “mod” doesn’t work. The original modder is working on a new version so keep checking here to see the latest info: http://forums.guru3d.com/showthread.php?t=390114

  • http://www.nag.co.za Chris Kemp

    Wow, what a load of crap. Where do I even start.

    1. Saying they were removed for performance reasons only means that you didn’t allocate the time/didn’t care enough to smooth out those issues, WITH the good gfx.

    2. The PC version was a buggy mess on release that didn’t even run at all on a big chunk of players’ computers. Yeah, good job “striving for the best possible quality”.

    Ugh, just ugh. Blow it out your ass, Ubisoft.

  • PicklePod

    They could steal the patch and release it as their own fix
    They’ve done it before

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