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#1 Edited by HammondofTexas (620 posts) -

So someone found and unpacked the files for the original graphics/lighting of the Watch_Dogs E3 2012 presentation. The game looks next gen from what is depicted in these screens and appears closer to the original concept and/or what people expected from the game.

What's odd is these files are actually already included within the game files, so if you have this game on PC your game could look amazing in only a few steps. Why these aren't available as an option is beyond me.

The question is why is Ubisoft hiding/restricting these files? As someone with a beefy PC I can easily run a game that looks like this, I've run the photo realistic GTA4 PC mods before with ease as well. This all seems like a really weird and shady thing to me, maybe Ubisoft is doing this to keep all versions of the game on parity with each other? Sort of makes me question their delaying of the game as well.

NeoGAF Thread

Reddit Thread

Screenshots

#2 Posted by Mister_V (1257 posts) -

Huh... apparently it also makes the game run better as well.... Ill have to check this out.

#3 Posted by Chaser324 (6394 posts) -

Holy hell! Those screenshots look like a pretty big step up from what I played.

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#4 Posted by HammondofTexas (620 posts) -

@mister_v said:

Huh... apparently it also makes the game run better as well.... Ill have to check this out.

Yeah I saw this too. People say with these changes the game stutters less, duh fuq?

Holy hell! Those screenshots look like a pretty big step up from what I played.

The biggest surprise to me is the dynamic lightning. Just having this is huge to me. Watching the Quick Look and seeing no dynamic lighting while walking in front of headlights on a car was super jarring to me.

#5 Posted by Nightriff (4972 posts) -

Sent this to my buddy who has a PC who can run this, that is really weird for them to, purposefully, bring down the PC version to be on par with the console versions.

#6 Posted by BonOrbitz (2182 posts) -

@hammondoftexas: Those screen shots look amazing! Mind if I ask what your PC's system specs are?

#7 Posted by HammondofTexas (620 posts) -

@hammondoftexas: Those screen shots look amazing! Mind if I ask what your PC's system specs are?

My PC specs are listed on my profile, and the screens are not mine just to be clear!

#8 Posted by PimblyCharles (1363 posts) -

Looking forward to trying out this mod when I get home from work. If it truly improves the stuttering, I'll be a happy camper. Also having more camera options is great. I'm really curious to see how this mod impacts overall performance too.

I'll try to provide feedback on this later tonight, along with some screenshots. Thanks for the heads up @hammondoftexas!

Ubisoft has some explaining to do with all this. Bet they'll try to sweep this under the rug though.

#9 Edited by Irvandus (2875 posts) -

@nightriff: Not to get all conspiracy theory but Watch Dogs basically was forced to become to first real "next gen game". I imagine Sony and Microsoft wouldn't have appreciated it if the PS4 and Xbox1 weren't able to play it properly and the PC version looked a ton better. Plus as we've seen Ubisoft doesn't exactly do a fantastic job when it comes to treating the PC properly.

#10 Posted by Nightriff (4972 posts) -

@irvandus: Agreed, I was thinking the same thing really. I don't think Micro/Sony paid them or anything like that, but maybe a strong suggestion.

#11 Posted by RioStarwind (515 posts) -

I wonder if having all those effects on breaks something like online matches. I'm just assuming they had a good reason to not have these as the default graphics for Watch Dogs on pc. After all having a game look like that is a selling point.

#12 Posted by liquidsnakegfer9 (145 posts) -

Wow, people are pretty pissed off in that reddit thread, they're going hog wild with conspiracy theories over this.

#13 Edited by TheHumanDove (2523 posts) -

Never trust a ubisoft m8s

#14 Edited by Trilogy (2648 posts) -

Those screenshots are gorgeous, but I don't ever remember the game looking that good at any E3. I remember thinking, "well this looks better, but not huge leaps ahead like that Star Wars game."

In any case, if this is so easy to get running on PC, why didn't ubisoft just have the game look like this from the start? Didn't Sleeping Dogs have some kind of free texture pack for PC? Come on, Ubisoft... step up your Dogs game.

#15 Posted by bboymaestro (216 posts) -

Wow, people are pretty pissed off in that reddit thread, they're going hog wild with conspiracy theories over this.

Sounds like a normal Reddit Monday.

#16 Edited by Counterclockwork87 (652 posts) -

@irvandus said:

@nightriff: Not to get all conspiracy theory but Watch Dogs basically was forced to become to first real "next gen game". I imagine Sony and Microsoft wouldn't have appreciated it if the PS4 and Xbox1 weren't able to play it properly and the PC version looked a ton better. Plus as we've seen Ubisoft doesn't exactly do a fantastic job when it comes to treating the PC properly.

