Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023

Een shot van de aangepaste versie van <i>Watch Dogs</i> shows the impact of ” unlocked=”” effects=”” like=”” fog=”” and=”” variable=”” depth=”” of=”” field.=””/><figcaption class=

A shot of the modified version of Watchdogs shows the impact of “unlocked” effects such as fog and variable depth of field.

It’s been an interesting week for PC players committed to getting the best graphics experience out of their copy of Ubisoft Watchdogs. That’s due to a modder TheWorse wielded on the Guru3D forums, which late last week released a beta version of a mod that enabled many high-quality graphical effects that weren’t available in the shipped version of the game.

Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal – similar graphical effects mods for games like Grand Theft Auto IV And Skyrim are incredibly popular among PC gamers with high-end rigs. What made the Watchdogs mod interesting is that many of its “new” graphical effects were apparently already in the game’s included code and were simply disabled for players who didn’t tinker with the game files. Graphics features such as fog, bokeh depth of field, and flower lighting effects were apparently written into the PC version of the game, but were removed before it shipped. Additionally, re-enabling the mod doesn’t seem to crash the game.

Much has already been done on how the final version of Watchdogs looks significantly worse than the version shown in presentations at the last two E3 shows. Those comparisons took on new weight when modders found references in the PC code to settings and animations explicitly intended for the “E3” mode. Some have suggested that Ubisoft purposely scaled down the performance of the PC version of the game so that it wouldn’t too handily outperform the console versions. A comment dug up from the code lends some credence to this idea, derisively suggesting that a color setting is “PC only, who cares”.

In a statement posted by “The Watchdogs Team” today, however, the publisher denied these claims, saying that the graphical effects were removed due to performance and gameplay issues.

The statement said:

The development team is fully committed to getting the most out of each platform, so the idea that we would actively downgrade quality goes against everything we wanted to achieve. We test and optimize our games for every platform they are released on, striving for the best possible quality. The PC version does indeed contain some old, unused display settings that have been deactivated for various reasons, including potential impacts on visual fidelity, stability, performance, and overall gameplay quality. Modders tend to be creative and passionate players, and while we appreciate their enthusiasm, the mod in question (which uses those old settings) subjectively improves the game’s visual fidelity in certain situations, but can also have several negative consequences. Those can range from performance issues to difficulty reading the environment to appreciate the gameplay, to potentially making the game less fun or even unstable.

There seems to be something in this explanation. When Rock Paper Shotgun tried out the mod earlier this week, it found effects like bokeh depth of field made the game look better in some conditions, but it could also hide enemies in the distance. “Right now if something were shooting at me across the road I wouldn’t be able to see them. I’m Mr. Magoo,” the site wrote of a gameplay situation involving the mod.

In any case, Ubisoft released its own patch for the game on Wednesday that “fixes graphical glitches on Low & Medium settings” and included “several performance improvements,” suggesting the publisher isn’t quite done tweaking the game itself. We’re sure the modding community isn’t done digging into the code either. It’ll be interesting to see how far the game’s achievements can be pushed by either group in the future.

By akfire1

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