Advertisement
Advertisement

Watch_Dogs cut graphical effects found in PC version files

Tom Morgan
17 Jun 2014
Advertisement

Ubisoft's open world hacking adventure has unimplemented graphical effects hiding on the PC version, but a mod brings them back

Ubisoft's Watch_Dogs was one of the most talked about games at E3 2013, after an incredible debut trailer gave gamers hope for truly jaw-dropping visuals from their next-generation games. On release, however, it was evident that the game had received several significant graphical downgrades, on PS4, Xbox One and PC, leaving some players disappointed that the developer hadn't lived up to its early promises. Owners of the PC version may finally get to experience what that early demo would be like, however, as code left over from an older, prettier build of the game has been discovered in the files of the PC release.

A user-created mod, posted to the Guru3D forums, now re-enables the cut content, adding effects like bokeh depth of field, shaodws from car headlights, lens flares, rain effects reacting convincingly to light and the bloom effects seen in the 2012 E3 trailer. Developer TheWorse has even manage to squeeze out some performance improvements from the notoriously demanding game engine, to the point that many users are reporting the extra effects barely make a dent in frame rates.

Neogaf users have already experimented with the mod, posting high resolution images, videos and comparisons with the E3 2012 reveal trailer that promised so much. It's still very much a work in progress, with the developer promising more performance improvements and visual artefact fixes as he gets round to making them, but it seemingly transforms Watch_Dogs into a visually stunning PC game - an impressive achievement considering the vanilla game looks pretty damn good as it is.

The big question now is why Ubisoft left this code out of the finished game. Watch_Dogs was already delayed an additional six months in order to get it ready for next-generation consoles, so perhaps the developer didn't have enough time to add graphically intensive effects to the PC version that would ber asking too much from the PS4 or Xbox One. It's possible the company wanted visual parity across all three versions, no neglected adding extra features to the PC version that would make it stand out over the console releases. Ubisoft has declined to comment on the unearthed code so far, but it would appear this is the latest PR disaster for a company still struggling to explain why the next Assassin's Creed game won't have any playable female characters.

In the meantime, owners of the PC version of Watch_Dogs can download version 0.6 of the mod here. It's still in active development, and it is unclear whether this will affect your uPlay standing for playing online, but anyone looking for a graphical upgrade is free to give it a go.