I just don't understand this, there's no doubt the PS4 can play the supped up version of watch dogs, I mean Infamous looks better than it, as does games like NBA 2K14...I have no doubts they could get Watch_Dogs to look 3 times as good as it currently does on PS4. I guess it's just first wave next-gen stuff...I remember when GUN came out on Xbox 360...man that game looked bad for what was supposed to be "next-gen".

#17 Edited by Yesiamaduck (969 posts) -

Welp I think Ubisoft might be seeing a pile of money being burnt in front of their eyes as the reddit community get wise to this and will undoubtedly lead to some sort of boycott/piracy campaign.

#18 Edited by CorruptedEvil (2392 posts) -

Quickly tested this during my lunch break on my laptop and YUP. Completely removes stuttering, framerate is the exact same and the lighting is much nicer. Only ran around for like 5 minutes in the Loop though so didn't get a chance to see nighttime, rain or water.

#19 Posted by Nephrahim (1127 posts) -

It's interesting seeing a lot of news sites pick this up generally as a "Mod that improves graphics" and not "Ubisoft locking graphical settings of their game." Hmm.

I doubt it'll lead to a boycott or anything, but whatever happened, it feels very dumb.

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#20 Posted by Khann (2819 posts) -

@trilogy said:

Those screenshots are gorgeous, but I don't ever remember the game looking that good at any E3. I remember thinking, "well this looks better, but not huge leaps ahead like that Star Wars game."

In any case, if this is so easy to get running on PC, why didn't ubisoft just have the game look like this from the start? Didn't Sleeping Dogs have some kind of free texture pack for PC? Come on, Ubisoft... step up your Dogs game.

#21 Posted by Capum15 (4857 posts) -

Quickly tested this during my lunch break on my laptop and YUP. Completely removes stuttering, framerate is the exact same and the lighting is much nicer. Only ran around for like 5 minutes in the Loop though so didn't get a chance to see nighttime, rain or water.

Wow. Hope we get a few more posts from people after they've put more time into it, but damn, that sounds great.

Also what the hell, Ubisoft?

#22 Edited by Jaqen_HGhar (878 posts) -

@corruptedevil: Did a similar test. I could run it on High, with Details on Ultra, without stuttering before. Now it stuttered less when I had it all on Ultra.

During nighttime and with rain it did stutter some still, so I set it to high again. No problems with stuttering, and it looks freakin' sweet. But I did notice some light flickering on cars due to the light. A minor thing, but still. If this is tweaked a bit it can make the game a lot nicer looking, while optimizing it more, which is why I can't understand why it's not in by default. Must be a reason, but still...
EDIT: Oh, and now that I read the Reddit-thread a bit more I see that the flickering is known, and he has fixed that in the new version of this he will upload later... so... awesome!

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#23 Posted by MikeyL (15 posts) -

This is for real then? I've actually held off on playing watch dogs, waiting for a ubipatch and AMD drivers.

Watch dogs didn't seem like the worst PC port in the world (at least on my rig, AC3 ran way worse.) but I felt it should look and run way better than it does.

#24 Posted by Hailinel (24285 posts) -

So they really did neuter the graphics?

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#25 Edited by CorruptedEvil (2392 posts) -

Here's a screenshot I took of Watch Dogs on low settings (except high shaders and medium LoD) with the E3 Shaders

#26 Edited by Trilogy (2648 posts) -

@khann:

Man, that is a massive difference. I think I might have been remembering what I saw at E3 2013 for what was shown at E3 2012.

I've known about scaling down games for release, but that's just crazy. Look at the light bulbs at 1:06. They're individual bulbs in the E3 version, and flat textures in the current version. The car smoke/fog and cans being swept away by the wind in the beginning is another huge difference. There's too many details to point out, but I must say it speaks for itself. Sigh.

#27 Edited by handlas (2672 posts) -

This enticed me to think about buying it for a split second. And then I remembered that better graphics aren't going to make me care about this game more. But it's interesting to see this happen along with what we saw happen with Dark Souls 2. Strange to make your game look worse by choice...

#28 Posted by ShaggE (6402 posts) -

Wow, that's crazy.

#29 Edited by MarkWahlberg (4599 posts) -

Those sure are pretty, maybe they're working on a high res free dlc or something to get it working properly? i dunno.

Also:*Parity

(Although the idea of there being a secret parody version of their own game hidden in the files does sound cool).

#30 Posted by MikeyL (15 posts) -

It's hard for me to tell on my phone, but the lighting and textures look better than vanilla? Does this mean ubisoft gimped the pc version, in both graphics and performance, to what? Appease sony and Microsoft? I'm a little perplexed about this whole situation.

#31 Posted by Discoman (163 posts) -

Ubisoft was never in good standing with PC Gamers with all of the DRM they used with their AC games. Although things have gotten very conspiracy oriented in the community, it is shocking that these features actually help the stability of the game in regards to stuttering. If this does mean a more stable game, then there's little logic in removing it. Could they have really been pressured to make the PC release only on par with their console releases?

#32 Edited by RonGalaxy (3068 posts) -

Is this like a huge joke that I'm not in on? If not, what the fuck? This is one of the most ridiculous gaming related things I've ever seen. It's one thing that this even exists in the game files, but the fact that it makes the game perform better? And I was just starting to like ubisoft again....

edit: and if this version runs better, why couldn't they use these shaders on ps4/xbox one? This makes no fucking sense.

#33 Posted by MooseyMcMan (10855 posts) -

Well, this is weird!

Moderator Online
#34 Posted by TehPickle (458 posts) -

I simply cannot wait to see Ubisoft's official comment, silly billies that they are.

#35 Edited by jkz (4008 posts) -

This is fucking incredible. I'm speechless at all the implications of this. Definitely gonna give it a go when I get home.

#36 Posted by Zelyre (1169 posts) -

Is this like a huge joke that I'm not in on? If not, what the fuck? This is one of the most ridiculous gaming related things I've ever seen. It's one thing that this even exists in the game files, but the fact that it makes the game perform better? And I was just starting to like ubisoft again....

edit: and if this version runs better, why couldn't they use these shaders on ps4/xbox one? This makes no fucking sense.

Along side of it needing a bit of work which would have pushed the game further back for a smaller audience, being able to say, "It's the same as the PC version on high." is pretty good marketing.

From some of those screen shots, it looks like some of those settings exist just for bull shot material. Those really pretty Skyrim PC pictures/videos you see with the depth of field? Nigh unplayable to me. The same goes for those Watch Dog pictures, that DOF is cranked and would make gameplay difficult. For me, at least.

#37 Edited by Ravelle (1235 posts) -

Tried it but I don't seem to notice a big difference and everything that's more than 2 meters away is blurry. I did what the instruction told me to do and put the .dat files in to the appointed folder. I'm not getting the result like those screenshots.

#38 Posted by Bollard (5400 posts) -

@khann said:

@trilogy said:

Those screenshots are gorgeous, but I don't ever remember the game looking that good at any E3. I remember thinking, "well this looks better, but not huge leaps ahead like that Star Wars game."

In any case, if this is so easy to get running on PC, why didn't ubisoft just have the game look like this from the start? Didn't Sleeping Dogs have some kind of free texture pack for PC? Come on, Ubisoft... step up your Dogs game.

Can someone who has the game try the mod and do another one of these for comparison? Would be really handy.

#39 Posted by mikey87144 (1719 posts) -

If it makes the game run better I'll install it but hot damn. This is a bit of a controversy isn't it. I'd be curious for the GB guys take on this but they might not care.

#40 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4337 posts) -

@hailinel said:

So they really did neuter the graphics?

That was already noticeable when the game was first released, this is just the cherry on top of the bullshit Ubi has been pulling as of late.

Definitely trying this out soon, I'm more interested in the ironic performance boost than anything else.

#41 Posted by CorruptedEvil (2392 posts) -

@ravelle: thats the bokeh DOF, which is really strong. If you turn off Depth of Field it won't be blurry.

#42 Posted by Jaqen_HGhar (878 posts) -

@bollard: Just made two videos of the (roughly) same area, lighting and weather. I'm not sure how to set them side by side like that, but I can upload both to youtube or something? Not sure what is best. One this is for sure, you can see a difference.

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#43 Posted by HammondofTexas (620 posts) -
#44 Posted by Rhombus_Of_Terror (2089 posts) -

At least this hit today instead of a few hours after a bombcast.

#45 Posted by Random45 (1119 posts) -

Wow, this is actually really weird. I do enjoy all the conspiracies coming up due to this though, and it reaffirms my dislike for reddit, so there's that at least.

#46 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5373 posts) -

This whole thing is really strange. I don't really know what to say, other than I guess they really did downgrade the visuals overall rather than deceptively craft a very nice looking vertical slice.

#47 Posted by TurboMan (7500 posts) -

Perhaps Ubisoft hit "send" on the wrong file?

#48 Edited by Ravelle (1235 posts) -

@ravelle: thats the bokeh DOF, which is really strong. If you turn off Depth of Field it won't be blurry.

Oh, cool. Thanks!

#49 Posted by CorruptedEvil (2392 posts) -

Found this video which is of this mod and another mod by another person on Guru3D, the beginning is the exact same as the Comparison video posted earlier.

#50 Edited by Shiro2809 (54 posts) -